Great Divide Brewing Company

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American Imperial Stout
Ranked #420
Ranked #1,368
4.22 | pDev: 9.48%
Great Divide Brewing Company
Colorado, United States
Notes: Yeti Imperial Stout is an onslaught of the senses. 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.

2005 Great American Beer Festival, Silver Medal, Imperial Stout
2008 Great American Beer Festival, Bronze Medal, Imperial Stout
2009 Great American Beer Festival, Silver Medal, Imperial Stout
2010 BeerAdvocate “Top 100 Beers On Planet Earth,” #36
Reviews: 1,864 | Ratings: 5,713 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of Philipm1978
4.75/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

So dry, which at first surprises. But than shines through! The cacao is first rate. So smooth and a wonderful mouth feel. An absolute perfect after dinner drink.

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Photo of Whyteboar
3.19/5  rDev -24.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.25

Appearance: Poured 12 oz can into pint class and had to wait for head to settle before completing the pour. Dark for a head, not quite brown, but definitely more that than beige. Color was vary dark, near black.
Aroma: Malts as expected, day old coffee and oddly (to me anyway) hops.
Mouthfeel: proper for an imperial stout; drinkable and just a little viscous.
Taste: This is where the wheels came off for me- the hops dominate. I know a proper Russian Imperial Stout needs some hop character for the 'journey' but it's usually a supporting role. This is straight up bitter.
Overall: This is the third time I tried this, the first two times I thought were anomalies, but sadly, not the case. I'm glad some people really enjoy it, but I'm not one of them.

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Whyteboar from Michigan, May 18, 2020
Photo of DavetotheB
3.98/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

From a 12oz can dated 10/30/19 into a pint glass. Pours an opaque very dark brown with about two fingers of brown head. Decent retention, great lacing. Smells of bitter coffee and bakers chocolate with the latter dominating. Just a bit of alcohol on the nose as well. Taste...bitter! And follows the nose. Bitterness dominates. Definite notes of bitter dark chocolate with coffee in the background. Just a hint of sweetness in there. Mouthfeel is a little thinner than I'd like from the style, but not off putting. Alcohol is fairly well hidden. Overall, it's nice. A little one dimensional in the taste department but made up for in the price department-about $12 for a sixer.

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DavetotheB from Pennsylvania, Feb 07, 2020
Photo of octortus
4.18/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

650 mL Bottle. ABV 9.5%.
Appearance: Black, Big two fingers of chocolate milk thick creamy head, Great retention.
Aroma: Roasted malts, Dark chocolate, Resinous hops, Cocoa powder, Nutty, Slight molasses.
Mouthfeel: Smooth, Medium-Full body, Slightly slick.
Flavour: Strong resinous hops, Lingering bitterness, Roasted malt, Dark chocolate, Espresso, Slight molasses.

Review: 129

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octortus from Ontario (Canada), Feb 07, 2020
Photo of JonnoWillsteed
4.31/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

L- One of the absolutest darkest beers I've ever seen. Held to a halogen bulb, not a single photon gets through the glass, not even it's narrower edge. Pours with 5mm fine very deep brown head, slowly receding to lacing.
S- Smells strongly of coffee, deeply 'roasty/toasty'.
T- Deeply roast flavours, coffee, almost charring and fireplace timber log ashes. There is a prominent rich tang in the finish that is the body + 9.5% ABV making it's presence *VERY* loudly felt.
F- It's extremely pungent, so is clearly a 'slow-sipping' beer for me, best suited to mid-winter.
O- Perhaps the most pungent beer I've ever had. I'm thinking that after this it matters little what I drink as my taste buds will be blown out the park. Zero 'wrong', out of place or out of balance. If you like black espresso, better black ristretto, and seek it in beer form, this is perhaps the best fit I've ever yet to encounter. Ie. to be clear, I'd suggest you need to really enjoy super-strong black coffee to have much chance with this beer.
ps. And it just gets yet more pungent as it begins to warm a touch... phoo!
Bought from London Beer Lab, 355ml can.

