Great Divide

GREAT DIVIDE BREWING COMPANY

Great Divide was started in 1994 by Brian Dunn out of Denver, Colorado. They produce many award winning seasonal and year-round beers.  They helped put Denver on the map as one of the top brewing cities in America with their dedication to quality and experimentation. They have a tap room where you may sample a good amount of their brews.

www.greatdivide.com

Year-Round/Seasonals:

Limited/Specialty Release:

CLAYMORE SCOTCH ALE: 87 Points

Scottish Beer

This Wee Heavy is available year-round in 12 oz. bottles.

Brewer’s Description: “Claymore Scotch Ale is our tribute to the legendary “Wee Heavy” beers of Scotland. This malty, deep-ruby beauty features lots of caramel sweetness, a reserved hop profile, and a subtle warming character.”

My Description: Even though the name is Wee Heavy, it is medium bodied and thin. It has a decent light beige head that does not retain very well and produces minimal lacing. The aroma is pleasant and sweet with notes of roasted malt, some earthiness, and a hint of alcohol. The carbonation level is on the lighter side which when added with the thin body, produces a beer that is easy to sip. Up front you will taste the roasted sweetness of this style with a note of caramel. The aftertaste is easy with a presence of dark fruit and very little bitterness. Throughout there will be a hint of alcohol and a touch of earth notes. It is best served around 55°F to pick up on the fruit notes and pairs nicely with pot roast, lamb shank, or beef stew.

ABV: 7.7% Color: Dark Brown/Ruby Sweetness: 4.5/10 Bitterness: 2/10

 COLETTE: 93 Points

Colette

This is a Belgian farmhouse ale that is available between April and July in 12 oz. bottles.

Brewer’s Description: “Brewed with barley, wheat and rice and fermented at high temperatures with a special blend of four different yeast strains, Colette is fruity and slightly tart, with a dry finish that makes it that rarest of treats – a beer as refreshing as it is complex.”

My Description: If this is what the peasant farmers were drinking back in the day then give me a shovel and let’s start diggin’. This a damn good beer for anyone to drink. For this type of ale, it has a nice head that is white in color and holds the whole way through, producing decent lacing but nothing to brag about. The aroma is pleasant; it is fruity with some tart notes accompanied by the scent of yeast and bubblegum. The first sip will show you how bold and refreshing this beer is. It is refreshing and tasty with a clean spice flavor. Other taste notes include yeast, bubblegum, with some minor alcohol. It finishes with a dry feeling that begs for another sip. I did not get much tart flavor, just some tart in the aroma but that doesn’t hurt the beer at all.  It is best enjoyed around 40°-48°F and it pairs nicely with sausage, gourmet cheese, and lamb chops.

ABV: 7.3%  Color: Hazy Pale  Sweetness: 3/10  Bitterness: 1/10

DENVER PALE ALE: 88 Points

Great town, great beer

This Pale Ale is available year-round in 12 oz. bottles.

Brewer’s Description: “DPA is a world-renowned, classic pale ale with a malty middle and an equally hearty complement of hop aroma, flavor and bitterness.”

My Description: This is a nice example of a pale ale that tasted good and matched the brewer’s description. It has a good sized, light tan colored head with a good retention level and a good amount of lacing. The aroma does a nice job of broadcasting the grapefruit/citrus hops used in the beer, there is also an accompanying breadiness that was minor but apparent. It is medium bodied with a moderate carbonation level and a semi-dry finish. Upfront, there are some citrus and pine hop flavors with a nice touch of malt to balance it out. The finish is smooth with a moderately light bitterness. The beer will leave your mouth feeling wet and refreshed. It is best served around 40°F and pairs nicely with burgers, grilled chicken, or a coal-fired pepperoni pizza.

ABV: 5.5% Color: Hazy Bronze Sweetness: 2/10 Bitterness: 3/10

HERCULES DOUBLE IPA: 89 Points

Hercules Strength

This Imperial IPA has an IBU of 85 and is available year-round in 22 oz. bottles.

