Location: Denver, Colorado
Type: Production brewery
Available in DC Market: No
What you need to know: Until recently, you could find Great Divide’s beers on shelves and tap lines in the District. But Great Divide pulled out of DC (as well as a number of other markets) to focus on supplying its local markets first. Most people seem to be familiar with Great Divide through its mythical IPAs (Hercules, Titan) or its umpteen riffs on the Yeti Imperial Stout, but they also produce a number of other pretty tasty beers in some quirky styles (Colette, the farmhouse ale, a Wild Raspberry Ale, and Samurai, an unfiltered rice ale). Opened in 1994, Great Divide aims to have its beers “reflect the adventurous Colorado lifestyle.”
Beer #1: Chocolate Oak Aged Yeti
Notes: For this version of their imperial stout, the folks at Great Divide toned down the hops to allow cocoa to be the bittering agent. This cocoa melds with the vanilla from the oak barrels for a combo “like a gourmet chocolate bar.” There’s also a dash of cayenne in this beer to keep things zippy and interesting. Not your usual imperial stout, for sure.
Beer Advocate: A- (474 reviews)
Rate Beer: 100 overall, 91 style
Beer #2: Colette
Notes: The 2010 GABF silver medalist for Belgian- and French-style saisons, Colette is a light-bodied (though still 7.3%) saison fermented at higher temperatures with a combination of four different yeasts. One or more of those provides it with a slight tanginess. This is an incredibly refreshing style, especially given how hot it has been lately. Look for the rice (unusual for a saison) to interplay with the barley and wheat for a very interesting saison.
Beer Advocate: B+ (214 reviews)
Rate Beer: 89 overall, 60 style
Summary: It’s a real shame that the DC market lost Great Divide, because they really do like to push the envelope in a number of ways. Hopefully once they up their production they can come back and we can all enjoy them again. For now we’ll have to settle for getting our fill at SAVOR!
This profile is a part of the DCBEER.COM SAVOR Brewery Profile series. For more information, follow the link to see profiles of all 2011 SAVOR participants.
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