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Photo of MonDak_Joe1953
4.25/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

650ml bottle. Label has 'BOTTLED ON: MAY 1 2019'.
Black colored body, with the thinest of red mahogany back lit edge. Two fingers of tan head, which sticks around. Incomplete sheets of lacing.
Aroma of caramel malts, chocolate, coffee, with a bit of dark fruit and vanilla.
Taste is malts flavored of chocolate, caramel, coffee, with whiffs of dark fruit and vanilla. Has a stronger back end of slightly bitter hops. Hints of licorice and smoke.
Thicker mouth feel. Smooth creamy texture. Very good carbonation. Slight numbing of the tongue.
I have had this beer many times, but now distribution has ended. We think this is the case. This beer is similar to a craft root beer but with the alcohol. The alcohol is present but really never intrudes. A classic imperial stout.

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Photo of Mister_Faucher
4.29/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

22oz bottle purchased at Haggens in Woodinville, Washington.
Bottled on Oct 9 2019. Aggressively poured in to a Samuel Smith pint glass.

Look- Opaque and black as the Stygian abyss. Sizable rich mocha colored head with great retention, tons of thick lacing. No carbonation streams visible.

Smell- Caramel/toffee type malts, chocolate, fresh ground coffee, roasted nuts, licorice, toasted dark bread and dark fruits (raisins and dates), a bit of vanilla. Light citrus rind notes.

Taste- Rich caramel malt, coffee, bittersweet chocolate and dried dark fruits, licorice, roasted nuts, burnt sugar, light spicy hops and a bit of citrus peel.

Feel- Medium/full bodied with an incredibly smooth, creamy texture. Light bitter finish, sublimely soft carbonation on the tongue.

O- Tasty and dangerously easy to drink, can barely detect any alcohol at all. One of the best imperial stouts I have had. Right up there with Sam Smith's RIS in my honest opinion, killer stuff.

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Mister_Faucher from Washington, Nov 27, 2019
Photo of jrc1093
4.08/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Canned on 5/10/19

Pours a clean black body with some reddish hues at the surface, topped with a fast-rising two fingers of dense, creamy mocha head; great retention fades slowly to a frothy collar of foam crawling up the glass while a dense layering of varied lacing takes over and lingers.

Aromas feature bitter, nearly acrid roasted malts opening strongly as the beer steadily warms; a milk chocolate undertone softens the blunter tones as bakers chocolate and charred, earthy hops highlight a straightforward takeover of the bouquet.

Taste brings out bitter roast coffee at the start; a deep roasted malt tone transitioning with the help of touches of milk/dark chocolate sweetness along the mid-palate, offering a soothing interlude before a slightly acrid, hop-tinged bitterness picks up on the finish.

Mouthfeel shows a lightly carbed full body flowing like silk through to a subtly creamy mid-palate. The back end takes a more aggressive tone, with a drying, charred bitterness picking up through the swallow; minimal alcohol presence lingers.

A straightforward, classically styled American imperial stout in the best ways, it's unabashedly aggressive, but far too well-structured to lose itself; great execution in tandem with near-ambitious levels of robustness leave a truly enjoyable change of pace in a time when stouts are increasingly valued for their sweeter qualities.

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jrc1093 from Connecticut, Nov 08, 2019
Photo of stevoj
4/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Draft at LATEOTU. Black with huge fluffy beige head. Roasty aroma. Taste brings huge bitterness. Nothing out of the ordinary but an excellent example of the style.

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stevoj from Idaho, Nov 05, 2019
Photo of ryan1788a5
4.13/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

12oz can poured into a snifter.

A: Black as oil with a solid three fingers of rocky brown head. Retention is ridiculous. Sheets of thick lacing cling everywhere. Such an epic head and overall appearance.

S: Deep roastiness. Plenty of espresso and some nutty aromas. Bitter dark chocolate. Woody and acrid. Muscular hop notes of wood, bark, herbs and mint. Slight whiff of alcohol.