Brewer’s Description: “Hercules Double IPA is not for the faint of heart. It is, however, fit for the gods. Hercules delivers a huge amount of hops from start to finish. Its hefty backbone of nutty, malty sweetness balances its aggressive hop profile.”

My Description: This is a powerful IPA that will get you nicely buzzed. Once poured this beer will generate an amazingly fluffy and creamy head that lasts a long time and produces outstanding laces that glue on. The aroma has a lot going on; you will get nuts, malt, caramel, and hops. It is a pleasurable aroma that gets you excited about what’s to come. In an IPA you will generally taste hops throughout and this beer is no different except that these hops are mild and don’t give you that sharp or harsh bitterness that other IPA’s may give you. You will also pick up on some sweetness mixed in to bring that bitterness taste down a notch. This beer is definitely heavy and full bodied but smooth and easy drinking. You will taste and feel some of the alcohol but that is normal for this genre of beer. The aftertaste kinda leaves a wet feeling to your lips and leaves a bitter taste that lingers slightly. It’s a good Double IPA that is best served around 45°F and pairs nicely with fish & chips, nachos, or burgers.

ABV: 10% Color: Hazy Brown w/Red Tint Sweetness: 3/10 Bitterness: 7.5/10

HEYDAY: 87 Points

Easy drinking Wit

Easy drinking Wit

This Belgian Style Witbier is released in the Spring season in 12 oz. bottles.

Brewer’s Description: “HEYDAY is an eminently pleasant Belgian-Style White Ale.  Brewed with barley, oats and raw wheat, Heyday is uniquely flavorful for such an easy-drinking ale.  With a slightly cloudy appearance and traditional yeast, it is a balanced, agreeable offering.  Exuding mild hop bitterness and a nuanced body, this is the easiest decision you’ll make all day.”

My Description: This is a refreshing representation of the style and a great choice for those hot summer days. It begins with a good sized, bright white colored head with a great retention level and it leaves behind a wall of lacing. The aroma is real grainy with accompanying notes of citrus and yeast spices. It is medium bodied with a slightly higher carbonation and a dry finish. Although, at times I felt that the beer was thin and lacking something. The flavor profile is nice enough with an apparent spice note throughout, a clean what backbone, and a some coriander notes. The aftertaste has some noticeable bitterness notes but nothing overpowering. This is an easy drinking ale and perfect for the season. It is best served around 45°F and pairs nicely with peach cobbler, gouda cheese, or some Chinese dishes such as Kung Pao chicken.

ABV: 5.2%  Color: Straw  Sweetness: 1.5/10  Bitterness: 2.5/10

HIBERNATION ALE: 93 Points

3 of these, you’ll be in hibernation

This American Old Ale is released in the winter season in 12 oz. bottles.

Brewer’s Description: “HIBERNATION ALE has been our celebrated winter tradition since 1995. This robust, dry-hopped ale has a malty richness balanced with a complex hop profile and hearty, warming character.”

My Description: This is a warming and satisfying winter ale with complex flavors and an alcohol taste that is nicely hidden. It has a decent sized, beige colored head that fades rather quickly leaving some lacing behind. The aroma is more on the chocolate and roasted end with some additional notes of caramel, sweet malt, and dark fruits like prunes and raisins. It is roughly medium bodied with a moderate carbonation level and a dry finish. It is malty upfront with dark fruit notes similar to the aroma. There are also notes of toasted bread, a hint of molasses, and a touch of alcohol. The complex flavor profile develops further as the beer warms up. The aftertaste is slightly bitter and very smooth. This excellent ale is best served around 55°F and pairs nicely with baked ham, duck in raspberry sauce, or a nicely cooked NY Steak.

ABV: 8.7% Color: Dark Copper/Brown Sweetness: 3.5/10 Bitterness: 3/10

HOSS: 90 Points

Love a little rye

This Märzen style lager is available year-round in 12 oz. bottles.

