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Brewery tour: Great Divide Brewing Company

Photo:  Ryan Conklin

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I have been tasting, reviewing, and photographing beers for 15 weeks for my ongoing 52 beers 52 weeks photo/drinking project.  I have wanted to visit local breweries in conjunction with tasting and reviewing their beer.  After selecting Samurai Rice Ale for review and photo session, I decide that I should head down to the brewery to see where the magic happens. The Great Divide Brewery and Taproom is located in downtown Denver at 2201 Arapahoe Street on the corner of Arapahoe and 22nd, and is open to the public from 2-8pm M-T and 2-10pm W-Sat.  Brewery tours available daily at 3pm and 4pm and hourly from 2pm-7pm on Saturdays.  The tours are free with no reservations needed.

What is Great Divide Brewery all about?  
'Great Divide is about brewing some of the worlds most balanced yet assertive and full flavored beers.'  They are also about loving what they do and sharing what they do with great people in fun and exciting ways.
"Great Divide beers have landed an impressive amount of acclaim:  earning 16 Great American Beer Festival medals and 4 World Beer Cup awards. Great Divide was also ranked 8th in’s 2010 'The Best Brewers in the World' and was ranked 7th in Beer Advocate’s 2009 'All-Time Top Breweries on Planet Earth.'"

Photo:  Ryan Conklin

When we arrived to the Taproom and asked about brewery tours, we were warmly greeted with the beer of our choosing and whisked away behind closed doors.  If you have ever been on a brewery tour, you know, there are certain components to a brewery that are always part of the operation.  No matter where you go, no matter how large or small the brewery, you will always find a :

  •  Grist Mill
  •  Mash Tun
  •  Brew Kettle
  •  Fermentation tanks

Though you will always find a certain components in every brewery, no two are setup the same.  Some breweries are in a space that was specifically built for the brewing operation while other breweries occupy space that was not designed specifically for the brew process. The set up at Great Divide is quite large and growing but they use every bit of space that their building will allow and more.  Currently the brewery can produce up to 13,000 beer barrels or 403,000 gallons yearly but are expanding this spring into the parking lot to allow them to produce upwards of 18,000 bbls per year. Checkout the slideshow to see more images from the tour and taproom.

Photo:  Ryan Conklin

Beers on tap at the Great Divide Taproom are:

  • Hades
  • DPA
  • Titan IPA
  • Hoss
  • Claymore Scottish Ale
  • Wild Raspberry Ale
  • Espresso Oak Aged Yeti
  • Samurai

If you are lucky, you may have a chance to taste Hercules Double IPA, St. Bridget's Porter, and Old Ruffian from the bottle when you visit.

What can you expect from Great Divide in 2010?

  • Hoss Rye Lager and Claymore Scotch Ale will be available year round
  •  Major expansion.  The brewery is expanding into the parking lot, adding 3 huge climate controlled tanks to increase production by 5,000 bbls capacity annually.  5,000 beer barrels is 155,000 gallons or 1,653,333 bottles of beer.
  • Hop Disciples meets every third Thursday of every month at 6 pm to discuss beer and all things beer related.
  • Beer and Cheese pairing meets every last Tuesday of the month from 5-8pm.  $18 covers 5 Great Divide brews paired with 5 artisan cheeses and accompanying fruits, nuts and craft breads.
  •  The patio at Great Divide Taproom will open for the summer on Fri. Apr 9, 2010, Opening Day of Rockies season.

What is happening this week at the brewery?
Monthly Beer and Cheese Pairing on Feb 23 from 5-8pm, enjoy 5 unique artisan cheeses paired with 5 Great Divide beers, garnished with fruit, nuts and hand crafted bread. $18 per person. RSVP required. Please email

For more info: checkout Great Divide Brewing Company online for details about hours, tours, and future events.




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