Beer Man

Great Divide joins growing list of brewers using fresh Colorado hops

Great Divide Brewing will tap its first-ever beer made with fresh Colorado hops tomorrow at 2 p.m., joining a growing list of brewers who use locally grown hops. Sticky Icky is a pale ale that has been soaked in a firkin with fresh Crystal hops from Misty Mountain Hop Farm in Olathe. But the brewery will also brew a separate, seven-barrel batch with those hops, which will be ready in four to six weeks.

At least three dozen Colorado breweries (see the full list below) have made or are making fresh-hop beers this year with hops grown in-state -- the subject of this week's Westword cover story, "Is Everyone Hoppy?" and an accompanying slide show.

See also -Who's keeping local hop farmers in business? -Hop farming in Colorado -Great Divide adds a pilot brewing system for small-batch, experimental beers

Fresh hop beers are made with whole hop cones harvested within 24 hours of brewing in order to capture the farm-fresh flavors that begin to fade within a day. The article covers the hop-farming industry in Colorado and what it will take for it to survive.

Great Divide bottles a fresh hop beer every year that is made with Centennial, Cascade and Simcoe hops grown in the Yakima Valley region of Washington State (the 2012 version will be brewed this weekend). But the addition of a seven-barrel pilot brewing system last year has allowed Great Divide to produce smaller batches of beer.

In the meantime, here's a list of breweries that had, have or will have fresh-hop beers on tap here during the late summer and early fall:

Asher Brewing Avery Big Choice Bootstrap Boulder Beer Bristol Bull & Bush City Star brewing Copper Kettle Crabtree Crazy Mountain Dad and Dude's Denver Beer Co Dostal Alley Fort Collins Great Divide Kannah Creek Left Hand Lone Tree Loveland AleWorks New Belgium Odell Oskar Blues Pagosa Springs Brewing Pikes Peak Renegade Ska Strange Steamworks Tommyknocker Trinity Twisted Pine Wynkoop

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Jonathan Shikes is a Denver native who writes about business and beer for Westword.
Contact: Jonathan Shikes