Belgica | Great Divide Brewing Company

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397 Ratings

Brewed by:
Great Divide Brewing Company
Colorado, United States

Style: Belgian IPA

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 7.20%

Availability: Summer

Notes / Commercial Description:
None provided.

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 397 |  Reviews: 309
Reviews by malcontent:
Photo of malcontent
2.78/5  rDev -24%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

A brilliant pale gold body with minimal but sturdy snow-white head. Lacing is copious and steadfast.

Some herbal pungency to the hop aroma here with the faintest lemongrass scent in tow. Sweet malt undercurrent makes itself known but takes a backseat to the other attributes.

Man, talk about the wrong combination of hops and malt. Both are strong in their own right but combine to create a vegetal (brussels sprouts anyone?) beer. The hops are not citrusy but rather woody/herbal and clash in a harsh way with the somewhat sweet but mostly earthy body.

There's got to be candi sugar in here because the slickness I'm detecting is not all hop-derived. Otherwise full-bodied and correct for the style. This is a burgeoning genre but to see it done right look the direction of Chouffe Houblon. Great Divide gets an "A" for effort but that's as far as I'm willing to go...

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More User Reviews:
Photo of oberon
3.65/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Not a style that I venture into very often because usually I am not a fan of Belgian yeast and or the hop profiles of them.Poured into a standard pint glass a honey tinged light golden with a very thin white wich surprised me a little.Spicy yeast aromas with citrus oil as well,flavors are spicy and lightly phenolic up front with a good shot of citrus in the finish.I liked this more than many others of the style I have, had but still a little heavy on the Belgian yeast flavors.

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Photo of RoyalT
4.15/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Appearance - This is a nice, inviting dullish orange in color with a good head that left pretty Belgian lacing on the inside of my glass.

Smell - There's a nice, easy pink grapefruit and light pear in the nose along with a touch of candied sugar and a delicate malt.

Taste - This one explodes at the taste. The hops are much bigger on the tongue consisting mostly of a huge but very smooth orange goo with hints of pine. The malt struggles to balance and leans towards caramel.

Mouthfeel - This is a solid medium-bodied and incredibly smooth with modest carbonation and a bitter character throughout. The malty sweetness plays well with the monster hops and together they create a dry/sweet combination that is like velvet on the tongue. This has the expert blending of a Bordeux only it's beer instead of wine if that makes any sense.

Drinkability - I couldn't sip this beer to save my life. It's not the most balanced Belgian on the planet but an excellent drinker that went down like water. I could easily tackle a keg of this until I passed out. Certainly one of the smoothest, most quaffable Belgian IPAs that I've ever had from an American brewer. In fact I'd say that the Carolus Hopsinjoor is the only BIPA I can think of period that I'd prefer over this.

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Photo of orbitalr0x
3.67/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours an extremely clear sunshine / straw yellow with a quarter inch of white foam on top. This one has great clarity and has been filtered. Good active carbonation and some lacing. Aromas start with crisp pilsner malts along with an earthy, estery, somewhat spicy yeast tone as well. Resiny, slightly skunky hops meld in with herbal undertones. Fruity scents waft in and out.

First sip brings crisp pale malts upfront with a touch of sweetness and a whirlpool of fruity tones. Spicy, earthy Belgian yeast tones wash across the palate along with a resinous, herbal hop kick as well. It flows down with a bitter kick along with a yeast kick as well, as the yeast really runs the show here. Slightly piney on the finish as well.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied and crisp. Refreshing and would make for a nice warm weather brew. Plenty of carbonation. Overall, a tasty brew but I think the yeast overtook things a bit here and I was hoping for a slightly bigger hoppy punch. Wouldn't mind it being unfiltered either.

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Photo of Beaver13
2.26/5  rDev -38.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

12 oz bottle. Pours a clear light yellow gold with a medium sized frothy head that retains well and laces the glass.

