Great Divide has officially started construction at the site of their future second location, 3403 Brighton Blvd in Denver. With a Yeti as his co-pilot (and in hand), Brian Dunn, founder of Great Divide Brewing Company, broke ground at the new site on September 23rd. Dunn started off the afternoon by stating that “a few Yetis will be brewed here.”
Twenty years after opening, it is time for Great Divide to open a second brewery. Construction on the new facility will happen in two phases. Phase one will be a 65,000 square foot building on the southeast side of the property. It will have a refrigerated warehouse, non-refrigerated warehouse, a small taproom called the “Barrel Bar,” barrel storage for up to 1,300 whiskey and wine barrels, a keg line, and a canning line. Yes, Great Divide will soon be available in cans.
The current brewery at 2201 Arapahoe Street does not have room for a can line. The future canning line will be a state-of-the-art 350 can-per-minute can line. Beer will still be brewed, fermented and filtered at the Arapahoe location and then transported via tanker trucker to the Brighton Boulevard location for kegging and canning.
Dunn and the rest of the Great Divide team are super excited about launching beer in cans. “Cans are great packaging for beer, they are 100 percent recyclable, lightweight, prevent light degradation and oxygen degradation of beer,” stated Dunn. “Cans are the perfect fit for the lifestyle of Colorado beer drinkers as so many of us spend some much time outside.”
Cans are expected to be released in the spring of 2015, with the end of phase one happening during the summer months.
Phase two will be on the west side of the property and should begin around 2016. This phase will include a brew house, fermenters, a big taproom, beer garden and offices with completion happening in 2017.
All of this news is great and exciting for the Denver craft beer community. In the past year, the Brighton Boulevard corridor has continued to grow with The Source and Industry opening up. The city of Denver has put a lot of time and energy into developing this area and this project. By opening a second location, Great Divide will be the second Denver brewery to have two locations within the city limit (the first being Denver Beer Co).
All I can say is that I am excited to enjoy some cans next summer and see what Great Divide does next. If you haven’t driven, biked or walked by the new digs yet, go check it out and tell us what you think.