Brewer’s Description: “Rich, layered malt notes, with hints of cherry and dark fruits, dominate, while the unique addition of rye imparts a slightly earthy, spicy character. Hoss finishes crisp and dry, and its brilliant red-orange color is a toast to the sunsets that make the perfect backdrop for this beer.”

My Description: This is already a quality representation of a Märzen and the addition of the rye grain brings a nice spice character to a traditional beer. It has a good sized, light tan colored head that produces a great amount of lacing and retains really well. The aroma is pleasant with notes of malt and caramel with a slight touch of spice and dark fruit. It is roughly medium bodied beer with an average carbonation level and a crisp dry finish. This is a full flavored beer that will coat your mouth with delight. It has a great malty foundation with flavor notes of caramel and dark fruit which leads into an aftertaste that is slightly bitter with a lingering rye spice note. The flavors work well together and I definitely wanted another one when I was done. It is best served around 40°F and pairs nicely with bratwurst, BBQ chicken, or Camembert cheese.

ABV: 6.2%  Color: Reddish/Orange  Sweetness: 3.5/10  Bitterness: 2.5/10

LASSO: 78 Points

Subtle flavors

Subtle flavors

This Session IPA is available year-round in 12 oz. bottles.

Brewer’s Description: “LASSO is the new frontier of India Pale Ale. Brewed with a robust roundup of Columbus, Centennial and Cascade hops, its sessionable simplicity proves bigger isn’t always better. But make no mistake – the Wild West hasn’t gone mild. That same untamed IPA spirit thrives, and we reckon this’ll go down mighty fine.”

My Description: This is an average session IPA. It pours a large, off-white colored head dissipates slowly to a thin film that holds the rest of the way leaving behind an abundant amount of lacing. The aroma is subtle and simple with light grain notes, grassy hops, and some pine hops as well. Lasso is light/medium bodied with a moderate carbonation level and a dry finish. The flavor profile follows the nose closely with grassy hops and pine hops coming through along with a hint of hop spice. Some grain notes make an appearance and the aftertaste is slightly bitter. However, the flavors seem to lake depth and overall the body feels watered down. It’s a good beer to grab a six pack of and drink during the game if your options are limited. It is best served around 45°F and pairs nicely with a veggie pizza, grilled fish tacos, or sautéed shrimp.

ABV: 5%  Color: Orange/Amber  Sweetness: 2/10  Bitterness: 3/10

NOMAD: 89 Points

Good lifestyle, good beer

This Pilsner is released between January and March in 12 oz. bottles.

Brewer’s Description: “The journey starts with German malts and Saaz hops that offer a lively floral nose and crispness, while a full 5 weeks of lagering time ensures that Nomad is eminently balanced.”

My Description: This is a good Pilsner that is refreshing, crisp, and makes great for an everyday beer. It has a good sized head that is white in color with great lacing and good retention. The aroma is stimulating with notes of floral and woodsy hops with a touch of honey malt. It is roughly medium bodied with a higher carbonation level. The flavors are nicely balanced with some honey malt up front, which leads into a slightly bitter finish with a touch of lemony sour. Overall, this is a good chill beer and you should pick it up. It is best served around 40°F and pairs nicely with seared fish, grilled pork tenderloin, or your favorite burger.

ABV: 5.4%  Color: Clear Pale  Sweetness: 3/10  Bitterness: 3.5/10

OLD RUFFIAN: 98 Points

Barleywine for the ages

This Barleywine is released seasonally between January and March. Available in 22 oz. bottles.

Brewer’s Description: “Seemingly mellow at the start with subtle fruit aromas and complex caramel sweetness, it quickly becomes aggressive with its bold hop flavors and huge hop bitterness.”

My Description: I’m a sucker for hops and Barleywine. Put them together with brewers who know what they are doing and you get this beautiful treat. It starts off with a decent sized beige colored head that quickly fades but leaves good lacing. The aroma is amazing and welcoming. It has fragrant notes of pine/citrus hops, some caramel sweetness, and a touch of malt. It is full bodied, smooth, with a good carbonation level. Up front you will taste sweetness with notes of malt and caramel which leads into an aftertaste that is slightly bitter with flavor notes of hops and dark fruit. The alcohol is well hidden making appearances only slightly. Overall, this is a high quality barley wine that is best served around 55°F and pairs nicely with blue cheese, grilled pork tenderloin, or caramel cheesecake.