T: Starts with a nice pull of bakers chocolate and bitter dark chocolate. A massive wave of bitter espresso and roast envelopes everything thereafter. Hops assert themselves in a big way, bringing bold flavors of herbs, earth, and mint. Bitter on bitter. Very long finish of acrid and Smokey malt and lingering hops.

M: Thick, rich, chewy. You could cut it with a fork and knife. Fine carbonation scrubs briskly.

O: Not at all for the faint of heart. It’s a shock and awe sort of approach, cramming a lot of acrid and bitter roast in alongside plenty of bitter and earthy hops. The finish will grip your tongue and linger for hours. If you like a good espresso shot, you should appreciate this beer. A true classic that stands out in this new world of desserty pastry stouts.

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ryan1788a5 from Massachusetts, Oct 30, 2019
Photo of CodyBasden
4.13/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Super dark black amazing dark tan fluffy head with loads of lacing and retention, good chocolate smell, good roasted coffee feel, woke up and made a cup of coffee but happens to be a beer, medium body very light carbonation the perfect morning brew

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Photo of MaltsOfGlory
4.69/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

12oz can

Pours two fingers of wonderful dark brown head into my snifter. This beer is daaaaark, it looks and breathes imperial stout. Retention is very good, above average for sure. Looks very nice so far.

Nose is immaculate. Amazingly balanced between roast, rich malt, and a touch of chocolate and coffee, not too sweet either. I wish the nose was a hair more pronounced, but it is quite big overall so I can’t complain too much. Other than that, this aroma is just super clean and a perfect example of the style.

Flavor follows suit. This is just crazy smooth and clean. Roast, deep maltiness, faint chocolate all hit in perfect proportions, finishes with a touch of bitterness. Honestly I can’t think of anything that could be improved upon here other than perhaps the flavors popping a tiny bit more.

Mouthfeel is amazing as well. Carbonation sits perfectly right around medium. Body certainly has weight to it, but drinks very light. No heat, I mean no heat at all, very impressive. Aforementioned, this is so so well balanced - not too sweet, but definitely not dry. Bitterness is brief but moderate for a stout. Again, not sure what I could improve here.

Drinkability overall is insane, no heat, not too sweet, tastes great.

The appearance turned out great as well, shocking. Nice lacing down the glass.

The only thing I can really say negatively here is that it isn’t anything crazy, but a perfect beer for the style is totally a thing, and this is damn near close.

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Photo of thehyperduck
4.28/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Bomber purchased at the LCBO at least a year ago and cellared ever since; bottled Nov 2 2017 and served barely chilled.

Pours ebony black, crowned with one finger of bubbly, foamy brown head that lingers for a couple of minutes as it steadily wilts away. An eighth-inch cap of creamy head is left behind, framed by a frothy collar and a lovely coat of smooth, even lacing; looks fantastic. Its aroma is rich and roasted, consisting of cocoa and dark chocolate, as well as hints of coffee, caramel and earthy soil, and just a touch of pine-resiny hops. Hint of alcohol too, but that's hardly a sin.

Maybe not sinful, but a hedonistic delight nonetheless: my nose already told most of the story, but my taste buds can now share in the experience. Roasted malts galore, with cocoa, dark chocolate, dark roasted coffee and caramelized malt sweetness coming through clearly at first. However, the hops are not to be forgotten about, as they come ripping through the finish with earthy, woodsy, pine resin bitterness that combines with the cocoa/roasted vibe and a hint of smokiness in the (fairly persistent) aftertaste; the alcohol burn is perceptible but well integrated. Full-bodied, with low carbonation levels that hardly register; it feels silky-smooth and almost creamy soft on the surface of the palate. A very pleasing beverage to sip on one of the last nights of summer 2019; this serving size is best split with a friend or two, but I shouldn't have any issues polishing off the bottle myself.

Final Grade: 4.28, an A-. Great Divide's Yeti is a pioneering North American classic that I am honoured to have had the chance to try. As far as American Imperial Stouts go, it's one of the more traditional (i.e. RIS-like) examples I can recall sampling - not that there's anything wrong with that. It's nice to try a big stout that wasn't aged in a barrel or augmented with various adjuncts - though the XL-sized hop bill does give this one a bold bitterness on the back end that might catch some by surprise. 100% worth trying if you can find it... I'll be getting two bottles next time: one to try fresh, and another for the cellar.

