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Dec 20, 2014

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GABF brewers' diaries

Brian Dunn

Great Divide Brewing - Sept. 10

Most of the thing we're dealing this week (and the subsequent weeks too) to get ready for GABF have to do with the fact that we're a microbrewery located in Downtown Denver. Being in town gives us a few things to deal with that are different than for the visiting brewers.

We have a really nice draft presence in the downtown area, but we like to make sure that we have a good variety of our beers out there, not just our top two sellers. We have a couple of new big beers out (Maverick IPA and Maverick Imperial Stout) that we are asking accounts to put on in place of some of our other beers. We'd like to see a greater acceptance of bigger, more-assertive beers in Denver and this is a good time of the year to get on-premise accounts to go along with it. Denver seems to have a fairly narrow spectrum of beers that are poured at it's bars (of course there are a couple of notable exceptions to this). Some accounts are switching at my request and some look at me like I'm a Martian (which means no).

For the past 6 years or so we've hosted a media schmooze fest the afternoon of the first day of the festival. The party has evolved from just media in the first year to what has in the past few years included the media, out-of-town suppliers (hops suppliers, malt suppliers, tap handle manufacturers etc.), visiting brewers looking for free beers and lunch, our distributor's salespeople skipping work, and other various stragglers. This week we're starting to think about which beers we'll be pairing with what funky cheeses. We're also lining up the usual deals around town with our usual trading partners to trade beer for crunchy breads, stinky cheeses, prosciutto and sopprasetta sausages from the neighborhood Italian deli, homemade sweets, etc. Makes me glad I'm in the beer business so we've got something good to trade.

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