Denver Pale Ale | Great Divide Brewing Company

591 Reviews
Denver Pale AleDenver Pale Ale

Brewed by:
Great Divide Brewing Company
Colorado, United States

Style: English Pale Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.40%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 04-10-2002

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Reviews: 591 | Ratings: 1,347
Photo of Quaffer
1.72/5  rDev -53.6%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 1

Appearance: This beer poured a clear amber that had just enough red highlights to be called copper colored. The off-white head rose up to two fingers easily. It lingered quite awhile, slowly dissipating and becoming dense and fluffly. As it sank back into the beer, it clung heavily to the side of the glass. There was some light lacing left behind as I drank.

Smell: A base of sweet and roasted malts provided a backdrop for the pungent hops. They were sour smelling and reminded me of vegetables that have just started to rot. That thick, sickly sweet pungent smell. That was it, really.

Mouthfeel: Light-bodied and thin feeling, to the point of being watery.

Taste: The hops provided a brash, muddled bitterness that had no depth. It was like a thin, fragile, scratchy skin of hops that covered . . . well, nothing. There was no malt presence underneath to back it up. Just dry, harsh, and ugly. Oddly, the aftertaste reminded me of stale cigarettes. It was like I was drinking out of an old ashtray. I have no clue where this flavor came from nor do I care to find out.

At least it looked good . . . as it went down the drain. One of only a few drain pours for me.

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Photo of mschofield
2.25/5  rDev -39.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Pours a clear amber-gold, topped with a thin off-white filmy head, leaves thing rings of lacing.
Light aroma, citrus, herb and bread.
Bready and citrus notes make up what taste there is, some slight piney bittering hops but it could use a lot more.
Medium bodied. The appearance is too light, the aroma is too light, the taste is too light and the bitterness is too low.

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Photo of TMoney2591
2.29/5  rDev -38.3%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

Served in a Lagunitas mason jar.

Let's hope our Colorado brethren don't start clamoring for a new style, the DPA... Anyway, this stuff pours a clear amber topped by a finger of lightly off-cream-white foam. The nose comprises earthy and spicy greens, light leek, cilantro, mustard seed, and peat moss. ...Didn't see that coming, like a surprise roundhouse from JCVD. The taste is mostly a blast of spicy and salty greens (think a salad of cilantro, chive, parsley, and spinach, all drizzled with a chlorinated peppercorn dressing), though there is a backbone of mild biscuit trying desperately to bring things back to reality. No avail, I'm afraid. The body is a light medium, with a light moderate carbonation and a wet feel. Overall, this is a strange and downright unpleasant (or, if I'm not being so euphemistically-inclined, nasty) beer. It's touted as a balanced and mild English-style pale ale, but it comes across as an oddly spicy and salty mess. I thought I got a bad bottle, but, upon talking with others who have had it from the source (on tap in the Rockies), it's clear this stuff is just plain awful.

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Photo of leantom
2.36/5  rDev -36.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Wow, this beer was bloody awful. Here goes:

A: Not looking good from the get-go. Murky, apple-cider brown. Very large solid particulates in the beer. On a side note, it does pour a massive head.

S: Like a (bad) homebrew. Smells like stale bread mixed in with some baker's yeast. Hops are average at best, and the malt is too grainy.

T: Terrible. Blandness followed by stale bread (from the yeast).

M: Extremely light and watery. Despite large head, the carbonation is nonexistent.

O: Drain-pour

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Photo of TastyTaste
2.38/5  rDev -35.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

Pours a medium copper color, pretty standard looking, except for the ridiculously large head, about 1" in an American pint glass. Served at about cellar temp. floral hops and bready malt in the nose. Taste is very malty, with good hop presence, but is utterly ruined by a melted plastic flavor that i have not encountered from an APA for a very long time. Disappointing, this might be a bad batch, will rereview later on if I get the chance.

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Photo of BlackJeremiah
2.39/5  rDev -35.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into an English pint glass.

A: Copper colored body, barely off-white head, 1" thick, reduces with significant lacing. Orange undertones come out when held up to light.

S: Phenolic scents, citrus and sage. It honestly doesn't smell particularly appetizing, sort of like rubbing alcohol and Yankee Candle's Sage & Citrus car air freshener.

T: Gah. I'm seriously disappointed. This brewery has some good stuff, but this is not one I'll be buying again. Sanitizer and alcohol meets a soapy mixture of indiscernible hop flavors. Really, really not very good at all. Some nice notes of citrus midway through, but not enough to save it. Dries out at the end, daring you to take another sip. At least it tastes clean.

