It's a special moment in Colorado Craft Beer history when one of the local breweries turns as old as 21. Not only can they drink legally and spend all of their money chasing tail at the bar, but they can say that they've beaten the odds. It is not an easy feat to turn a side hobby into a craft beer empire... it takes guts, but mostly it just takes brewing delicious beer. And Great Divide definitely has both of those things, tenfold.
The brewery in itself is an institution. Most likely the biggest storage container warehouse we've ever seen. The anniversary party was held outside adjacent to the brewery, so sadly we were not able to peek inside upon our craft beer heaven. We can only imagine that it would have involved a lot of open mouth breathing and some stalkerish stares on our part.
The weather listened to our beer soaked pleas and it was a beautiful, sunny day in downtown Denver. Everything about the event was flawless, from the bike check in the beginning to the coffee lid surprise at the end. Side Note: When a drunk person receives something that turns an otherwise normal beer pint into their Monday morning challis for coffee, it is single handedly the most exciting thing that has ever happened in their life (speaking on behalf of a friend).
The anniversary party had everything from roaming yetis to a photo booth to beer floats and jumpy Twister to everything else in between. We wouldn't be surprised if sorcerer magic was used to get inside the heads of drunks and analyze what a perfect day of beer drinking would look like. On top of all of the games and events, there was great local music and delicious food from Denver food trucks. We were able to see one of Denver's newest local artists, Brent Coles (former lead singer of You, Me and Apollo) sing his heart out on stage. We'll be darned if the range on that boy is not the craziest thing you've heard this year. Then there's the Gin Doctors... they're your 90's wet dream rolled into one absurd and rowdy band. There is nothing more spot on than serenading a bunch of drunk people to 90's throwbacks. Ultra5280 Disclosure: Blink 182 was sung along to in tones and volumes that we are not proud of, we are sorry for any discomfort and trouble this may have caused you. Oakhurst closed out the night, (at least for us) with their upbeat bluegrass and had the entire crowd dancing along, stomping their feet and spilling their beer.
Although the party revolved around beer, the golden craft gets its own section. The two stand out beers for us, would have to be, of course, the Port of Meow and the Strawberry Rhubarb. The Port of Meow is a wily cat... at first she'll snuggle up on your legs and bat at your yarn, but... as soon as you let your guard down it will leave you alone in the alley wondering where your wallet is and if you're adopted. The strawberry rhubarb was enticing and quizzical. Upon the first sip it tasted slightly dry and bitter, (most likely from the rhubarb) but upon further inspection it grew into a full bodied beer with sweet undertones and a smooth finish. Definitely intriguing and one of the most interesting and diverse beers we've ever tasted. The lines may have been long, but the beer was strong and we were drunk so it didn't matter anyways.
We are so proud of our craft brewery scene and feel honored to call this mecca our home. Great Divide continues to push boundaries and break through ceilings when it comes to crafting up delicious beer and we're sure that 21 is just the beginning... So, cheers to hoping they grow out of their new brewery relatively quickly so we can attend another one of their wonderful parties!