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March

Great Divide Brewing Co.

Great Divide Brewing Company, an award winning downtown Denver microbrewery, was founded in 1993 by avid homebrewer Brian Dunn. After completing his master's degree in environmental policy and being discouraged by a job search, Dunn decided to create his own job and fill a niche in the Denver beer market. At the time, there were four brewpubs in Denver, but no microbreweries. Dunn decided that opening Denver's first microbrewery might be the perfect way to turn his homebrews into craft-brewed reality.

Before this could happen, there was lots of work to be done. Dunn conducted a marketing study by calling bars, restaurants and liquor stores in Denver. Then he did financial projections, which were positive and put together his business plan. He was able to raise money from a group of investors, and soon only one piece was missing: a place to house the brewery. That piece fell into place when he found a vacant building that housed a dairy in the 1930's, located just four blocks from Coors Field (home of the Colorado Rockies).

With everything in place, Dunn could get down to doing what he does best. On May 30, 1994, the starting team of Brian and his wife Tara brewed the first batch of Arapahoe Amber and Great Divide Brewing was officially up and running. The hours were long for Brian and Tara back in those days, but now with 10 full-time employees, things are a little easier. In addition to growing their staff, Brian and Tara have increased their production.

Over the years the brewery has grown form 900 barrels per year to a capacity of 12,000. The quick growth was no doubt helped by the fact that Great Divide has won so many awards, including a Gold Medal for Denver Pale Ale at the Great American Beer Festival this year. Visit Great Divide Online.

Arapahoe Amber Ale- is a complex yet smooth ale, which is copper in color and has a nutty malt flavor with subtle hop character.

Alcohol (% by volume) 5.6
Bitterness Units (IBU) 40

Denver Pale Ale- is the best selling and most award winning beer in their line. DPA is a true brewer's balancing act- a classic pale ale that has moderate bitterness and an emphasis on hop flavor and aroma.

Alcohol (% by volume) 6.0
Bitterness Units (IBU) 28

 

Sweetwater Brewing Company

How do three friends with a shared passion for great beer set out to make it on their own? Well, they move halfway across the country from Colorado to Atlanta with a plan to raise over a million dollars to open a new brewery. Why would three good friends make such a sacrifice? Well, the answer is two-fold. First, Colorado continues to be the top market in the country for microbrewed beers. It leads the country in many brewing categories, including most breweries per capita, most number of individual beers available for sale, and most barrels of beer produced annually.

For someone looking to open a new brewery, a state with a few less breweries would certainly be a safer investment. That's where Georgia comes in to the picture. Georgia is presently ranked 48th in the nation for breweries per capita, which leaves plenty of room for a new guy. When you've got a million dollars on the line, sometimes you have to make a few sacrifices! The Sweetwater Brewery officially opened on February 17th, 1997 and quickly began winning over the tastebuds of beer lovers all over Georgia.

For anyone in the brewing industry, this came as no surprise. Frederick Bensch, Sweetwaters's master brewer, had repeatedly proven himself at Oasis Brewery, Rockies Brewery, Mile High Brewing Company and Marin Brewing Company. Kevin McNerney, Sweetwater's head brewer, had already turned heads brewing for Rockies Brewery, Avery Brewing Company and Mammoth Brewing Company. And Matt Patterson, the final piece in the puzzle, had helped put Breckenridge Brewery on the map as their Western Regional Sales Manager.

With their combined knowledge of the brewing industry, this was a brewery bound for greatness. Being the second most decorated brewery in the world at the 1998 World Beer Cup certainly proves that they have achieved that goal. For those who reside in or are planning to visit the Atlanta area, the Sweetwater Brewery opens its doors on Monday afternoons at 4:20 p.m. to the public. Stop by and meet the guys, have a beer and take a brewery tour! You can also visit Sweetwater Brewing Online.

Sweetwater IPA- is all about hops! For this reason, we strongly recommend pouring this beer into a glass so that you can capture the intense aroma. It is a well balanced beer that finishes with an aggressive, yet pleasant hop bitterness.

Alcohol (% by volume) 5.9
Bitterness Units (IBU) 57

Sweetwater Exodus Porter- despite being dark in color, the Exodus Porter has a medium body and a distinct chocolate character. It is a very drinkable beer that should be consumed at a warmer temperature than normal. The brewers recommend serving it at 38-42 degrees Fahrenheit.

Alcohol (% by volume) 5.6
Bitterness Units (IBU) 30

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