Pull up a stool next to Old Man
Winter and knock back one of these seasonal suds, brewed
especially for this frosty time of year.
Now that the third millennium has officially begun, I'd like to
offer a few predictions for the state of things to come.
Unfortunately, I'm afraid the news is mostly bad. Our reckless leap
into the future could begin to backfire and plunge us into a new
The virtual reality movement, I predict, will suffer a major
setback when a virulent computer virus invades the video helmet of
a 15-year-old in Minneapolis, causing him to mow the lawn.
Teenagers will abandon virtual reality in droves and go back to
comic books and loafing. Nanotechnology, I predict, will reach a
grave impasse when scientists discover that it is physically
impossible to miniaturize beyond the size of congressional
intelligence. Hopes for a toaster the size of a credit card are
dashed. Astrophysicists at NASA, I predict, will finally receive
transmissions from a distant civilization, but will be stunned when
they decode the signal as alien talk radio. On the bright side,
Howard Stern will sign up for the first interstellar voyage.
One thing won't change in the coming thousand years: Beer will
still taste pretty much the same. American beer has never been
better, in fact, and there's no reason to change a good thing. Now
that the hubbub of the holidays is over, grab one of these winter
brews and take a breather. It's going to be a long millennium.
GREAT DIVIDE HIBERNATION ALE ($8 PER
Great Divide Brewing Company is another success story in American
beer. Like so many other craft-brewers, owner Brian Dunn started as
a home-brewer. Rather than continuing his seemingly futile job
search, he decided to "follow his bliss" (as Joseph Campbell would
say) and go into the beer business in 1993. After starting with
just two employees - Brian and his wife, Tara - and an annual
initial production of just 900 barrels, Great Divide has expanded
to markets in 16 states.
The brewery facility is located in a converted 1920s-era dairy in
downtown Denver. Long's Peak, at elevation 14,255 feet in the
Rockies, is visible from the brewery and is used in the company
logo. Hibernation Ale has been a winter tradition at Great Divide
every year since 1995. This is a true strong ale, with an
alcohol-by-volume content of 8.1 percent. Unlike lesser brews, this
one ages well. It has robust flavors with a warming finish that
will take the chill off even the coldest night.