Beer Man

Great Divide's brewers get a chance to shine at eighteenth-anniversary party

Great Divide will celebrate eighteen years in Denver on Saturday with the brewery's annual block party on Arapahoe Street -- an event that will feature several special, one-off brews made on Great Divide's six-month-old pilot brewing system.

And all of the brewers on staff can take credit for the results.

"With the list of special beers being so long, it gave our brewers an opportunity to all try their hand at something a bit different than our classic favorites. It even gave our newest addition to the brew team, Bryan Harris, a chance to get in on the action," says brewery spokeswoman Hanna Laney. "Here at Great Divide, we have a pretty egalitarian brew team. While we have a head brewer, our beloved Taylor, we don't have a brewmaster, and our team works together in a uniquely collaborative way."

In addition, all of Great Divide's brewers began on the packaging line or somewhere else and were trained from within. They "received all of their commercial brewing education and experience within our brewhouse," Laney explains.

"Hopefully one day, our newer brewers will look back at these special beers and see them as their first toe in the water, so to speak, under the tutelage of our more experienced brewers."

"It's not a strict policy," she adds. "It has just sort of worked out that way, and it is something we enjoy."

In addition to Wolfgang dopplebock, the first of Great Divide's bottled lineup to be developed on the pilot system, the list of small-batch beers available at the party includes Schwarzbier, Berliner Weisse, Leipzig Gose, India Pale Lager, Clayton Bigsby Tripel, Altbier, Oak Smoked Dunkelweiss, Hefeweizen, and a special, yet-to-be-announced Yeti.

Great Divide's eighteenth-anniversary party runs from 2 to 6 p.m. on Saturday, June 16, with four food trucks (the $25 entry price includes one food ticket); live music from Bonnie & the Beard, the Knew, Tin Horn Prayer and the Kentucky Street Parlor Pickers; and lots and lots of beer. Tickets are available here.

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