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: 1,343
Photo of Boilermaker88
3.61/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Served on-tap at a small eatery in the Denver Airport.

Appearance: Nice clear amber hue. Lots of fine carbonation rolling up to the base of a thick, creamy white head. Quite durable; left great sheets of lace on the glass walls.
Nose: malt notes were a bit subdued, as was the hops aspect. Rather earthy aroma countering a sweet grainy fragrance. Mild citrusy hops notes.
Taste: malt flavor dominates this brew. Starts off fairly sweet with some caramel character before switching gears and taking on a more earthy stance. Goes even further, yielding a slightly smokey flavor mid-palate. Hops bitterness is herbal with a bit of pine and rather mild.
Feel: medium body; has a moderately velvety feel and a dry finish.
Overall: a pretty drinkable APA. I can’t say it would become a staple in my fridge but it certainly beat out all the other beers on-tap at the Denver airport. Worth a try.

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Photo of ypsifly
3.98/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12oz with notches on the label indicating this was brewed in the third week of Feb.

Light copper with a decent white head that leaves some lace. Good carbonation gives it some retention.

Piney/citric hops paired nicely with slightly swet malt make up the nose. Not as strong as others in this style.

More hop (oil?) than malts, but it comes close to balance. There's a slight roasted note from the malt that is not out of place, but rather gives this one character. Clean, dry finish.

Smooth in the mouth. Good beer for a hot night.

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Photo of BeerFink
3.58/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Pours a really attractive crystal clear amber color with a sticky, rocky white head. Sticky rings of lacing are apparent on the glass. Smell is grassy with some lemons and citrous, also some caramel. Overall, the taste is a little bland. Toasty malts and subdued caramel mix with clean herbal English hops. Some grassiness is there as well, along with a hint of subtle citric American hops. I was expecting a little more hop flavor from Great Divide after enjoying their IPA and DIPA. Although this seems to be more in the English style of pale ales, it is nevertheless a well balanced, easy drinking brew.

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Photo of WesWes
3.43/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

The beer pours a dark gold/amber color with a thick frothy white head that slowly fades to lacing. The aroma is good. It has a mildly malty scent that boasts of pale and light crystal malts. It also has a citrus hop aroma and a toastey quality. The taste is decent. It has a soapy flavor that is the product of citrus hops and light crystal malts. There isn't much balance here. It has a musty, bitter aftertaste. The mouthfeel is decent also. It is a low/medium bodied beer with good carbonation. This is an average American pale ale. It's one and done for me.

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Photo of redmosquito
3.6/5  rDev -3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured a pale amber color, with a solid white head and little floating yeast chunks. Surprisingly fresh floral hop aroma, followed by a strong toffee aroma with a slight buttery tint. The flavor brings out the caramel and toffe with a significant up front bitterness. Decent body with just a little slipperyness in the finish. This was a good beer, which I suspect would be better if a little more fresh.

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Photo of beveragecaptain
3.65/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This beer pours out an amber color with an off-white head. The aroma is a balance between the malt and the hops, with the malt coming out slightly ahead. The flavor is sweet at first, a little like honey. A nice dose of piney hops come through, but this is not as hoppy as most American pale ales. I think this beer would have been pretty good if it were just a little lighter. There were some nice flavors, I just thought it was too filling.

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Photo of silver0rlead
3.67/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Acquired this beer in a "brewers mix pack" along with 3 other Great Divide Brews. The Appearance is almost amber but perhaps a little paler but definately one of the darker APA's ive poured with a 1 finger pearl white head that dissapated quickly but left nice blotchy lacing along the glass. The aroma is interesting, with a sweet maltiness (caramel malt maybe?) followed by a subtle floral hops scent. The taste is interesting but for me doesnt live up to the smell, first the hops hit your tongue with a mild bitterness (definately not one of the hoppier American Pale's) followed by a bit of bready malt flavor but quickly reverts back to the hop oils with a lightly bitter and dry finish. The moughtfeel is descent with a medium body and moderate carbonation which is really what is expected of this style. An easy drinking American Pale that could be a nice session beer, but isnt really hoppy or complex enough to make it a standout brew in any sense. Not bad by any means and could possibly be a "gateway" beer for future hopheads because it has that wonderful bitterness we all love but doesnt overwhelm the tongue.

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Photo of mynie
3.68/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours up regular amber like any old APA only with a very nice and retentive head.

Strong hop character on the nose. A bit of bready malt in there as well, but its almost all hops. Nice but not very complex.

Very earthy hops upfront, moving into a sweet toffee malt, and ending with combination of malt and hops into a solid backbone. Simple and tasty, but nothing to write home about.

This tastes like an APA that should be a lot hoppier than it is. Really, it's not complex enough to be impressive and it's not bitter enough to get the attention of hop heads.

