Great Divide Brewing Company's Yeti Imperial Stout turned an unlikely stout into one of the brewery's all-time best-selling beers and a flagship so well known that the beer's profile is sometimes bigger than that of its creator. But the classic beer — one of the thirty most important in Colorado history — has taken on even more life in the past few years with a tongue-in-cheek promotion that began as a lark but has developed into one of Great Divide's biggest weeks of the year.
"Yeti Awareness Week has been the second-best week in terms of taproom sales at the Barrel Bar the last two years, trailing only Great American Beer Festival week," says Great Divide spokesman Matt Sandy.
"For us, it’s a chance to highlight one of our longest-tenured core beers and the beer we’re probably best known for both in-state and out. Core beers are often overlooked in the rush to check into each new brew, and while we’re continuously innovating, Yeti Imperial Stout and its variants have been a constant in our lineup for years," the brewery adds. "Plus, yetis aren’t going to raise awareness by themselves."
And that's good news for the mythical creature, whose history "dates back to 326 BC with Alexander the Great, and continues on today," the brewery noted during the first annual Yeti Awareness Week in 2016. "The yeti population is becoming increasingly reclusive due to human skepticism. The yeti is an incredibly misunderstood, and often forgotten, majestic creature. Our goal is to unite believers from around the world to join this cause."
The best way to do that, of course, is by drinking Yeti beers, and there are five brand-new variants to choose from this year, along with new packaging, a full slate of events and activities, and an unusual mini beer festival on Saturday, November 23, called the Yeti & Pals Behemoth Beer Bash.
Why is this festival unusual? Because it is one of the first times — if not the very first — that Great Divide has put beers from other breweries on tap in its own taproom. "There are a lot of incredible, big dark beers in Colorado, and this was a chance to include some brewery friends we’ve worked with over the years and further the reach of yeti awareness," Sandy says. "The mini beer fest was something I’ve wanted to implement since I got involved."
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At noon today (Monday, November 18), Great Divide kicks things off by tapping Pumpkin Pie Yeti at both of its taprooms (at 2201 Arapahoe Street and 1812 35th Street). In addition, the brewery will serve the stout in limited-edition gold Yeti glassware; $10 gets you a glass and a pour. Other Yeti variants going on tap this week include Borgia Yeti, Chai Yeti, Cosmic Yeti (with Himalayan spices), and firkins of Neapolitan Yeti and Fernet-inspired Yeti. Returning favorites include S'Mores Yeti, Barrel Aged Yeti, Velvet Yeti, Chocolate Cherry Yeti, Chocolate Oak Aged Yeti, Vanilla Yeti and Mexican Chocolate Yeti.
Events over the week include a Yeti Bake-Off, Yeti Trivia, S'mores making with Brewers Association chef Adam Dulye, Yeti ice cream floats, food trucks, Yeti giveaways, and the Yeti & Pals Behemoth Beer Bash.
The bash takes place at Great Divide's Barrel Bar (1812 35th Street) from noon to 10 p.m. and will include three taps dedicated to guest beers at all times. The beers include: 4 Noses El Jefe Cinnamon and Coffee; Cerebral Brewing Safe Word Imperial Oatmeal Stout with coconut, cacao nibs and cassia bark; Dry Dock Barrel Aged Chocolate Peanut Butter Imperial Stout; Fiction Beer Steep Imperial Coffee Stout; Mockery Brewing Rye Whiskey Barrel Aged Chocolate Macadamia Oatmeal Stout; Our Mutual Friend This, That, and the Other Thing Breakfast Stout; Ratio Beerworks Barrel Aged Genius Wizard; River North Brewery Mr. Sandman Imperial Stout; Ursula Brewery Big Bully Stole My Lunch PBJ Imperial Porter; and WeldWerks Brewing Mexican Achromatic.