The Great Divide, another name for the Continental Divide, is one of Colorado’s most prominent geographic features. It seems appropriate that Denver’s Great Divide Brewing Company holds a place of prominence in Colorado’s craft beer scene.
Great Divide’s founder and president, Brian Dunn, grew up in an environment where good food and good drink were an integral part of family life. While attending graduate school in the early 1990s, he acquired an obsession with home-brewing “that went totally off the deep end,” as he described it. Colorado’s craft beer scene was gaining momentum at that time. The entrepreneurial-minded Dunn decided to climb aboard the craft beer bandwagon.
When Great Divide opened in 1994 in a former dairy processing plant at the corner of Arapahoe Street and 22nd Avenue, the neighborhood of aging brick warehouses was a sketchy place. When Coors Field opened four blocks away the following year, there began a slow revitalization that has accelerated in recent years.
The Great Divide Brewery is an integral part of the neighborhood. The taproom is among Denver’s busiest. The taproom plays a dual role of social gathering spot and destination for discerning beer drinkers who come to drink beer, talk beer, and repeat.
The brewery has retained its industrial brick façade. What was once a parking lot alongside the building is now populated with an army of towering stainless steel vessels. A collection of tables is lined up on the sidewalk by the entrance, providing a relaxed spot for warm-weather sipping, away from the boisterous crowds that typically fill the taproom.
You enter into a modest-sized space that is dominated by a twelve seat bar. Servers are in constant motion, filling glasses from a row of sixteen taps. An impressive collection of seventeen medals from the Great American Beer Festival hangs without fanfare on the far wall. A second room behind the bar offers additional seating with a view of the brewhouse activities through a large window.
The mission of Great Divide Brewing Co. is to produce high-quality, distinctive ales for our customers, and to provide service and education to our customers and the general public in regard to the craft brewing industry. We are a brewery of Great characters, making remarkable beer while being active in the community.