Posts Tagged ‘Great Divide Brewing’

Rock & Brews will host a special beer dinner Tuesday night. (Photo courtesy of Rock & Brews)

Beer dinners are plentiful in this day and age, but they are almost always limited to a single brewery’s offerings. Well, the folks at Rock & Brews decided that it was time to pair up some of their excellent food with beers from more than one brewery.

The dinner will take place Tuesday night at 7, costing $40 per person, or two for $70. Guests will be greeted with a welcome pint of Santa Fe’s Freestyle Pilsner. The four-course meal will feature the following pairings with local and regional beers.

  • Cheese (goat, green chile cheddar, gouda) and cracker trio, paired with Great Divide’s Roadie Grapefruit Radler
  • Braeburn apple salad adorned with Strongbow Cherry Blossom Cider vinaigrette, paired with Sierra Nevada’s Hazy Little Thing IPA
  • Surf (garlic butter shrimp) and turf (grilled Asian-marinated tri-tip) with braised local greens and carrot ginger mash, paired with Bosque’s Scotia Scotch Ale
  • Pineapple upside-down cake with vanilla stout creme anglaise atop vanilla ice cream, paired with Avery’s Tweak

Tickets are available at Rock & Brews, but as the time goes closer make sure to call first at (505) 340-2953.

Thanks to Angelo Orona of Craft King Consulting for putting this together, and for the heads up.

Cheers!

— Stoutmeister

Party time with Great Divide in a couple weeks!

Lots of stuff can fall through the cracks as far as beer news goes, especially when an editor goes on a road trip, so here is pretty much everything I know we missed over the last couple weeks.

Anniversaries and grand openings and soft openings

Today (Friday) is going to be a busy one. First up, Chile Line Brewing is celebrating the official grand opening of its new taproom, which is right next to Pizzeria Da Lino, at 204 N. Guadalupe St. in Santa Fe. There will be live music, special food samples, and of course plenty of beer starting at 4 p.m.

Duel Brewing has been celebrating its fourth anniversary all week long in Santa Fe. The party comes to Albuquerque tonight at 8 p.m. James Whiton will bring his solo loop bass, with a number of burlesque dancers performing. All sours will be $1 off all night.

Also, a reader has informed us that Colfax Ale Cellars in Raton will be quietly having a soft opening. New Mexico’s northernmost brewery had hoped to open last fall, but hit a few more bumps in the road. At last, they will open today at 3 p.m. The Run to Raton Bike Rally & Car Show is also in town, so a lot of the motels are already booked. Take note if you plan to drive up, you will have to designate a driver. The grand opening date will be announced soon.

Exclusive beers en route

Our buddy Thomas DeCaro, now representing Great Divide, is bringing some special new IPAs to town for a two-night tapping at two locations. They will happen at Sister Bar on August 4 at 5 p.m., and then at Nob Hill Bar & Grill the following night. The beers en route are Hazy, a New England-style IPA, Tea Ski IPA, brewed with black tea, and All the Buzz Words, a special collaboration with Weldworks. ABW is described as a “kettle sour session New England-style IPA.” It debuted back at the brewery in Denver on July 1.

Boxing Bear to the Heights

We are working on a time to go more in-depth on this, but yes, it appears that Boxing Bear is the brewery targeted to move into the forthcoming taproom space being built at the new Snow Heights Promenade at Eubank and Menaul. Head brewer Justin Hamilton pretty much confirmed it to the Albuquerque Journal. That’s official enough for us.

More taprooms and breweries?

That mystery taproom coming to Menaul just east of Louisiana has now been confirmed as Broken Trail, which will have beer and spirits available (unlike just spirits at Green Jeans). Owner Matt Simonds asked us to keep quiet until it was more official, but the word got out and now we can say, yeah, that’s Broken Trail.

Elsewhere, Hollow Spirits, the new venture from former Red Door co-owner Frank Holloway, has a pending small brewer license as well. Taking a similar path to Broken Trail is not a bad idea.