ABV: 10.2% Color: Clear Reddish/Brown Sweetness: 4.5/10 Bitterness: 5.5/10

ORABELLE: 88 Points

A soft Tripel

A soft Tripel

This Belgian Style Tripel is available seasonally in the Spring months in 12 oz. bottles.

Brewer’s Description: “Orabelle is brewed with barley, wheat, and rye. This Belgian-style tripel is a golden beauty. Its two yeast strains, orange peel, and dash of coriander impart surprising complexity and richness to this delicate ale. Don’t let ORABELLE’s nature fool you, this is one flavorful brew. Watch out, she’s a charmer- one sip and you’ll be in love.”

My Description: Orabelle is a good Tripel that is a little softer than most Belgian versions; the bitterness is held to a minimum and some of the usual apparent flavors are more faint. It begins with a decent sized, white-colored head that fades quickly leaving nothing behind except for a few strings of lacing. The aroma is slightly complex with notes of pale malts, light fruits, coriander, and a hint of citrus. It is medium bodied with a slightly higher carbonation level and a dry finish. Upfront, there are delicious yeast notes like banana and light fruits. This is accompanied by faint notes of citrus. The aftertaste is minimally bitter with a welcoming pepper spice note. The alcohol, for the most part, is nicely hidden. It is best served around 45°F and pairs nicely with grilled Cod, salads, or sushi.

ABV: 8.3%  Color: Lemon/Gold  Sweetness: 2.5/10  Bitterness: 2/10

RUMBLE: 96 Points

Aging Beauty

 This is an oak aged IPA that is available between the months of July and October in 12 oz. bottles.

Brewer’s Description: “Rumble IPA is an American IPA with subtle nuance. Brewed with heavy handed additions of Pacific Northwest hops, this beer is gently aged on French and American oak resulting in a wonderful balance of bitterness, caramel sweetness, vanilla, and undertones of pine and citrus.”

My Description: I loved this aged IPA because the wood just really gives this beer a whole new set of flavors that work in harmony with the bitterness of an IPA. It starts off with a nice off-white colored head that isn’t fluffy but strong enough to remain all the way to the last sip; it leaves some nice lacing too but not the kind that are glued on. The aroma is strong and powerful with notes of caramel, vanilla, oak, hops, and malt. The aroma is complex and enjoyable. It has a creamy texture that is medium bodied. The flavors are complex because you will taste hops, malt, oak, vanilla, and other flavors that pop up here and there. The aftertaste is amazing, the bitterness is just right with the addition of oak. This beer is a must in your fridge. It is best served around 45°F and pairs nicely with steak, potatoes, or baked brie.

ABV: 7.1%  Color: Hazy Brown  Sweetness: 2.5/10  Bitterness: 5.5/10

TITAN IPA: 98 Points

Screw the Gods, bring on the Titans

This India Pale Ale is available year-round in 12 oz. bottles.

Brewer’s Description: “TITAN IPA is a big, aggressively hopped India Pale Ale brewed for hop disciples. It starts out with piney hop aromas and citrus hop flavors, and finishes with a nice rich, malty sweetness that is balanced with crisp hop bitterness.”

My Description: There is no doubt that this is an excellent representation of a big, American IPA. It is deliciously bitter, there are huge hop flavors, and it was just so smooth and easy drinking. It has a good sized, tan colored head with a great retention level and a good amount of lacing. The aroma is mild with a hint of pine and citrus hops plus the addition caramel malt; it smells great and excites the palate. It is roughly medium/full bodied with a moderate carbonation level and a semi-dry, almost wet finish. It has a great hop flavor profile throughout, you can really see the pine and citrus hops combine to produce a delicious taste. The alcohol is nicely hidden and there is a touch of sweet malt that hits the tip of your tongue. The aftertaste is highly bitter and will linger nicely. Titan is of the highest quality of IPA’s and is best enjoyed around 45°F and pairs nicely with grilled halibut, buffalo chicken sandwiches, or blue cheese burgers.

