‘Great Minds Drink Alike’ by Kirstin Massmann

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In my short 2 ½ years of legal-aged life, beer has evolved from something I enjoyed into a hobby.  I have spent time working at and touring several breweries including 5 Seasons, Goose Island, Yeungling, Otter Creek, and Magic Hat.  Last weekend I had the pleasure of being in Denver enjoying a beautiful day and a walking microbrewery tour.   We walked 1 ½ miles, and toured 4 breweries in 2 hours.  
The tour began at Rock Bottom Brewery.  Even though Rock Bottom Brewery is a chain, each location has a different brewmaster who brews their own selection of beers.  To start off, the tour guide described the correct way to sample a beer, showed a diagram of the tongue, and gave a brief description of the different categories of beer.  One thing I learned in this short lecture was that the difference between OG and FG (original gravity and final gravity) determines the alcohol content.  So the larger the difference, the higher the alcohol content of the beer.  At this location we enjoyed the ‘Falcon Pale Ale’ and ‘Molly’s Titanic Brown Ale’ as well as my new ‘OG/FG’ fun fact.
After walking about 8 blocks we came up to our next location, Wynkoop Brewing Company.  This building was bought and the brewery was started by Denver’s governor in attempts to clean up that area of Denver.  Although he is credited for his efforts, it helped that Coors Field was built shortly after just a few blocks away.  At this brewery we tasted ‘Mile HighPA’ as well as ‘B3K Schwarzbier’.  Up until this point, ‘Mile HighPA’ was my favorite, and not just because of its crafty name.
Next, we ventured past Coors Field and on to Breckenridge Brewery.  This location was originally meant to be a bottling facility until it was announced that Coors Field would be built right across the street. We tried ‘Pandora’s Bock’ as well as their ‘Vanilla Porter’, both outstanding beers.  The ‘Vanilla Porter’ was so smooth with just the right balance of the sweet vanilla flavor.  ‘Pandora’s Bock’ was very (almost too easy) to drink with its light caramel flavor.
Our last stop was Great Divide Brewing Company.  We sampled ‘Wild Raspberry Ale’, ‘Hoss Rye Lager’, ‘Hercules Double IPA’ and ‘Yeti Imperial Stout’.  As expected the ‘Hercules Double IPA’ was great, hoppy without killing your taste buds.  I was even more pleasantly surprised, however, by the ‘Wild Raspberry Ale’!  I am not usually a big fan of fruity beers or ciders, but this ‘Wild Raspberry Ale’ had great flavor with the tartness of raspberries without being a sweet beer.  Although I hate picking a favorite for the day, I had to rate the Wild Raspberry Ale the ‘nectar of the gods’.  I would recommend this brewery tour if you’re visiting Denver.  You can find more information at http://www.denvermicrobrewtour.com/.

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