A highlight of the Beer Friends Colorado Brewery Trip was Great Divide Brewery in Denver, Colorado. Great Divide was a great time and well worth the drive and parking in downtown Denver. PLUS it's within walking distance of a few other breweries and hosts a Denver breweries walking tour (Click here for info).
The Tap Room itself has a very friendly atmosphere. The bartenders are more than willing to share Great Divide's fantastic brews with you. You get four free samples when you come in that you will quickly want to follow up with a pint or two of your favorites. Everyone in the place were regulars, even if they hadn't ever been there before and they all seemed to know each other. One Beer Friend even randomly ran into a guy from his father's hometown who, through not so many degrees of separation, knew all the same people he did. Great Divide is a great brewery, the brews great beer and seems to attract a great clientele.
Great Divide has always had a good showing in Beer Competitions, including this Year's GAFB with Colette a saison winning Silver in Category 64: French and Belgian Style Saison. Past awards include A gold medal in the 1997 GABF (Hibernation Ale) and silver (Denver Pale Ale - DPA), 1998 Silver Medal in World Beer Cup (Hibernation Ale) and Bronze medal (Denver Pale Ale), Gold medal in 1999 GABF (Denver Pale Ale), Bronze medal in 2002 GABF (Denver Pale Ale), 2003 Silver Medal at GABF (Hibernation Ale), 2005 Silver Medal GABF (Yeti Imperial Stout), 2006 Gold Medal (Old Ruffian Barley Wine) and Silver Medal GABF (Hibernation Ale) and Bronze Medal (Denver Pale Ale), 2007 Gold Medal Australian International Beer Awards (Hercules Double IPA), Bronze Medal 2008 GABF (Yeti Imperial Stout) and three Silver Medals in the Australian International Beer Awards (Hercules Double IPA, Oak Aged Yeti Imperial Stout, Titan IPA), Silver Medal at 2009 GABF (Yeti) and two Bronze Medals (Hoss, Old Ruffian) and earlier in 2010 a Bronze medal for Hoss in the World Beer Cup. Wow... impressive!
Hades- good beer, smooth and light, but with a crispness not found in a lot of Belgian Golden Ales. The ABV on this is high (7.3) but leaves no alcohol taste.
Hoss - This is a complex beer with a lot going on. Nothing overpowering creates a nice smooth beer, this Rye beer has more flavor than the typical rye flavor. I can certainly understand why this has won a few awards in the past two years!
Denver Pale Ale (DPA)- This is heavier than the typical Pale Ale. Full flavor but not as light, I'm really finding a collection of good pale ale's in Colorado (Dale's, Midsummers) but now how do I find them in NYC?
Rumble IPA- Oak aged IPA that is light on hoppiness and heavier on vanilla. This is a interesting take on a IPA with less focus on the hops and more focus on the flavors that compliment them.
Smoked Baltic Porter- This is a awesome beer. The smoky blends perfectly with the smoothness of the porter, a lot of flavor and range in a single pint.
Samurai - I'm not usually a huge golden/blonde ale type of guy, but this one was pretty quality. Smooth with a golden refreshing flavor that went with the August temperatures outside.
Hercules Double IPA - This Imperial/Double IPA is big and hoppy. As a self-proclaimed hop-head I fell in love immediately. After having a sample I order a whole pint of it so I could keep that flavor rolling.
Yeti Imperial Stout - The stickers with the picture of a Yeti that read "Believe" aren't the only great thing about this stout. It is full of flavor from roasted malts to a tad bit of coffee. It is smooth and still packs a big stout punch.
The Great Divide Tasting Room is located at 2201 Arapahoe Road, Denver, CO 80205 [googlemaps http://maps.google.com/maps?client=safari&oe=UTF-8&ie=UTF8&q=great+divide+brewing+co&fb=1&gl=us&hq=great+divide+brewing+co&cid=0,0,16728202394686972799&ei=RFeWTI3JIcWclgfOyN2nCg&ved=0CCEQnwIwAQ&hnear=&ll=39.753671,-104.988568&spn=0.006295,0.006295&iwloc=A&output=embed&w=425&h=350]
The Tap Room is Open:
Sunday - Tuesday : 2p - 8p Wednesday - Saturday : 2p - 10p
Tours available : 3p and 4p Monday - Friday, 2p - 7p (Every hour on the hour) Saturday, and 2p - 5p (on the hour) Sundays