Belgica | Great Divide Brewing Company

309 Reviews
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Brewed by:
Great Divide Brewing Company
Colorado, United States

Style: Belgian IPA

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 7.20%

Availability: Summer

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by Bitterbill on 04-28-2009

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

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Reviews: 309 | Ratings: 397
Photo of burkyburk
3.56/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Very little head. Nice yellow wheat color.

The aroma has a strong presence of citrus-y fruits. I couldn't pick up any hops. Light bready smell.

This beer is very drinkable and refreshing. A summer beer that has a light hoppiness, complimented well by the citrus content.
I'm also really impressed with the carbonation. Just about perfect.

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Photo of Rifugium
3.62/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

First had: on tap at the Pour House, Westmont, NJ

Poured a slightly hazy straw-yellow with a nice white head that receded fairly quickly. Aroma was of bread, biscuits, yeasts...BREAD. Breadiest aroma ever, and it actually fascinated me. Nothing else but bread and yeast in the nose. The taste wasn't as extreme as that, but there was yeasty breadiness up front with earthy tones following, a little grassiness, and just a tad of sugar and spice in the background. Light mouthfeel, smooth and easily drinkable. Nice.

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Photo of boudreaux
4.42/5  rDev +20.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Already reviewed this one once, but I figured I'd start round 2 of beer reviews and see if my palate has changed over the past few years. I'll just note what's the same and different, and you can use my previous review from 2/4/11 if you wish.

A: the head is much thicker and solid, pouring 3-fingers thick this time; otherwise, the same

S: much heavier and thicker than I remember; I detect sweet wild honey and fruity esters this time; no sweet citrus aromas this time; otherwise, the same

T: The "nectar" description fits just as it did last time; some characteristics of an IPA are detected this time (lemon zest and grapefruit citrus, crisp "fresh-cut grass"); no alcohol flavors here

M: the creamy smoothness of last time is here, but I am aware of the bitter hops cutting through, balancing the beer very well and counteracting the sticky sweetness; a touch of alcohol warmth (no spicy burning though); extremely drinkable, refreshing, and satisfying

O: A really, really good interpretation of an IPA done Belgian-style; characteristics true to both traditions are represented well, and their union results in a unique but familiar result; Great Divide still gets my vote of approval on the Belgica

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Photo of JerzDevl2000
3.93/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Picked this up in Totowa because I hadn't tried it before. I didn't think that a domestic brewery based in the Rockies could take on a Belgian style and pull it off but this was one of the more pleasant surprises that I've had lately, without a doubt!

Great pour to this with a golden hue, good head, and lacing that wasn't too thick or thin. This shone nicely when held up to the light and the aroma was present, but not strong. At first, I could smell faint hops and then the spice and light citrus notes kicked in. The pepper grew in stature as I went through the glass and this was as light as soap suds in terms of mouthfeel. The aftertaste was just like a Belgian beer in terms of the sourness but never did I feel that anything was out of place. Everything meshed well together, including the carbonation, which kept this from feeling too heavy like so many other beers of this style tend to lean towards.

There was a slight warming effect from the alcohol but I couldn't taste it at all. If there was a session beer for Belgian IPA's, this could be it and it's a good, easily enjoyable interpretation of the style. I only bought this as a single but I may go back and get a six-pack of this since the body and mouthfeel to this were appealing and easily enjoyable for someone like me who doesn't have this type of beer too much. This would be a great choice for this time of the year, as the days warm up!

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Photo of SkeeterHawk
3.78/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Pours a mostly clear yellow golden color with a small 1/4" head of creamy white foam that was there for quite some time maintained by numerous bubbles rising. There is already some lacing left on the glass after swirling and the head fading a bit.

Aroma: Belgian yeast giving the doughy un-cooked bread aromatics along with defined Citrusy hops. Some lemon coming out as the beer sits a bit, but the doughy yeast is a very big player in the aroma.

Taste: The flavor is more balanced than the aroma suggested it would be. There is yeast and hops in the flavor too, but there are some malty notes in here too like some toasty bread crusts and a little bit of what I guess is wheat. The bready component is also in the flavor, but it isn't nearly as strong as it is in the aroma. The finish is well balanced with hops very slightly nudging out the malt for control. The carbonation is adequate to slightly high as you would expect for a Belgian style beer.

Opinion: This is pretty decent. The bready notes are a bit much for my taste. Maybe it would mellow if it was aged for a little bit or something, and I am pretty sure that it would. I wouldn't think that you would have to lay down a 7.2% ABV beer, but I think that is the case here. At least 6 months would probably help. That said, the overall blend of hops and malt and other flavors is well done. This is a pretty good beer, I just think that it is a bit green right now.

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Photo of Beer4Baltimore
3.35/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Being a Great Divide Brewing Co fan I was more than happy to try a new one.
Unfortunately Belgica turned out to not meet my expectations, but I have found this an issue with the Belgian IPA style in general.

look - off yellow tower of foam
smell - old citrus and old grass
feel - a little thin
taste - dirty lemons well past their prime
...not the lemon taste of a Belgian but the taste of rotten lemons

Starts slightly tart and ends a little bitter but with only a very slight hoppy taste. A little funk present.
I would prefer more of a hoppy bite to round out a Belgian IPA.

drinkability - not a hot summer slammer.

