We weren’t planning on drinking away our Sunday afternoon. In fact, we only went out for a few errands, and then we were going to go right back home to relax and get ready for the week ahead. But you know, it seems like we always have the best time when we let our original plans go out the window. On this particular day it was so warm and sunny that somehow we just wound up in downtown Denver, looking for something fun to keep us from our other responsibilities. We decided to head over to Great Divide Brewing Company. We’d tried to visit several weeks prior for happy hour, but it was so packed we abandoned our plans. This time around we figured we were safe. It was just after noon, and my recollection told me that they opened at noon. Surely, we would beat the crowds this time.
Boy did we ever beat the crowds. When we arrived we realized they didn’t open until 2:00 PM. Luckily the Ballpark Neighborhood was within walking distance and their bars were beckoning us to kill some time with a few drinks. We wound up at Scruffy Murphy’s for afternoon happy hour and checked in on Yelp. Lo and behold after we checked in we heard from our friends Rob & Stacy that they were also nearby drinking away the afternoon. I told you great minds drink alike! Before you knew it we were all on the Scruffy Murphy’s patio, enjoying a few cold pints in the warm sun.
Finally, way after 2:00 PM we decided to make our way back to Great Divide Brewing. The crowds had definitely arrived, but we still managed to find a table for four and ordered some brews. Jeff started, and stuck with, the Hercules Double IPA. Jeff said it smelled really hoppy, but the hop flavor wasn’t too overpowering. Unfortunately he really couldn’t remember much else about the beer other than to say it was good. Little did he know at the time that Hercules is indeed a strong fella. At 10% ABV, I guess I can’t blame him for not remembering the fine details.
I decided to try the 3 for $3 samples that Great Divide offers, and tasted the Colette, The Denver Pale Ale (DPA), and the Chocolate Oak Aged Yeti. The Colette was a farmhouse ale, and was an easy drinking beer though a little tart for my taste. It was a refreshing beer, so I was surprised to learn after that it’s 7.3% ABV. The Chocolate Oak Aged Yeti Imperial Stout was like dessert in a glass, and also topped at a hefty 9.5% ABV. I could only drink that one in moderation. I most enjoyed the Denver Pale Ale. It’s just the right amount of hoppy for me, and at 5.7% ABV, I could drink a little more without getting myself in too much trouble. After my mini-flight of tasters, I also tried the Wild Raspberry Ale. It’s a sweet and slightly tart, mixed with a malty, almost wheat bear flavor. I liked it, but still crown Denver Pale Ale my favorite for this visit.
So is it worth fighting the crowds to visit Great Divide Brewing? My vote would be yes. If you don’t want to take my word for it, check out the Awards section of the Great Divide website to view the plethora of GABF awards and other accolades that Great Divide has racked up over the years. Sure, big beers such as these aren’t for everyone. But with such an amazing selection of beers on tap, odds are you’ll find something to like. So go… now. Just don’t show up before 2:00 PM on Sunday.