ABV: 7.1% Color: Copper Sweetness: 2.5/10 Bitterness: 7/10

WHITEWATER: 89 Points

Nice blend of styles

Nice blend of styles

This American Wheat Ale is released seasonally in the Spring months in 12 oz. cans and bottles.

Brewer’s Description: “WHITEWATER is an American wheat ale built for exploration. The bold hop profile adds complexity to this crisp, balanced ale, while hints of citrus, light floral notes, and a satisfying bitterness leave a perfect reminder of trails climbed and rapids subdued. Whitewater is the perfect complement to any adventure.”

My Description: This beer is straightforward and makes for a great six pack. It begins with a large, white colored head with an excellent retention level that leaves behind a wall of lacing. The aroma is inviting with notes of wheat malt and citrus hops. Whitewater is light/medium bodied with a moderate carbonation level and a dry finish. The flavor profile follows the nose nicely with apparent wheat malt and citrus hops notes. There is also faint floral hop notes and a touch of grassiness. The aftertaste is moderately bitter with lingering citrus hop notes. This is an easy drinking American Wheat Ale for hop heads. It is best served around 45°F and pairs nicely with grilled shrimp, Thai noodles, or steamed clams.

ABV: 6.1%  Color: Hazy Gold  Sweetness: 1.5/10  Bitterness: 6/10

WILD RASPBERRY ALE: 90 Points

That’s good raspberry

This Raspberry Ale is available year-round in 12 oz. bottles.

Brewer’s Description: “Wild Raspberry Ale is a unique, thirst-quenching ale fermented with real red and black raspberries. Its balance of malt and fruit flavors make it a beer lover’s fruit beer.”

My Description: What I like most about this beer is that the raspberry is not overpowering. It does not transform this beer into an almost wine cooler like state that many other fruit beers do. It has a decent head but retains poorly leaving very minimal lacing. The aroma smells like freshly picked raspberries and a touch of yeast. It is medium bodied with a slightly higher carbonation level. The beer has some tart in it but it is subtle as well a subtle touch of sour in the finish. The raspberry flavor tastes fresh and it is apparent in the beer but not overpowering, you still know you are drinking a beer. It makes a great dessert beer. It is best served around 45°F and pairs nicely with spicy Mexican food, fruit desserts, or gourmet cheeses.

ABV: 5.6% Color: Ruby Red Sweetness: 4/10 Bitterness: 1.5/10

WOLFGANG: 95 Points

liquid bread done right

This Doppelbock is released seasonally in the summer months in 22 oz. bottles.

Brewers’ Description: “Wolfgang has heavenly notes of caramel, dark fruit, and toffee balanced by a subtle hop character. While its revered history evokes an appreciation of austerity and sacrifice, this Doppelbock is a rich luxury—no repentance required.”

My Description: Drinking this whole bottle is a meal on its own, so I don’t suggest having this as a dessert to your dinner. It is your dinner! It has a decent, tan colored head that fades quick but leaves some amazing lacing behind. The aroma is not too strong but it is complex and welcoming with fragrant notes of bread, chocolate, roasted malts, and dark fruit. It is a full bodied beer with a slightly lower carbonation level and a dry finish. This smooth beer has a great balance of flavors; up front there are notes of sweet malts accompanied by some earth notes and some bread notes. The aftertaste is slightly bitter with a touch of chocolate and alcohol. It is a highly drinkable beer and a great substitute for food. It is best served around 50°F and pairs nicely with roasted pork, German sausages, or aged Swiss cheese.

ABV: 8% Color: Dark Brown/Amber Sweetness: 3/10 Bitterness: 3.5/10

YETI: 97 Points

I love when I spot this Yeti

This Imperial Stout is available year-round in 12 oz. and 22 oz. bottles.

