A view from behind the bar: the brew house inside Great Divide. Photo by Tyler Burgei
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A small crowded bar with a cozy atmosphere, Great Divide Brewing Company's tap room in downtown Denver is a great place to meet up with friends and sample several of the local company's microbrews.
Great Divide, established in 1994, offers a wide selection of flavorful craft beers. Many of them are foreign style-influenced, such as the Hades Belgian-Style Ale, while others have an American twist, such as the Hercules Double India Pale Ale (the abundance of fresh hops is characteristic of American DIPA's). Most of their beers are available on draught at the tasting room.
A couple of exciting choices include Yeti Imperial Stout and Old Ruffian Barley Wine-Style Ale. Both beers boast over 9% alcohol by volume, and neither are for the faint of heart. Packed with bitterness from copious amounts of hops and sweetness from excessive malted barley, both brews are sure to impress the snobbiest of beer geeks.
Also, as a sidenote, each of the beers is served in its style's proper glass. Click here to read more about glassware and its impact on the beer's profile.
Behind the bar, there are windows that allow guests to see into the brew house. A giant mash/lauter tun, a conical fermenter, and kegs galore adorn the brewery's floor. Also, several Stranahan Colorado Whiskey barrels are stacked in plain sight. These whiskey barrels are used to age some of Great Divide's special release barrel-aged series beers.
According to Amy and Chris, two of the very accomodating bartenders, Yeti Stranahan Whiskey Barrel-Aged Imperial Stout will be released this week, probably January 20.
To read about the new trend of barrel-aging beers, check out this article.
The tasting room is a great way to explore some new beers. At $4 a pint and 2 ounce samplers for free, you can't go wrong. There is also a cooler stocked with 6-packs and 22 ounce bombers available for purchase and takeout, as well as 750-mL bottles of special-release beers.
Whether you're starting out the night or just winding down, Great Divide's tap room is the place to be.