Bold Character is more than just a catchphrase at Great Divide, it’s the philosophy behind what we brew, how we think, and what we believe. We’d like to introduce you to another Bold Character around here, Bryan Baltzell.
What positions have you had here?
I started on the Bottling line then went to warehousing- where I studied under the tutelage of Ryan Rafferty and only put a few holes in the wall, then I worked on cleaning and filling kegs for a while. Giving the tours was another job of mine – which is how I got into sales; I liked talking to people and showing them all of our beers.
How long have you worked at Great Divide?
Almost 10 years.
What is your favorite GD beer?
Old Ruffian is probably my favorite seasonal beer, I drank a ton of Hercules at the Falling Rock before I started working here and have to credit it as the reason that I wanted to work for Great Divide. I hate to tease, but my true favorite was that first batch of Berliner Weisse that we ever made- it was perfect.
What GD icon are you most like?
I always liked Hades- he was holding Cerberus, the three headed devil dog on a leash. I like Claymore too- because I helped name that beer and he looks like a video game character. Hoss too- I like his pose- he has a good stance- he looks proud of the hard work he has accomplished.
Funny story or really memorable moment from your time here?
I remember when we worked on the bottling line it could get sort of monotonous, so we would pretend that we were bee- pirates and talk to each other like “Arg, avast ye scurvy landlubber” and just entertain ourselves.
On a random Tuesday evening, what might we find you doing?
Walking my wonder-dog, Thistle, around the neighborhood with my son Benji and hanging out at home with my wife Stefanie. I spend a ton of time talking to people all day, so after work I like to watch movies and relax with a beer and some snacks.
What are weird things that you dislike (we know you hate camping, start there)!
I do not like camping, I love to be away from the city with friends and family, I love to go for long walks in natural settings, but at the end of the day I like to sleep in a comfortable bed and to have the opportunity to take a shower in the morning. I just rarely go camping- I don’t hate it. Also- I am a horrible skier and despite living near these awesome mountains- I don’t even make it up once each year. I also dislike a ton of foods, but I really love to try limited release weirdo snacks and candies. I hunt them down when I am traveling. In fact, I get together with a group of friends to share rare beers and I always try to bring funky snacks- like Japanese candy or fruit punch flavored Oreos.
Any other random tidbit or fun fact you want people to know?
I have been lucky to meet a ton of great people and make many friends in the beer industry- I think that’s the most precious thing about beer for me. The camaraderie and culture is amazing- and it’s very rewarding to get to spend so much time with people you respect and like. I love my coworkers, the salespeople at our distributors, the other brewery reps we work alongside, the event organizers, and the beer drinkers who make it all possible.
I would also like to offer this tidbit- I am a big video game fan, although I rarely get to play them, and I’ve placed a tiny Mario Bros. mushroom figurine in the brewery somewhere. Sharp-eyed visitors may be able to spot it. It’s just a fun little Easter egg for people on the tour. I keep waiting for someone to discover it and clean it up or throw it away, but it’s been there for at least a year now. If you find it, let me know, and I’ll give you a high-five or pour you a beer or something!