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thehyperduck from Ontario (Canada), Sep 20, 2019
Photo of Clemsongoat
2.32/5  rDev -45%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

I was not a fan of this at all. It reminded me more of a Russian Imperial Stout. Was way too hoppy for my tastebuds and smell. Looked fine. Felt fine at least too.

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Clemsongoat from South Carolina, Sep 04, 2019
Photo of FrMatthewLC
4.89/5  rDev +15.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

A strong hop & malt flavor that might overwhelm some pallets is what I love. This beer has an excellent dark color with a nice head. The beer has the right malt & hops to have both strong but so you can taste both. It goes down amazingly smooth for such a power house brew.

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FrMatthewLC from Nova Scotia (Canada), Jul 31, 2019
Photo of JohnDon
4.04/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Had on draft at flying saucer 13oz pour. Jet black color with full head. Chocolate and carmel coffee taste, heavy bitterness - different and more than just dark chocolate bitterness. Very full bodied beer, but extremely drinkable.

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JohnDon from Texas, Apr 16, 2019
Photo of BeerBobber
4.19/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pitch black on the pour with two and a half fingers of dark, dark brown creamy head. No light showing through the beer. Poured like motor oil from the can. Lacing the glass nicely all the way down.

Smells of roasted, almost charred oats.Hop presence coming out on the nose. Smells of dark rich bitter coffee. A hint of chocolate, bitter chocolate on the smell.

Taste is that big bitter hit of coffeee. Getting some roasted, almost charred taste of roasted malts. Picking up some bitter hops as well. Just a kiss of chocolate and very faint stone fruits, something like figs.

Mouth is a thick creamy medium. Does not seem real heavy just giving it a good solid mouth feel. The beer lingers on the back end for a solid while reminiding a person they have a good solid beer.

Like most imperial stouts this is a solid sipper. The alcohol barely shows but does make it's presence known in a bit of warming as it goes down. Big and solid this is a very nice imperial stout. And the price point is crazy! I picked up a six pack of 12 oz. cans in a recent trip to Denver for around $10! Straight out of the fridge the beer is very good as it sits while you sip on it the beer seems to wake up. A very fine representation of the style.

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Photo of defunksta
4.26/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a can into a pint glass at 45 degrees,

Look: Pours a beautiful dark, syrup into the glass with a sexy, sticky and foamy dark tan head.
Smell: Strong roasty malts backed by semi-sweet chocolate aromas. Backed by some toffee aroma. Moderate hop bitterness underneath.
Taste: Flavor of sweet molassess and black licorice come forward initially. Followed by strong and bitter dark chocolate . Ends with a bitter, roasted coffee hop bitterness that lingers on the tongue.
Feel: Body is heavy, syrup. Not overly carbonated. Leaves a heavy molasses like mouth coating. This one is a sipper. Lingering roasted and dark chocolate flavors linger on the tongue.

Compared side by side to the standard Old Rasputin: This one is heavier and more syrupy. A sweeter chocolate malt flavor for sure. It is more burnt, smokey roast and black licorice. Hop bitterness might be slightly less. The roasted, smokey malt and chocolate sweetness linger longer on the tongue much longer. Stronger. Doesn't hide the alcohol as well and less balanced, but stronger in darker flavors. Thus, not as smooth, but delicious and assertive for an imperial stout.

Overall, in one sentence, I would describe it as a burnt chocolate molasses in flavor and body. Delicious, maybe overly roasted or dark and heavy for some, but definitely packs a punch. A well made Imperial Stout by my standards. It just depends if you are up to the challenge...