Down south, Lost Hiker Brewing has a pending license as well. It will be located in Ruidoso Downs. That mountainous region also has the Glencoe Distillery and Brewery coming east of Ruidoso, and Switchback Brewery in Cloudcroft. Unlike the others, Lost Hiker does have a Facebook page so everyone can keep track of the progress.

* * * * *

That is all the news we missed (that we know of). As always, if you know anything you feel we and the craft beer community should know, drop us a line via social media or at nmdarksidebrewcrew@gmail.com.

Cheers!

— Stoutmeister

 

Denver called. Franz Solo and Stoutmeister answered.

Denver called. Franz Solo and Stoutmeister answered.

We were somewhere around Wagon Mound, on the edge of the northern plains, when the bugs began to take hold. No seriously, these were a veritable swarm of all sorts of insectoids smashing and crashing against the car. Wait until you see the goddamn locusts! But I digress, it was a warm sunny day when Stoutmeister and I set out to the grand city of Denver to seek our fortunes in the plethora of outstanding brews to be found there and bang our heads to some absolutely amazing Finnish melodic death metal.

They have a sense of old-school humor at Trinity in Colorado Springs.

They have a sense of old-school humor at Trinity in Colorado Springs.

We stopped in Colorado Springs to get some much needed sustenance and sample a brew or two at Trinity Brewing for some delicious sliders and epic mac n cheese while sipping on an outstanding coffee stout. Those who love sours and saison would have a field day at this joint, for those of us who had just drove five hours at top speed, we needed sustenance and coffee-infused beer to finish the drive to Denver!

Once we arrived in the city proper, our accommodations were stupendous, and we were whisked away to the Atomic Cowboy, a top-notch beer bar on Colfax, where we imbibed several local brews, some as a preview of what was to come and others which were welcome new beers to our palates.

Lunch at Wynkoop. Don't panic, we had food, too.

Lunch at Wynkoop. Don’t panic, we had food, too.

The architecture of the Wynkoop building was rather impressive.

The architecture of the Wynkoop building was rather impressive.

The following morning we trekked to Wynkoop Brewing for an early lunch. The brews were average, but we were there for the food and the ambiance, which were excellent. I took a bit of a walk through the basement and was greeted with the requisite aging and barrel room.

The mothership that is Great Divide.

The mothership that is Great Divide.

The elusive Yeti, and friends.

The elusive Yeti, and friends.

We then trekked our way over to Great Divide in search of the elusive Yeti. Our arrival was badly timed, at least musically, for we were wearing our Pantera and Iron Maiden shirts and the tune playing in the joint was anything but metal. The bartender jokingly greeted us with “the metal brewery is just down the road,” referring of course to TRVE Brewing, which incidentally enough was on the list for the day’s adventures. We settled in for a veritable smorgasbord of delightful samples including Claymore, Hercules (which I have previously reviewed and was just wonderful on tap), as well as of course the inimitable Yeti.

A little slice of Germany in the heart of Denver.

A little slice of Germany in the heart of Denver.

Now that is a sampler tray.

Now that is a sampler tray.

Our palates whetted, our coffers filled we made our way to a little slice of Deutschland in the heart of Denver. Ever since my wife made her way to Prost, she raved at how I would adore them and she was not wrong in the slightest. Prost is as damn near to drinking German brews as one can get outside of being in Germany itself, as far as I’m concerned (one day that holy pilgrimage to Munich must be made), and we absolutely loved their beer and everything else about the place. Particular favorites of mine were the now GABF gold medal-winning Weißbier and the exceptional Keller Pils. Were I a resident of fair Denver it would be safe to call this an often frequented joint for the beer and the atmosphere alike.

All we got is \m/ \m/

All we got is \m/ \m/

Our German palates whetted, our loot of barrel-aged Doppelbock stowed, we set off to black metal heaven in the aforementioned TRVE Brewing. Our arrival, as it turns out, was badly timed. Or at least we had a bit of time to kill before the joint opened for the day so we went for a short stroll down the block and back. The shops around TRVE are a testament to the intriguing melange of culture growing in Denver and Colorado proper. You have high-end retail and fine dining next to dispensaries, cross fit, yoga, and adult shops. What to make of this blend? Time will tell.

