Beer Review: Great Divide's Denver Pale Ale

April 11 2014, 12:05 PM

Denver Pale Ale, Great Divide Brewing Co., Denver

Style: English-Style Pale Ale

ABV: 5.5 percent

Serving Type: 12-ounce bottle

Malty? Hoppy? More malt than your typical pale ale

Reviewed: April 2014

Great Divide Brewing Company was founded in 1994, long before it was hip to start a nanobrewery in your garage. During the past 20 years, whether by concocting a new variety of their popular Yeti Imperial Stout or rotating new beers into their lineup, Great Divide has been a mainstay on the Denver beer scene. Perhaps surprisingly, though, you can still find a glimpse of the early days on the shelves of just about any liquor store in Colorado in the form of a sixer of Denver Pale Ale.

Great Divide first brewed their English-style pale ale, often referred to as DPA, in 1997. (Hibernation, a winter seasonal first brewed in 1995, is Great Divide’s oldest beer still in rotation.) In 17 years, they haven’t adjusted the recipe. Why mess with a good thing? DPA won a bronze medal at the Great American Beer Festival the first year Great Divide brewed the pale ale, and, since then, has won three more GABF medals and two medals at the prestigious World Beer Cup. What’s more, DPA remains Great Divide’s second best-selling beer behind Titan IPA. Point is, kicking back with a Denver Pale Ale amounts to something of a lesson in Denver beer history. The beer itself pours a deep golden color, and the flavor, though relatively straightforward, leans a bit toward the maltier end of the spectrum. 

Would we buy it again? Hopheads: This isn’t your beer. However, those looking for a no-nonsense brew that packs a bit more malt—and don’t want a heavy porter or stout—will dig a pint of DPA. Bonus: Find DPA on tap this summer at the new rooftop deck at Coors Field.