#TheOGsofCraftBeer – PorchDrinking.com
When you use the hardworking sensibility of a Mainer to brew an American interpretation of a classic Belgian-style Wit, the results should be delicious. If you brew that same beer once a week for over 20 years while constantly striving for perfection, then the resulting beer will be singularly iconic. Today’s featured brew may have served as a gateway craft beer to many, but we should avoid pigeonholing it as such. Whether it’s your first craft beer or your 1000th, Allagash White is a Craft Beer OG that continues to hold up.
If you met me about a decade ago, you’d never think “this girl is into craft beer.” I could be found with anything from Coors Light to Hypnotic in my hand; yes, I was obviously very cool. It wasn’t until I was introduced to Sierra Nevada’s Pale Ale that I started to right my drinking ship and start learning about what craft beer really is.
My boyfriend’s parent’s always had a stocked beer fridge, hashtag goals, and would always have Sierra Nevada Pale Ale and Bear Republic Racer 5, among other tasty beers. Trying new beers in a judgment-free atmosphere was great – no beer snobs to scoff at me for my current faves and describing beer in terms I understood.
There’s a Talking Heads song you probably know if you were old enough to drink when Great Divide’s Yeti Imperial Stout was released. David Byrne’s songs weren’t always coherent, lyrically, but damn it if they weren’t cool. As I get older, this line often runs through my head: And you may ask yourself, well, how did I get here?
How Great Divide got here was through the vision and hard work of founder Brian Dunn. In the ‘80s, while Talking Heads were writing songs about buildings and food, Dunn was overseas building farms in developing countries. When he returned to Colorado, he started homebrewing and went to grad school. When Great Divide officially launched in 1994, Dunn was the only full-time employee – brewing, bottling and selling the beer himself. After some fantastic initial success, Great Divide bought a building (an old dairy processing plant) in downtown Denver in 2001.
Neither Vinnie nor Natalie Cilurzo are likely to read this piece about Russian River Pliny the Elder.
Not that it is anything personal; it is just that when you are in the nonstop process of brewing world-class beer while expanding from a 17,000 BBL system to a 70,000 BBL system, you tend to lack the time to Google yourself.