Oh, glorious flight of TRVE brews.

Oh, glorious flight of TRVE brews.

We were the first inside TRVE as the doors opened and this brewery was everything we had been told it would be. A medieval long table commands the hall, the walls bedecked with black metal inspired art, and the altar of Baphomet, which also houses the taps, is stunning to say the least. Of all the places to prepare for a Finnish melodic death metal show this was TRVEly the ticket! The beer was as excellent as the metal music filling the place was well, metal. Our particular favorites were Tunnel of Trees IPA and the delightful Stout O))). This really felt like home to me and I would love to have a metal-themed brewery closer to home, although it is likely I would never want to leave.

We want to come back for some Saturday footy on the telly.

We want to come back for some Saturday footy on the telly.

We did, however, have a show to get to and required sustenance prior to the event. The Three Lions proved to be an excellent choice indeed and we would be quite lucky to catch a game or two of English Premier League, or most any other sport in the joint on a busy weekend.

The glory of metal was bestowed upon us.

The glory of metal was bestowed upon us.

Our show at the Bluebird Theater was a night to remember. The local openers Solar Flare set the tone and Omnium Gatherum and Insomnium put on a pair of stunning sets that set our hearts aflame with some rousingly grand metal.

This isn't heaven, but it's close.

This isn’t heaven, but it’s close.

The upstairs taproom. Jeebus.

The upstairs taproom. Jeebus.

The downstairs taproom.

The downstairs taproom.

We awoke the following day and set out for the great Avery in search of glory, and glory found us as well. For those of us who had been up all night head-banging to metal, we were in no mood for coffee and doughnuts, we needed strong drink, or at least a little slice of Valhalla to tide us over. The new Avery headquarters is simply jaw dropping. An enormous building, for starters, with a pair of taprooms and a modern brewing facility that would make many in the industry quite jealous. We were like a couple of giddy kids making our way to wonderland and the anticipation was met with some of the hands-down best beers I have ever had the pleasure of tasting from the source. Having enjoyed many of Avery’s offerings over the past decade or so, we stuck to some of the brewery exclusive options with such delectable choices as Gored (a splendid pumpkin beer), Out of Mind coffee stout, and Raja IPA (here’s hoping we get a few of these in Albuquerque!).

The ridiculous lineup of Avery beers, many only on tap at the brewery.

The ridiculous lineup of Avery beers, many only on tap at the brewery.

The food offerings were definitely on par with the quality of the beer, a menu fit for a king to be sure. Being that we are indeed the Dark Side Brew Crew, we were well prepared for such powerful brews as the Reverend (standard and barrel aged), Samael’s, The Beast (a particular favorite of mine from the days when you could procure bombers of the behemoth), and of course Uncle Jacob’s and Tweak. To say our palates were in heaven is the truth, nothing less, nothing more.

We were properly prepared for our self-guided brewery tour.

We were properly prepared for our self-guided brewery tour.

Represent properly.

Represent properly.

A snifter of Jacobs and Tweak in hand, we wandered through the sections of the brewery proper that were open to us and basked in the glory of being at the source for so many wonderful creations.

A packaging line for the ages.

A packaging line for the ages.

Tanks as far as the eye could see.

Tanks as far as the eye could see.

Dear lord, now that is a brewhouse.

Dear lord, now that is a brewhouse.

Alas, all good things … well we brought just a few souvenirs home … must eventually come to an end. We made the grueling drive through rush hour hell to the high speed burn from Raton to the edge of Santa Fe (our insectoid friends returned, with rain to boot) and found our way back to safety and security in our homes at last, just another couple of freaks in the freak kingdom of fair ‘Burque.

That should tide us over for a little while, right?

