Great Divide Brewing has been distributing its beers to Sweden for years via Great Brands -- a craft-beer-focused Swedish distributor that carries a handful of American brews, including those from Avery, Left Hand, Oskar Blues and Ska. The Denver brewery has garnered many fans in Scandinavia since, one of whom happens to be the lead singer of the metal band In Flames, due to open for Lamb of God at the Fillmore tonight.
"I'm a huge fan of good beer," Friden says. "I became friends with these guys when we were in town for the Great American Beer Festival last year. My friend who works for Great Brands was able to put me in touch with Great Divide's owner, Brian Dunn." "Brian knows I'm a fucking metal head," jokes brewer Chris Kirk. "He said to me, 'can you take care of this guy?'"
The band and brewers became fast friends, and when Kirk learned that In Flames was going to be in town, he invited Anders to the brewery to help put together a final pilot batch of HeyDay -- a Belgian-style White ale that will be released next spring.
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"Music and beer are so fucking similar," notes Friden. "We put our heart and soul into what we do, and so do these guys. We're ambassadors. It's all about spreading the love...life's too short to drink shit." Anders is no stranger to the brewhouse -- he's collaborated with several Swedish breweries under a brand he started with a friend called FrEQuency. "I'd love to do something with FrEQency in the future," says Kirk. "That's what's great about our new pilot system, it's fun for us. We get to hang out on a Sunday and 'play'." Catch In Flames tonight at the Fillmore; the show starts at 6 p.m. And if you bump into one of the brewers from Great Divide in the mosh pit, be sure to give them a horns up.