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Photo of neonbrown82
3.99/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I wasn't too thoroughly impressed by this beer, but it was still a refreshing change of pace. It almost seemed to be more of an English style than American. The pour was slightly hazy and amber/copper hued with almost no head that faded to a film. Smells of noble hops and pale malts. Almost smells like a hoppy tea with the hay-like sweetness of the malts in the bouqet. The taste is kind of buttery and sweet, kind of similar to a Fullers London Pride or Sam Smith's Pale. The hoppiness reminds me quite a bit of Boulevard's Pale Ale, though slightly subdued compared to the traditional APA style, IMO. I will probably try other Great Divide brews in the future.

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Photo of ElGordo
3.77/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours an orangish copper hue with a one-inch off-white head that hangs around for a little while. Good carbonation keeps coming. Pleasant aroma is characteristic of an English pale or mild ale - smooth, subtle malt with just a whiff of hops in the background. Similarities to the English style continue on the palate. Rich, almost creamy body holds a mild, slightly bitter palate up front with a touch of spiciness (black pepper), followed by a touch of bitter hops on the finish. Aftertaste is a little harsh. Could be a decent session beer; makes me wish I'd bought more than a single.

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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 plaztikjezuz
3.31/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

to start off i expect a bit more hop aroma in my pale ale, maybe that is why it is GD classifies it as an english pale ale? this accounts form my lower smell and taste scores but it still having a high over all score. it is a good beer.

poured a nice copper with a decient head that fell into lace.
the aroma was lacking a hop aroma imo, maybe its because i'm from michigan and this is a hop head state, ipa's are number 1 sellers here.
that taste was very malty with a good bitterness and a little hop flavor. but it was not very fruity or aromatic like i do expect from a PA.
the mouthfeel was easy drinking

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Photo of NeroFiddled
4.1/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Great Divide's dlagship Denver Pale Ale strattles the fence between an English-style and American pale ale. The brewery promotes it as English-style, and to their credit it certainly wins enough medals when entered into competition as such. But Michael Jackson has called it an American-style pale ale, as have many others. It's amber colored body is a touch darker than what we might normally think of as American (although it certainly fits within the guidelines), but color alone does not make it English. The nose, however, does. The hops are decidedly floral and grassy, over some yeasty fruitiness and a lightly sweet malt base. It's medium-bodied with a standard carbonation (right @ 2.5 volumes CO2), and it's a bit airy and smooth across the palate. In the flavor, however, some more hop flavor is present than might be expected in an English version. Still, it's nicely malty with a wash of crystal malt character; and some delicate yeasty fruitiness rounds it out. But does it have the depth of malt character to make it truly English? That could be argued, but it's also fairly clean and straightforward like and American pale ale. But regardless of its designation, it's quite nicely balanced with malt, hop and yeast all present but distinct, and anchored by a solid but far from obtrusive bitterness. It finishes dry with some quickly fading malt and hop flavor, followed by some mold, lingering bitterness. Very well done!

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Photo of GeoffRizzo
3.78/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Decent mixture of copper and amber tone with a white lacey head that appears to float nicely. A definitive hoppy aroma, some fresh fruit also quickly detected. Up front, oily and slick, hops presence is full and bitter with a malt-based middle. Dry and grainy, a bit of caramel rides in the background. Juicy hops and citrus rinds round out this very nice beverage. Some hops-heads may question it’s character, yet this is a pretty well balanced APA, session-able indeed.

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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 hero27
3.15/5  rDev -15.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a clear burnt-orange color. Off-white head is foamy but retention is average. Leaves a nice spotty lacing on the glass.

Smell: Smells well-balanced, at least. Honey, sweet malts, and floral hops are noted in the aroma.

Taste: This beer had potential, and I've liked most Great Divide brews I've had, but the flavor just doesn't do it for me. I like hops but this isn't the clean, fresh taste I was expecting. There's a piney bitterness and hop bite..hoppier than most PAs, but in this brew's case, it isn't really a good thing.

Mouthfeel: Relatively light-bodied with a bit of a rough mouthfeel. Decent carbonation. Dry, chalky finish.

Drinkability: Good drinkability due to it's light body. I like the 5.6% ABV as well.

Overall, this is one of those beer that is nice to try but is easily forgotten.