The aroma is a little sweet vegetal bready malts and some earthy funky yeast.

The flavor is mostly a strange tarry yeasty bitterness - not very complex or balanced at all. Some sweet vegetal malts come out as it warms. The mouthfeel is light to medium bodied with low carbonation.

Overall, I didn't care for this at all. I haven't really liked the Belgian IPAs, but this is my least favorite so far. It just tastes kind of off.

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Photo of Billolick
4/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at ACBF, 2 samples, at a quiet table, reviewed from notes.

Pours light and yellowy, near white head and leaves moderate lace. The nose is of Belgianesque yeast and a slight note of bubble gum. Dry, fairly crisp and refreshing. More yeast notes, bubble gum again, citric and peppery and dry in the finish. Hopefully this pleasant offering will make its way east in bottles on a regular basis.

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Photo of tigg924
3.5/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: 1/2 inch head, bright gold in color, clear, medium high carbonation

Smell: pineapple, citrus, honey, and Beligian spices

Taste: a pineapple and honey start then hops and grapefruit on the finish.

Mouthfeel: sweet start with a very bitter finish, moderate carbonation with a medium light body

Drinkability: Very interesting, a nice Belgian start before the hops hit big. I think though I would only want one of these at a time.

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Photo of Skye1024
3.5/5  rDev -4.4%

Photo of bsp77
3.53/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Serving glass: Poured from bottle into Tulip.

Appearance: Bright orange yellow with billowing head and great lacing.

Smell: All Belgian - banana, cloves, pepper, pulpy ripe fruits. Some citrus hops, but they take a backseat to all the Belgian stuff. Slight detection of alcohol.

Taste: Starts peppery, turns more sweet in the middle (banana and other fruit), with a strong bitterness in the aftertaste that gets stronger and stronger after taking each sip. Despite a little bit of pine, the bitterness almost reminds me more of a very dry Pilsner than an IPA. Something doesn't quite gel here, making the beer a little harsh.

Feel: High carbonation, relatively light body, and very dry.

Drinkability: Needs some refinement to stand up to some of the other Belgian IPAs out there. Great Divide's weakest beer.

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Photo of magictrokini
2.55/5  rDev -30.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Poured a clear, bright gold with a foamy white head. Good lacing. Pleasant, perfume hop aroma. Sweet malt and spice, with a boozy feel. Popping mouthfeel gives a sharp edge that is welcome. Unfortunately, the taste did not do much for me. Soapy, as in VERY soapy. The hops used (Amarillo) do not mix well with the strain of Belgian yeast. Aspirin/bitter flavors come out with the sweet yeast and just don't blend. Sweet finish. I was hoping for a much, much better beer given the brewer.

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Photo of far333
3.4/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pale straw yellow colored, with a thin white head that rises minimally.

Aroma of strong yeastiness, musty malt, phenols and lemon.

Sharp flavor of yeasty funk punctuated with peppery spice and hop bitterness. Hop flavors are subtle, but emerge slightly toward the finish and seem to grow in the lingering flavor.

Even mouthfeel, but low to moderate carbonation, just a bit slick. Average drinkability, I'd like the hops to be mnore prevalent.

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Photo of Soonami
3.68/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer is definitely lacking in the fruity, yeasty flavors that is characteristic of the best Belgian beers. However, the beer is well made with a nice amount of tangerine, citrus hoppiness and a touch of yeast chalkiness. The beer was nice looking and smelled good, but it was not as good as Flying Dog's Raging Bitch, which is as widely distributed.

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Photo of Beerandraiderfan
3.17/5  rDev -13.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Picked this up out in WA in August. Drank it only a few weeks after. Pours a litte disappointing (my expectations were up, as I had recently had the Cali-Belgie Stone), looked a little more similar to a straight traditional Belgian. Smell perked up a little more, maybe it was a little alcoholic.