That should tide us over for a little while, right?

Until next time, Colorado.

Until next time, Colorado.

Until the next grand adventure we bid you keep the metal loud and the beer exceptional.

Prost!

— Franz Solo

The 16th annual San Juan Brewfest took place on Saturday, August 23, in beautiful downtown Durango. Benefiting the United Way of SW Colorado, the brewfest had a great turnout, despite the rain that threatened to dampen the mood. Held at Buckley Park near the northern tip of Main Street, there couldn’t be an easier event to find, or find your way home from.

There was quite the crowd at the San Juan Brewfest.

There was quite the crowd at the San Juan Brewfest.

There were over 50 breweries, with 35 from Colorado, six from New Mexico, and nine were from breweries ranging from the east coast to the west coast, including a few macrobreweries. Macros always reminded me of the old guy at the college parties. “Dude are you like, a professor or something?” But I kid the big guys. With all that the San Juan Brewfest had to offer, you could sample a beer poured by a familiar face from the likes of Turtle Mountain or Taos Mesa, you could get to know your northern neighbors’ beers a bit better, or you could try a few swallows from far away lands like Boston, Juneau, or Petaluma. (A full list of breweries is below.)

As far as brewfesters go, everyone was very friendly and laid back in that Colorado kinda way. On occasion, there were those folks who were a bit over-excited to talk about their interests, like trail-riding or ciders. Where did that cider guy come from? But there’s nothing wrong with that. Passion is what fuels the craft beer industry, am I right? So keep on keepin’ on, cider guy!

Fans dance to the Hill Stompers.

Fans dance to the Hill Stompers, a band from Los Alamos.

Everyone enjoyed themselves, sampling, noshing on German sausages straight from the grill, and dancing wildly inappropriately (in front of children) to the rockin’ local bands. One of those local bands happened to be local to New Mexico. Have you guys heard the Hill Stompers from Los Alamos? Well do it, already! They’re like a circus marching band fueled by candy corn and cerveza.

Getting to the beer, there were over a hundred beers to try at the brewfest, including some breweries bringing more than the promised two. It was impossible to try them all, or maybe we didn’t try hard enough. With the free taster glass and a handy notepad, we set out to pulverize our palates. And boy did we! My Untappd App sure got a workout the next day. As for my personal favorites, Great Divide had a fantastic dark, roasted, powerful warrior of a beer called the Claymore Scotch Ale (7.7% ABV) that just knocked my hop-socks off. I also really enjoyed Upslope Brewing Co.’s Belgian Style Pale Ale (7.5% ABV), the Face Down Brown by Telluride Brewing Co. (5.7% ABV), and of course the Kriek from Santa Fe Brewing was way up there on my list.

Marble's tent was a popular spot for beer lovers.

Marble’s tent was a popular spot for beer lovers.

There was also a beer that I won’t name that I really liked but couldn’t put my finger on why. Then it dawned on me as I finished that last swig; it REALLY reminded me of something racked from one of La Cumbre’s tanks. Was it one of Elevated IPAs long-lost sisters? I couldn’t tell! I could, however, go on and on about the beers, but there were so many different styles. Most breweries brought an IPA and a pale ale, others brought reds, Belgians, and there were a handful of saisons and sours. But why not just grab my Untappd name and take a look at my journey? LukeDukeSF. Now, I’ll try not to say too much more about this, but after sampling so many IPAs, I can definitely say I prefer New Mexico IPAs to Colorado IPAs. Nuff said.

The competition that day was as hot as the sun, when it did decide to come out. For the Judge’s Choice, Left Hand Brewing Company won third place for their Milk Stout Nitro. Our very own Marble Brewery won second place with their already-award-winning Pilsner. “505! 505!” I chanted silently in my head as I heard the news. Best beer of the fest went to Elevation Beer Company’s Avis IV. And finally, winning People’s Choice for best beer was the Brown Bear Ale from Aspen Brewing Co.