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Photo of Gueuzedude
4.42/5  rDev +19.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottled November 2004, Sampled January 2005
Pours a brilliantly clear full copper color, it is topped by a light amber tan head with a fairly low level of carbonation. The aroma is sweet with caramel malts and hopily spiced with notes of tangerine, apricot, and oranges, and a nice fruity flower nectar type thing. The taste is quite well balanced. This beer is not quite sweet yet quite fruity & hoppy. It is very well balanced with a complimenting malty caramel note that accentuates the hops. This beer reminds me of candied orange peels, spruce tips. The hops nearly dance across my tongue with spicy herbal notes of pine and a nice bitterness that moves from the middle of my tongue to the back of my mouth as this beer passes down my gullet. This is just a really nicely made Pale Ale, it is actually even better than the IPA and IIPA from this brewery.

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Photo of bruachan
4.1/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

nice rocky head that leaves some nice lacing on the way down. golden amber with a few floaters
smells like a solid pale ale. grassy, floral hops with some nice caramel coming through
citrus hops with great biscuity and toffee malt. not something i've tasted in an APA before, but i definitely dig it

i really liked this stuff. more than sierra nevada. does this get me into the mile high club?

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Photo of rowew
3.93/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Presentation: 12 oz long neck bottle. Newly designed label. Description of the beer and its awards on one side, freshness info notched on the other.

Appearance: Bright copper colored with a one finger head that disappated into a nice full lacing.

Smell: Slight fruity smell with flowery hops behind.

Taste: Carmel with hints of pine. Nice hop bitterness that leaves a fairly dry finish. Mouthfeel has a slight oily feel to it.

Overall Impression: All in all a decent Pale Ale. Nothing outstanding, but a good beer to spend the day with.

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Photo of beerceller99
3.02/5  rDev -18.6%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

12 oz. bottle pours a clear rusty orange hue. A massive, fake looking off white head leaves an awesome lace. Has a spicy, black pepper caramel smell. Medium bodied with way too much carbonation. Mildly sweet caramel taste with a raw hop bitterness to finish. The big foam and carbonation reminds me of Hales Pale Ale .

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Photo of PSUDREW
3.68/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I really liked this brew. POurs a nice copper, with a fluffy lasting head that laces the glass the entire way down. It smells a spicey blend of floral scents, some citrus, and a splash at pepper.

The intial taste is a blast of citrus and sweetness the greets you in such a pleasent way. But what the flavor is built on is a solid malt backbone. If nothing else, this is what the brew is built on. Sweet and Spicey, delicous and smooth. Light mouth feel makes it easily drinkable, and is finish off with enough hops to make you happy.

Dig it!

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Photo of Beaver13
3.18/5  rDev -14.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a slightly hazy copper-orange with a monstrous fluffy off-white head that retains well and shows some lacing.

Its aroma is biscuity caramel malt and grassy floral hops with some citrus and pepper.

The flavor is sweet (almost candy-like) caramel malts, with some biscuit and a mild bitter finish. The bitterness in the aftertaste and finish comes out a little more as it warms. A little on the thin side.

Overall, a little too sweet for me, although it got better as it warmed. Not much of the classic English PA hoppiness.

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Photo of Backer2004
3.37/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Amber colored pale ale? Not sure about that. No head or carbonation to speak of, slight lacing. Fruity smell, a little stronger than a typical pale ale. Little complexity in the mouth, could be from the lack of carbonation. Nice hops and bitterness, strong flavor characteristics of an india pale ale. Label mentions it has won three medals for English Pale Ales yet this description above says its an American Pale Ale, what's the difference, does it just depend where it's brewed? Paid $1.59 for a single at a local beer store. Good deal but there's others available there I like much better.

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Photo of skybluewater
3.06/5  rDev -17.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a standard amber color. There's a small amount of lace. I don't get much of a smell from this one. The taste is rather odd (almost vegetal, but maybe that's just me...), with some grapefruit as well.

Overall, not the greatest pale (although who knows, I could grow to like it as I work my way through the sixer I have). I expected more from the brewers of the great Titan IPA and Hercules Double IPA.
Update: I've now finished the sixer, and nope, I don't like this beer. I'm downgrading the taste to 3. It's not necessarily a bad beer, I just prefer my brews vegetables without. ;-)

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Photo of feloniousmonk
3.77/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Color: clear and amber-tinged, decent raft of milky foam floats on top.
Citrus in the nose, as well as hints of tropical fruits, nice hoppiness, fresh and lively, a little toasty, very English feeling.
Taste is more blase, finely balance, with plenty of backup in the body, quite sufficient malt, and a recurrent ringing in from the hops, but it's not much ado, at all. Flavor is nice, but nothing special. Medium bodied, caramel taste butts in a bit before we're through, and the finish is long and tasty.
An adequate ale all the way, something that fills in quite nicely as a standard sessioner...nothing wrong with that, nothing at all. Actually, despite that i prefer other types of ales, I like this better, for what it is, the more I drink.

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Denver Pale Ale from Great Divide Brewing Company
3.71 out of 5 based on 1,343 ratings.
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