Taste like the appearance was like a Belgian moreso than an American/Belgian style hybrid. Yeast tasted exactly like something Belgian, hop character, more of the same. Lacking any real hop quality in my mind. Mouthfeel, you could hook up a little diversity of tastes, vanilla and a little clove, some other feint hints of some unknown shit. Just wouldn't want to have more than one of these.

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Photo of WVbeergeek
3.65/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured an amazingly pale golden crystal clear hue with a bright white thick foaming head. Aroma had a large amount of Belgian yeast notes workin' with a spicy clove fruity character. In addition I could smell some seriou green raw herbal and citrus hops. Flavor was a clashing with the yeast strain and those American hops, but this one is the closest US versions I've had to Houblen Chouffe, really grassy citrus hop bitterness throughout each sip. Mouthfeel was medium bodied with a dry bitter finish. Drinkability overall was solid but not one that I will be searching for in number, a nice every once in a while kinda brew.

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Photo of glid02
3.75/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Had on-tap at the Brick Store in Atlanta.

Pours a light copper color with a one-finger white head that slowly recedes into a thin pancake on top leaving solid lacing.

Smells of faint light fruits with a good deal of pine and citrus hops. As it warms a bit of spiciness wafts out.

Tastes similar to how it smells. The sweet Belgian base and light fruits are overtaken quickly by citrus hops that carry through until a light spiciness comes in right before a solidly bitter ending.

Mouthfeel is good. It's a bit on the light side, but active carbonation makes it go down smoothly.

Drinkability is good. I had no problem with one glass and could have another.

Overall this is a good beer, but I was a bit let down considering the source. There just wasn't enough Belgian in the Belgian IPA.

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Photo of Zachb4au
4.5/5  rDev +23%

Photo of pwoods
3.58/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12oz. brown bottle, purchased at Party Source, poured into a Leffe chalice.

A: Pours a cloudy glowing yellow. Short head on the pour but has a bit of retention. Decent lacing.

S: Spicy hops and yeast. Saaz would be a safe guess. Some fruity esters from the yeast but subdued. Belgian Candi Sugar.

T/M: Pretty decent bitterness level. Good fruitiness but a bit hidden behind the Candi sweetness and spicy yeast. Dry with lingering bitterness. Body is medium with somewhat strong carbonation.

D: I'd probably stick to one at a time.

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Photo of Brenden
4.17/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This is a pretty one. A nice, deep pale golden color, slightly hazed, is topped with a light white head that, though small and fairly fluffy, retains well and leaves little patches of lacing in moderation.
This brew is quite aromatic. Lots of floral and soft fruit aromas come rushing out with some gentle coriander. A light candied sweetness with a bit of orange rind and the obvious Belgian yeast notes mingle and balance with a soft, light hops bitterness underneath.
A mix of fruits in the flavor come up first, along with the orange and lemon peel zest, spices (coriander and some spicier, more peppery ones), the Belgian yeast, and candied sugars coming up over in mid-sip. Hops bitterness remains subtle and light, popping up in the aftertaste as this one finishes dry with grassy and herbal notes.
I wouldn't expect such a dry body, though of course it follows the style nicely. The body is medium and, while crisp, there's still a fair amount of smoothness here. Carbonation is light, which works well here.
This is a nice, underrated beer that's tasty and quite drinkable.

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Photo of ltdantheman
3.5/5  rDev -4.4%

Photo of schuim
3.71/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Blond beer with a haze. Foam is gone very quickly.
Aroma is very light and weak; a faint aroma of peach and other white fruit and a hint of malt.
The taste is stronger than the aroma. Where the aroma is not really hoppy the taste is definetly hop bitter, slightly fruity hoptones with peach.
Aftertaste is dry and mainly bitter with a small fruityness.

Bottle best before apr 2010 (2 months to go).

Liked the beer due to its suble fruityness combined with bitter. Guess it was even better if it had been a little younger.

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Photo of racer2k
3.47/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into my favorite belgian tulip glass

A - Deep golden color which has plenty of chill haze on board. The one finger head settles down nicely leaving a very frothy lace around my glass.

