Location: Divide, Colorado – First time visit for this Colorado Native
The Scene: Unlike any other brewery I have visited. The vibe due largely to the pristine and unimpeded views of the mountains including the back of Pike’s Peak cannot be replicated. On top of this hill is a haven for Barrel-Aged American Sour Feral and Wild Ales, just like the wilderness that surrounds it. The people are friendly and from all walks of life, whether it be the biker stopping in for his hard earned beer or the regulars playing life-sized Jenga on the patio, each made their trip with purpose.
You sit down with your beer, order something off of the grill, and watch the clouds as they pass by knowing that at over 9,000 feet above sea level you are that much closer to touching them.
The Beer List: After the warm welcome, every customer is asked the same question. “Have you had our beers before?” The answer is critical to the servers next move. If it’s an affirmative the response is “Great, you know what to expect” if not you get a nice warning and introduction to sour beers. While all of the beers are certainly sour and potent even the most ardent sour opponent can find something to enjoy. The Tart Noire fermented with pinot grapes pops rather than pounces and the newly tapped Farmhouse Hoptagram reaches out to hop lovers of all types.
The Best: Picking just one isn’t easy but on this day it had to be Cerveza Provisional, the Oaxacan Mezcal Barrel-Aged Golden Sour with pacific ocean salt, lime juice peel, and blue agave.
What am I going back for? Sundays, if you can, visit on a Sunday when you can pick up whatever goodies they have let out of the cellar for the day. This week the cellar release was Cafe Verdad, I took home two.
The unexpected: The woodworking and art throughout the tasting room and covering most barrels upfront and in the back. It was fun, it was different, a bit out of left field and I loved it. Let’s not forget the bar, from the Tabor opera house in Leadville, if only it could talk, the stories it would tell.
Overall Brewery Rating: 9 out of 10 spades
The 1.5 hour drive from Denver is worth it, go. Seriously go, the leaves will be changing soon so avoid the crowds on the regular routes and enjoy a good sour beer with the view.