With great weather, great beers, and great company, it was a brewfest to remember, or try REALLY hard to remember. Thanks, Durango, for a great time. See you next year!

Cheers,

Luke!

Everyone was left smiling at the end of the brewfest.

Everyone was left smiling at the end of the brewfest.

2014 San Juan Brewfest Breweries

AC Golden (Golden, CO), Alaskan Brewing (Juneau), Aspen Brewing (CO), Avalanche Brewing (Silverton, CO), Blue Moon Brewing (Golden, CO), Boston Beer, Bottom Shelf Brewery (Bayfield, CO), Boulder Beer (CO), Breckenridge Brewery (CO), Brew Pub and Kitchen (Durango), Bristol Brewing (Colorado Springs), Carver Brewing (Durango), Durango Brewing, Elevation Beer (Poncha Springs, CO), Eske’s Brew Pub & Eatery (Taos), Fort Collins Brewery (CO), Great Divide Brewery (Denver), Jacob Leinenkugel Brewing (Chippewa Falls, WI), Kannah Creek Brewing (Grand Junction, CO), Lagunitas Brewing (Petaluma, CA), Left Hand Brewing (Longmont, CO), Lumberyard Brewing (Flagstaff, AZ), Marble Brewery, Moab Brewery (UT), Mr. Grumpy Pants Brewing (Ouray, CO), New Belguim Brewing (Fort Collins, CO), Oak Creek Brewing (Sedona, AZ), Odell Brewing (Fort Collins, CO), Oskar Blues Brewery (Longmont, CO), Ouray Brewery (CO), Pagosa Brewing and Grill (Pagosa Springs, CO), Palisade Brewing (Palisade, CO), Riff Raff Brewing (Pagosa Springs, CO), Roaring Fork Beer (Carbondale, CO), Rocky Mountain Brewery (Colorado Springs, CO), San Luis Valley Brewing (Alamosa, CO), Santa Fe Brewing, Shock Top Brewing (St. Louis), Sierra Nevada Brewing (Chico, CA), Ska Brewing (Durango), Steamworks Brewing (Durango), Strange Craft Beer (Denver), Taos Mesa Brewing, Telluride Brewing (CO), Three Barrel Brewing (Del Norte, CO), Three Rivers Brewery, Turtle Mountain Brewing, Two Rascals Brewing (Montrose, CO), Upslope Brewing (Boulder, CO), Wolfe Brewing (Pagosa Springs, CO)

My wife recently traveled up north to Denver and happened to bring us back a couple of beers from Great Divide brewing. I had never tried any of their beers but had heard from several sources (a.k.a. Stoutmeister and E-Rock) that this was a brewery worth checking out. So on a lovely evening I cracked open a bomber of the aptly named Hercules Double IPA and was in for a real treat of epic, hoppy proportions.

This double IPA is positively, well, Herculean in its strength.

This double IPA is positively, well, Herculean in its strength.

The overall head on this beer is white and creamy in color, where the beer itself is a nice, deep amber, as are most of the double IPAs of around 10-percent ABV. Flavor-wise it is quite sweet, with a good bit of bitter tartness at the back balancing very well together. The mouthfeel is outstanding; you get that good crisp bitterness in the midsection that just washes back and fills your mouth with, what else, but hops! There are multiple layers of different hop bitterness throughout and I can taste two if not three distinct profiles, more citrusy and then more piney, but overall really well balanced with the malt.

For a 10-percent monster this beer is wonderfully smooth and sessionable, which is extremely deadly in something with this much alcohol, but I definitely appreciate the drinkability of this beer. The finish is wonderful, as though a double IPA morphed into a champagne. It has that wonderful, crisp nature of a good bottle of bubbly and it’s so smooth at the same time.

Hercules drinks like a good horn of mead and is well worthy of the name (in Greek spelling) Herakles! So if you have a chance to head up north, grab a bomber of this one (and a couple of Yetis, which are wondrous in their own right) and enjoy a unique take on that most delicious of hop concoctions.

Pröst!

— Franz Solo