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Friday, October 10, 2008

Great Divide Brewing Throws Open the Doors for GABF Guests

Great Divide Brewing Company’s annual GABF kick off lunch was a jam-packed affair. Tons of brewers from across the country mixed with beer writers and other industry hangers on. It is one of the events that makes you realize that the actual festival portion of the long GABF weekend is only a small part of why the beer community descends on Denver each fall.

As usual, Great Divide had its full line-up of impressive beers on tap for sampling, along with a sandwich and sausage buffet that included some great cheeses. The Titan IPA has a crisp and pronounced hop flavor profile, which was only outdone by Great Divide’s Fresh Hop Ale, which features the aroma of fresh hops flown into Denver right after picking in Washington state.

Wandering around the brewery I found my way into the cold warehouse section where samples of two beers that had been aged in Stranahan’s Colorado Whiskey barrels were being poured for lucky guests. It was at this exact moment that good friend Barron Boyd from Syracuse, N.Y., arrived on the scene. We got a healthy sample of the Old Ruffian Barley Wine that had been finished in the ex-whiskey barrels. It was a lively drink with clear notes of the whiskey from the oak breaking through the hop character.

Another unexpected treat on tables at the Great Divide were bags of wonderful malted milk balls from Briess’ Malting Co. Some “in the know” folks confessed that they were addicted to them. I think I may have joined the ranks of the people who jones for this candy.

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