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defunksta from Illinois, Mar 17, 2019
Photo of Megamickel
4.16/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

First things first, wow, does this beer stand out in appearance. The thick head has a gorgeous dark color to complement the inky darkness of the stout. The beer has a sweet, roasty aroma, with the hops shining through in the mingling scents to create a pleasant, earthy scent. The first taste is of the sweet, coffee tones, accompanied by a welcome bitter bite of roasted hops - though I feel they overpower the rest of the drink just slightly, not allowing the vanilla and caramel enough time to shine. The dryness left behind by the finish begs another sip, and before I knew it, my snifter was decidedly lonely, and I found myself cracking open another.

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Photo of Beer_Right_Back
3.5/5  rDev -17.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A punch of bitterness upfront is followed by a complex menagerie of earthy and mossy tones. Coffee and chocolate flavors are also present, perhaps leading to the deep, chocolate milk color of the head. This beer is not for the faint-of-heart; it doesn't hold any punches.

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Photo of beergoot
4.38/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Dark depths of opaque colors make up the body; head is dense, sticky and rocky; spidery webs of foam adhering to the glass. Deep charred and roasted grain aroma; dark coffee; cocoa. Full-on bitter chocolate flavor incorporating a strong grain husk and hop bitterness. Heavy body with lots of residual sugar heft; sludgy and velvety; mild sweetness yet overall dry feel from midpoint to the finish.

An incredibly rich and dense beer, not too sweet and fairly bitter.

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beergoot from Colorado, Feb 11, 2019
Photo of Myros
4.21/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

From a can to a tulip.
Pours an opaque black with a 2 finger, chocolate brown head. Good retention and excellent lacing. Beautiful.

Aroma is of chocolate malts, molasses, dark fruit, and citrus hops.

Taste is bittersweet chocolate, caramel, coffee, and sweet dark fruit. A strong roasted grain finish contains the sweetness, along with the noticeable alcohol. Hop flavor is moderate and complementary. The malt background is well balanced.

Mouthfeel is a full body with velvety texture, low-moderate carbonation, and alcohol warmth. Very nice!

Overall, this is a big beer! Rich, intense, complex, and well balanced; Great Divide has done a fantastic job with this one. Almost a dessert- it gets sweeter as you drink more.

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Myros from Washington, Feb 05, 2019
Photo of Jeremiah77
2.01/5  rDev -52.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1.25

Nice pour. Promising looks and smells. What? What? Who.. wha.. Why is this IPA hiding in the stouts. Please put it back where it belongs. False advertising. Foul.

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Jeremiah77 from Colorado, Dec 31, 2018
Photo of colts9016
3.65/5  rDev -13.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

I have drunk this beer before, but I have neglected to do a proper review. The beer is 50 degrees and served in a tulip glass. The pour on the beer produced a two finger rock solid head. The head is a dark brown like coffee with a touch of cream. The head dissipated slowly leaving lacing all over the glass. The color of the beer is SRM 37 dark inky brown and is opaque. The appearance of the beer is beautiful.

The initial aroma in the beer is dark chocolate and french roasted coffee. Next, I get toffee, dark roasted malts, raisins, anise, and a deep earthiness. Lastly, I smell, bread, smokiness, and wood.

First thing I taste is smokiness, expresso, and char. Next, I get dark chocolate, Maillard, raisins, anise, earthiness, dark roasted malts, bread, danky, and wood. Lastly, I get toffee and burnt sugars.

The mouthfeel of the beer is chewy and dry.

The body of the beer is full, low carbonation, and a full finish.

The beer has this extremely high char, smokiness Maillard, and burnt sugar notes that distract from other flavors in the beer. The beer is very chewy and full body. I had a difficult time pulling flavors and aromas from the beer. I spent an inordinate amount of time smelling an tasting the beer. The beer is good but needs to finessed for greatness. Not on my list of beers to keep in my cellar.

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Photo of Unclevince
3.92/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Interesting brew. The look and feel of this beer are fantastic but the piney bitter hops overtake the roasted malts and chocolate flavors. Some aging might do this one justice. Nice beer overall just a bit too hoppy for me.

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Unclevince from West Virginia, Dec 16, 2018
Yeti from Great Divide Brewing Company
Beer rating: 94 out of 100 with 5713 ratings