M: It would be light and refreshing, except for some really horrid flavors.

D: It would be really, really drinkable, but the darn thing has a really soapy quality to it that I can't endure. This is the first glass of beer in a while that I just couldn't finish.

I really want to give this beer a fair shake. I'm trying not to punish it for tasting like soap. I'm really not.

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Photo of Dogbrick
2.45/5  rDev -34%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Tasted at the Barrelhouse Brewing Company Microbrew Fest on November 9. Light amber color with minute head. Hops aroma that was difficult to detect. This seemed watered-down and nothing special to me. I like more hops in my APAs.

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Photo of Lerxst
2.46/5  rDev -33.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

12oz bottle dated March 26, 2011.

A-Pours a clear gold with a somewhat vigorous pour producing a small head that faded fast and left a few wisps of lace.

S-A strong, somewhat sour, yeast like aroma that is not too pleasant seems to dominate. No hops to speak of in the nose. I'd think this was well past its prime if the bottle on date didn't say it was less than one month old. Another deep hops. Cereal grains and caramel malt are there.

T-A slightly sour taste is most prevalent. I'd think this beer was skunked if it didn't come from a reputable store that stores their beer properly. That same sour yeast from the nose is here as well. Still, no hops to speak of. Caramel malt and a cereal type flavor are present though. Not impressive.

M-Medium body, somewhat crisp carb bite.

O-That sour aroma and taste make this one tough to get down. I have to say I am greatly surprised by this one. Normally GD beers can be counted on for quality. I'll have to buy this one again and revisit it, maybe it was a bad bottle.

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Photo of Ricelikesbeer
2.46/5  rDev -33.7%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I love great divide, and will try anything of theirs once. My buddy warned against this one though. Shoulda listened. The belgian ipa they just came out with had this weird, pungeant flavor and smell that I cant' put my finger on. Absolutely hated it. This beer has a little bit of the same thing. I really dont' like that taste and smell. It might be a hop bitterness that I dont' like. I'd have to study the recipe to know for sure. The mouthfeel was pretty good, but nothing makes up for the way this beer tastes and smells. Not one I'll ever try again. I'll drink yheti and the other line by the gallon though!

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Photo of mentor
2.49/5  rDev -32.9%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

One finger off-white head over an almost clear bright copper with one finger of light tan head. Smell is mild all around.

Tastes weedy hops. Gentle citrus and chalky. Oxidized. Stale cheesy hops with some tettnagner gritty. Sweet is presnet but way underneath the hops. Not so good, IMO. Light body and moderate carbonation.

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Photo of JoeAmerican77
2.54/5  rDev -31.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Pours a yellow, gold'n honey, bubbly booze, translucent with lazy carbs, half a finger of Danish head..

Very faint hop oils and nothing else

Bitter hops and some old season pine nothing else... wow thats a big disappointment for me here considering when I was like seventeen it won the best pale ale in the US by United Airlines Flight magazine

Light, medium bodied, semi strong carbonation and no lingering effects

Overall it isn't bad, its just not good... not going to recommend it to anyone

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Photo of nohead02
2.55/5  rDev -31.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

I opened three bottles of this. Two of them were like a home brew gone amock. Got an inch and a half of beer and the rest of the glass filled with foam. Not surprisingly, those bottles were dominated by a yeast flavor. The bottle without the yeast problem wa certainly distinctive but not much my style. It was more a British style pale ale than American. Had a toasty flavor and decent aroma. I'll try again and see what kind of luck I have with this stuff. So far, though, I don't think this is going to the top of my Favorites list.

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Photo of DCon
2.58/5  rDev -30.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Bought the Great Divide Brewer's Choice 12-pack (12 FL OZ. bottled) from Shop N Save in Valley Park, MO for $14.99 and this was included. Poured from the blue bottle with DPA in yellow & a Ram above the "A" on it into a Crown Royal Shaker Glass. Has NO bottled on date... Strange b/c the rest of them do!

Aroma- Has the lightest aroma aroma... Not much hop at all in here but mostly clean and malty.

Appearance- Pours no head at all. Has a copper color body (almost like apple juice) with good clarity. Leaves no head.

Flavor- Has a caramel and strong malty taste from the get go. A light bitterness finishes off this brew and theres not much Pale Ale to it. Very one sided, malty and sweet.

Mouthfeel- Light-Medium Bodied, Low Carbonation, and leaves sweetness on the palate. No bitterness.