S - Smells of a fruity spicy alcohol are present. A high octane pilsner type of aroma comes to mind. There is also a strong presence of grains in the smell.

T - Very spicy taste with a back end kick of bitterness. There are hints of grapefruit, citrus, biscuits and clover.

M- Very smooth body to this beer with a dry presence. Good carbonation and spices in the mix.

D - A pretty complex interpretation of the Belgian style but I thought it was a bit too spicy and harsh for my liking. Worth trying as the Great Divide Brewing Company makes some top notch beers.

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Photo of BetterDarker
3.81/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

12 ounce bottle poured into tulip

A- Poured bright orange. Thin head, white in color with little head retention and some nice lacing.

S- Sweet with a hint of malt. Not a huge aroma but has that Belgian feel.

T- Wow, this surprised me. Not what I imagined a "Belgian IPA" (such an odd category) to be, but this is my first crack the style. Tastes like Duvel dry hopped with saaz and cascade. Have to say I like it.

M- High carbonation, and with all of these flavors it's like my mouth just watched David Bowie and Mick Jagger sing 'Dancing in the Streets.' Confused, somewhat afraid, but oddly intrigued for more.

D- Catch 22 on the drinkability here. I like this beer a lot, but not something I can drink a lot of, if I bought a six pack it would last me a month,

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Photo of spkissane
4/5  rDev +9.3%

Photo of GilGarp
3.48/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I was very excited to see this one on the shelves. At first I could only find singles but one of the nice employees at Wilbur's was able to find a sixer.

After contemplating the name for longer than I care to admit, I now realize that it's a hybrid of Belgium and America (I think) but it sounds so awkward. Maybe it should have been Belgipa instead.

Pours into a chalice, it has a nice golden yellow color with good clarity and nice creamy head. Good retention and some lacing make this a pretty beer to look at.

Aroma is sweet, citrusy, slightly funky, and some grassy hops.

Flavor is surprisingly bitter and true to it's name, or style anyway. It starts sweet before going all bitter grass on me. There's some lemon and banana in there too. But it's really shocking how grassy it is. I imagine it's not unlike licking the bottom of my lawnmower.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied with good carbonation but the grassy bitterenss gets in the way of this beer being enjoyable.

It's interesting but really only once. I wish I had bought that single.

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Photo of AKBelgianBeast
4.25/5  rDev +16.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a clear yellow/orange color with a stark white head that retains extraordinarily well and leaves great lacing.

Nose is a little confusing. There is clear belgian character, although the hops certainly seem west coast in nature. After a second quaff there could be some euro hops in here, but the american hops are more obvious in the nose, balancing out the belgian yeast.

Wow! This is a fantastic example of the style. Clear belgian malt and yeast strain are balanced extremely well by what seem to be both american and european hops. Fantastically balanced and the belgian character is quite distinct and very authentic. My only gripe is that there is a corn/vegetal like sweetness through the middle that is slightly off putting, almost like creamed corn, but this is very subtle, and does not significantly hamper the beer overall. The finish is nice and dry and hops linger in the aftertaste.

Mouthfeel is right where it should be. Carbonation is good, and viscosity is ideal.

Drinkability is quite solid as the abv sits a bit lower than it should, but make no mistake, this one is far from lacking in flavor. Could do a few of these with ease.

Overall, i am quite impressed with this offering from GD. I had this on tap a while back and wasn't enthralled but this bottle has changed my mind. Would have loved to have known this when it was a bit fresher, but even as it sits it is very well done. The belgian profile is quite authentic in this beer, and the hop profile is a near perfect mix for the style. What a great style the belgian IPA. Shocked to see how MASSIVELY under-rated this beer is. People really need to study up on the style before reviewing. Great beer.

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Belgica from Great Divide Brewing Company
Beer rating: 3.66 out of 5 with 397 ratings