Thursday, August 01, 2013

Great Divide: Coming to a Festival Near You

See that beer that Great Divide owner Brian Dunn is holding above? It's complex. It's excellent. And you'll likely never find it in the Denver brewery's taproom.

Dunn et al have brewed what they are calling Cultivate Farmhouse Ale. And, appropriately, it will be served at one place - Chipotle's Cultivate Festival, taking place at Denver City Park on Saturday, Aug. 17.

The beer uses Colette, Great Divide's easy-drinking farmhouse-style ale, as its base. But it adds to it black peppercorn and curacao orange peel. And that, it turns out, makes a lot of difference.

Cultivate Farmhouse Ale simply has a bigger presence to it than Colette. You won't taste pepper in the beer.  But you will be able to feel something that has a shade of subtle spice on it, lighting up the back of your throat as it goes down. And it's doubtful you'll pick out the specific taste of orange peel. But there will be a subtle tartness - not enough to make you pucker, but just enough to let you know there is something else in there.

Now, I'm not one to pimp a corporate festival. (And, yes, Chipotle, while you may serve very natural foods, you still are the 16th-largest quick-service restaurant chain in America, which makes you corporate.) But there will be a bunch of other local food producers there. And several will be incorporating Great Divide beer into their products.

There will be, for example, The Real Dill, a craft pickle maker (yeah, I used that term) whose products include a subtly hop-accented Titan IPA pickle. And there will be Lix Stix, an artisan ice pop maker whose creations include an orange-cream Colette bar and a Yeti fudge pop with sea salt that is enthralling in the way it lets you know it edges beyond just chocolate.

The festival also features local music and Chipotle foods like creations from their ShopHouse Asian Kitchen chain that doesn't have a location yet in Colorado. But if you go, meander up to the Great Divide tent and insist they serve the Cultivate Ale year-round. A guess: You'll like it even better than you like Colette.

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