Overall Impression- Tough to say, but this was not a good English Pale Ale from Great Divide. Way to sweet and malty. Needed to have more hops in here. I'm still wondering why there wasn't a Bottled On date on this one but all the rest... This may be just a bad brew. Will try again to see.

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Photo of gameface23
2.66/5  rDev -28.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appearance: Cloudy honey color with a huge, pillowy head that clings to the glass and leaves 3-dimensional lacing. Lots of chunky yeast floating around.

Smell: Smells kind of like a Belgian IPA because of it's yeasty bite. Slightly metallic, floral hops and malt sweetness.

Taste: Very metallic/plastic taste to it. Loads of hop bitterness.

Mouthfeel: Extremely fizzy.

Drinkability: It's drinkable, but I just don't like it that much.

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Photo of Abita45
2.66/5  rDev -28.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

My first Great Divide beer, poured from a bottle into a pint glass. Mediocrity ensued. It poured with a fairly creamy head, though not very thick. Good lacing. Lightly copper color and a medium hop nose. Nothing impressive. It has a medium, if not light, body and was easy to drink. It didn't really make a strong impression on me. As english pale ales go, I'd had hoped for a little somthing more in at least one of the categories, but this beer just seemed an average example of the style.

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Photo of MDekker
2.68/5  rDev -27.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

One in a series of Great Divide beers I've been going through...

Pours a hazy dark orange with a finger of off-white head. Nice looking. The smell is slight in many ways - hoppy, floral, sweet, and oily - pretty balanced. The sips are disappointing - there's a flash of flavor that vanishes almost immediately. I can hardly make out the flavors it's gone so fast. It's just...thin and quick. A slightly bitter finish came back, but overall, not much here. Mouthfeel was fine. It drank easy, but it was just...boring.

Great Divide hasn't thrilled me - the Yeti Imperial Stout was good, but all their basic 12oz beers have left me unimpressed.

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Photo of Living816
2.69/5  rDev -27.5%
look: 3 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Color was okay. Smell was not. Had an off smell. Something akin, and this is in all seriousness, to baby formula and plastic bottles. Very faint. No noted aromas at all on initial pour. After it warmed slightly and the head settled, it had a more neutral smell.

Taste was a rather unfortunate bitterness that ruined it. Is it an EPA, APA, IPA? Maybe an xPA is a more apt description. It seems like an almost IPA, and almost APA, an almost EPA.

Did not care for the taste at all. Very little balance here.

I was not fond of this creation. It had a confused set of flavors and aromas.

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Photo of Budro
2.7/5  rDev -27.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

A: Poured into a room-temp pint glass, DPA presents with a 1 1/2 finger head, white and foamy, atop a light copper body of glassy clarity. The body appears perhaps a bit thin. The head quickly dissipates, leaving a thin layer of foam across the surface. Lacing sticks to the glass in a web-like pattern as you drink the beer down.

S: Not much going on in the nose. Kinda malty, kinda sweet--nothing unpleasant, but nothing distinctive, either.

T: The lightly nutty flavor is underwhelming as well. There's a hint of bitterness in the finish, which lingers for a couple of seconds after you swallow. As the beer warms, this bitterness grows a bit more pronounced, and lingers perhaps a bit longer.

M: Not as thin as it appears, but not exactly luxurious, either. The flavor initially washes broadly across the palate but seems to break down in the back. The bitterness dries the palate a bit.

D: This is a filling beer that doesn't satisfy your beer jones. In my experience, it drinks best ice-cold, straight from the bottle.

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Photo of audiodav
2.73/5  rDev -26.4%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

12 oz Bottle poured in a glass

A - Pours a clear Amber to Orange with an off-white head. A little less than 1 finger on the head which doesn't hang around very long. Moderate lacing though - all the way to the bottom of the finished glass.

S - A citrus type of aroma which gives way to a peanut type scent.

T - A bit of a grainy flavor that gives way to a quick punch of piney/grassy hop bitterness. Finishes with a hint of caramel malt. It's a bit watery.

M - Medium bodied...medium carbination. Finishes fairly smooth.again, a little watery.

O - Not my favorite in the style, probably wouldn't go out of my way for another offering. It's not bad, but not great. I'm such a huge fan of Great Divide's Imperial Stout, DIPA, and Barleywine...I guess you can't be great at everything.