Brewer’s Description: “It starts with big, roasty malt flavor that gives way to rich caramel and toffee notes. YETI gets its bold hop character from an enormous quantity of American hops. It weighs in at a hefty 75 IBUs.”

My Description: If you’re looking for a bold tasting, belly filling, dream Stout then make sure you pick up a case of this. It has a big and dense, dark beige colored head that has an amazing retention level and beautiful lacing. The aroma smells robust with notes of coffee, caramel, roastiness, and a touch of hops and sweetness. It is full bodied with lower carbonation level and a dry finish. It is a strong beer but the alcohol is well masked behind the nicely balanced flavors of semi-sweet caramel and roasted coffee. You will also pick up on some tobacco and dark chocolate which leads into a moderately bitter aftertaste with flavor notes of hops and vanilla. Yeti will coat your mouth and satisfy your taste buds. It is best served around 55°F and pairs nicely with fish & chips, BBQ ribs, or rosemary lamb chops.

ABV: 9.5%  Color: Black  Sweetness: 3/10  Bitterness: 5.5/10

YETI, OATMEAL: 95 Points

Summertime Yeti

Summertime Yeti

This Imperial Stout is released seasonally in the Summer months in 22 oz. bottles.

Brewer’s Description: “Much like its legendary predecessors, this Yeti is big, bold and dark.  The addition of rolled oats softens Yeti’s notoriously roasty backbone and the small amount of raisins added in the brew kettle create a unique dark fruit character.  Just as admired as those that came before it, Oatmeal Yeti Imperial Stout is a gentle beast.”

My Description: Even though this is an Imperial Stout, warm days should not stop you from enjoying this beauty. It begins with a large, beige colored head with an excellent retention level that hangs around for a long time leaving behind an amazing amount of lacing that glues on. The aroma nice and welcoming with roasted malt notes along with subtle hints of dark fruits and dark chocolate. Oatmeal Yeti is full bodied with a slightly lower carbonation level and a dry finish. This ale is very smooth and the texture is chewy making this Stout a pleasure to drink. The flavor profile is slightly complex and tasty with a noticeable roasted malt backbone holding up notes of coffee. A soft dark fruit presence can be detected with some raw grain notes as well. The aftertaste is moderately bitter and the alcohol is beautifully hidden. This is a great beer for a cool summer night with the wind blowing. It is best served around 55°F and pairs nicely with roasted duck, grilled portabella mushrooms, or blue cheese.

ABV: 9.5%  Color: Very Dark Brown  Sweetness: 2/10  Bitterness: 4/10

19TH ANNIVERSARY ALE: 85 Points

The Birch Anniversary

The Birch Anniversary

This American Strong Ale is a one time release to celebrate their anniversary. It is available in 22 oz. bottles.

Brewer’s Description: “To celebrate the brewery’s 19th Anniversary, Great Divide’s brewers deviated from previous years’ anniversary ales and developed an entirely new recipe. The label reads, 19th Anniversary Ale isn’t just a wood-aged ale. It’s a compass – a reminder of where we’ve been and where we’re going. Brewed with pure birch syrup and aged on birch wood, this beer embraces reverential tradition and revolutionary innovation. As we celebrate our 19th year, we hope you’ll join us for the road ahead.”

My Description: I don’t know what Birch tastes like but it’s most likely this woodsy taste I get in this beer. It’s softer than oak and makes for a nice addition. It begins with a good sized, off-white colored head that lasts for some time and leaves behind a great amount of lacing. The aroma is faint and hard to pick up on but there are are notes of sweet malt and some woodsy notes. This ale is full bodied with a moderate carbonation level and a dry finish. This beer is smooth and creamy with a good balance of flavors. Upfront, there is this sweet malt flavor accompanied by woodsy notes, citrus hops, and surprisingly a touch of toasted coconut. The aftertaste is slightly bitter with a woodsy presence. It is best served around 50°F and pairs nicely with BBQ beef, crispy cauliflower, or blue cheese.

ABV: 10.2%  Color: Orange  Sweetness: 2.5/10  Bitterness: 2.5/10