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Photo of HardTarget
2.78/5  rDev -25.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz. brown bottle with notched “Month and Week bottled on” but the notch isn’t clearly indicating the month and week, otherwise this is a beer from 2 weeks in the future, or 50 weeks from the past. (Maybe a year mark instead of a week mark next time, eh?)
Aroma: Mild hop aroma for a pale ale, getting a lot of malt smell and a whiff of a candy like smell, cotton candy maybe?
Appearance: Clear light amber with a thin white head. I worked hard to get a head in the pour. It has some nice lacing and tidemarks.
Flavor: Almost non-existent hops top off a rather mild taste. Also notes of DMS (dimethylsufide) or cooked corn taste, a real problem. Has a nice malt backbone, but doesn’t have the hops to really back it up.
Mouthfeel: medium body, thicker than the mild taste would predict
Overall Impression: I’m really hoping my bottle is 50 weeks old, but that still wouldn’t explain away the DMS taste. It might help explain where the hops went. The most hoppiness I got out of this was the picture on the bottle. Maybe I’ve blown out my hop receptors with all the Rogue and Stone beers, but I’m just not tasting any here. Despite the DMS taste, this ends up being fairly drinkable beer, but I can’t really recommend it.

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Photo of jackndan
2.8/5  rDev -24.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Denver Pale Ale: Remarkable carbonation, I mean scrubbing bubbles, and the head was explosive. There was very heavy sediment in the bottle and in the glass. That being said, the beer had some taste and had a nice hoppy aroma, taste and aftertaste. I’m guessing the beer sat around awhile, but it wasn’t unpleasant.

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Photo of jbertsch
2.81/5  rDev -24.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Poured this into a Sam Adams "Perfect Pint" glass and got a nice frothy, 3-finger head that falls quickly, but doesn't fade away completely until later. The beer itself is medium amber in color.

I smell both hops and malt up front, but the balance leans a little towards the hops side. The hops smell a bit like corn and dirty feet.

This tastes british. It feels smooth, calm, and its little carbonation gives it little life. The slightly rank hops are present on the tongue.

Drinkability is fine enough. When I stopped drinking it, it was because I was bored with it. But it's a decent session brew. Agreeable with many foods.

This one seemed at first, but I realized that I wasn't wowed at all, and I thought I smelled some corn adjunct-like aromas. Reminded me of the beer Abita - which I do not care for.

This brewery does other things better, look elsewhere for a good Pale Ale.

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Photo of biking4beer
2.85/5  rDev -23.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

From the bottle it pours a golden color with a slight reddish tint. 1/2 finger white head that dissipates to a whisp.

Smells of grassy hops. Grainy, bready. Slight floral aroma and a touch of caramel.

Mostly bitter with a solid grain taste. There is a sourness that doesn't quite sit well with me. It's in the after taste and is somewhat astringent. Sort of phenolic or maybe like rubbing alcohol.

Moderate to high carbonation with a moderate. Appropriate for the style.

This is definitely more English than American.

hmm. I don't know what to make of this beer. I know I've had it before and enjoyed it, but this one isn't sitting well with me. It wasn't last night either, but I thought my palate was off. Tonight is the same thing. I don't know if the bad aftertaste is just from the hops they use, if the hops are stale or if it's just an off flavor. Can't quite tale. maybe give it a go if you get a chance. I may run down to the brewery soon and give this another go.

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Photo of quasimoto
2.86/5  rDev -22.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A - Its a bright amber with a had that wont quit. There is lacing that has completely adhered to the glass and seems impenatrable.

S - Sweet piney floral hops dominate this one. There is some malty background but its not to prominate. There is also a grainy smell to it.

T - There is a lot of papery musty malts flavors going on here. Its sweet but it seems oxidized. The grainy smell has translated into the taste as well. It seems like they over sparged or something. Oh wait its the yeast at the botom of a bottle of pale ale.... I got news for you folks, that doesnt help with low alcohol beers especially pale ales

M - light in body, sharp on the tounge. Its not tannins but its the carbination that is doing it.

D - For the style it definitely needs some work.

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Photo of Premo88
2.87/5  rDev -22.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

12 oz. bottle poured into nonic
(born on date: Jan. 22, 2014; drank on: Feb. 26, 2014)

L: clear brown/amber -- lots of red; weakish 1/4-inch head of off-white foam; no stick or lace but keeps a decent collar of foam

S: sour mash, sour grain ... grain and medicine

T: creamed corn; dirt; grain; sour grain

F: solid all-around

O: A+ for at least trying to brew an English pale but the brew is a D at best. if somebody put a macro-brew label on this, I might buy it. there is no malt taste at all, and what hops there are taste more like rubbing alcohol than Fuggles. too bad ... I had high hopes, but this is definitely a one-off for me.

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Denver Pale Ale from Great Divide Brewing Company
3.71 out of 5 based on 1,347 ratings.
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