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Photo of OWSLEY069
2.9/5  rDev -20.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Pours a clean deep yellow color with a white head. In the aroma, sweet candy sugar and hints of fruit. In the taste, fruity, sweet apricot, candy sugar, and a bit watery. A smooth and watery thin bodied mouthfeel, with a small dry hint of fruit in the aftertaste. Quite thin and watery. Not too big in hops and a bit sweet, expecting better.

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Photo of plfahey
3.9/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 oz. bottle poured into a tulip glass.

Appearance-Pale golden yellow in color with decent clarity. Moderate white head has a fine bead and moderate retention, with minor lacing.

Aroma-Decent aroma of biscuit and grainy malts, lemon/orange citric tartness, and fair amounts of phenolic spice character, especially white pepper, with lighter notes of clove and coriander. Light spicy hops, and faint funk notes-yogurty lactic acid aroma along with a slightly leathery scent.

Flavor-Some grain, some bread, lemon and orange, lots of phenolics, with white pepper in the forefront (but slight plastic on the back end), and spicy, herbal green hop flavor shows up in the finish as well. The finish has medium hop bitterness, spicy white pepper, and zesty lemon notes. Finishes rather dry.

Mouthfeel-Medium body, moderately carbonated. Relatively smooth. A slight sharpness/astringency from the phenolics. Very low alcohol warmth.

Decent, but not fantastic. I warmed up to the flavor after a bit, but the phenolics were a little bit harsh for me, especially in the finish (a bit plastic-y). Nonetheless, a solid,decent drinking BPA.

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Photo of brentk56
4/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a clear golden color with a rocky meringue head that leaves a few shards of lace

Smell: Bready malt, with a yeasty phenols adding a peppery, herbal character; a rather grassy aspect as well

Taste: Opens with the bready character of a pilsner, but the spicy Belgian yeast quickly takes center stage, adding white pepper, jasmine and stone fruit to the mix; by mid-palate, the hops add an earthy bitterness; the aftertaste is herbacious and grassy, with undertones of sweet Belgian malts

Mouthfeel: Medium body with moderate, but prickly, carbonation

Drinkability: I kept going back and forth on this beer, disliking it at first, then warming to it but finally winding up somewhere in the middle - I think it is the Germanic elements of bread and grass that keep throwing me off

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Photo of katan
3.98/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle into a pint

A - Pours a somewhat dark golden color. Bright white head formation, moderate carbonation appearance. Very clear.

S - Spicy white pepper nose, but not overbearing. A bit of malts in the background with a grainy pilsner being the most obvious.

T - Starts off with a light pilsner malt note, but is immediately overcome with white pepper and a few esters. Lightly malty overall, but the yeast stars. Finishes with a clean, lightly bitter, very pepery note.

M - Moderate body, strong carbonation. Finishes clean with the aforementioned bitter cling.

O/D - Easy drinking - lightly filling from the carbonation. ABV is up there, but well hidden.

I'm a fan of this one - a great introduction to the style as it doesn't overemphasize any particular attribute.

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Photo of colforbin73
3.6/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

this beer seemed to hardly have any carbonation. it poured with essentially no head, but small bubbles did form on the surface. there was no hop aroma, i had a hard time getting much in the nose at first, but i began to pickup on the belgian pilsner malt and yeast that is used as it warmed up a little. there are a lot of peppery overtones....

this beer needs a little time, it should not be too cold... give it a few minutes to warm up and you can appreciate it more.

as far as it being a Belgian IPA, i would go for a GF Le Freak or others before this. they used all belgian pilsner malt, and got the bitterness up there, but the body and hop aroma of american ipa is missing.... it is more like a bitter pils.

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Photo of rtepiak
3.87/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

a solid form with a particularly brisk nature and a not honey pollen sweet blonde nature but a munich malt dry with a belgian citrus candy note. Golden with a nice lacy white head. Nose of lilly pollen and belgian sugar cane effectively blended. Palate is a tad lacking in latitude... Polar... Sweet floral with a bitter zest and pine earthy twig.

 347 characters

Photo of Pullen
3.96/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to drumrboy22 for this extra.

The beer is straw in color with the light ester. Taste isn't that bad.. I was expecting "sweet and hoppy", but that isn't the case. The flavor is that of a belgian strong with a hint of honey with hops that are apparent, but don't overpower. Not bad.

For something different, I'd purchase this beer. Although not great,it doesn't disappoint.

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Photo of specksnreds
2.74/5  rDev -25.1%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

Disappointing. Looks beautiful in its golden splendor, smells too estery and one dimensional, metallic finish, nice mouthfeel and I may or may not finish it. Where's the IPA portion of this beer? Skip it and move on at this price (I expected A LOT more). Glad it was only a single.

Did not finish it. It now sleeps with the fishes.

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Photo of ktrillionaire
1.92/5  rDev -47.5%
look: 3 | smell: 1 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Bottled February 03, 2011

A - Pale brassy gold with a thin soapy head.

S - Catty, sweaty and uric. Also candi sugar. And vegetal. Boiled corn-on-the-cob?

T - This is a bad beer. A sweat sock for malt, a litter box for the hop, uggghhh.

M - It's not the feel's fault.

D - This is pretty terrible, I tried to give it a chance, but mehhh I must dump it.

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Photo of StaveHooks
3.66/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A -Pours a clear golden body with a generous 2 finger white head that retains well. Nice sticky lacing patterns.

S - Grassy earthy grain, musty clove, lemon, sweet floral.

T - Candy sweet malt with a good amount of clove and pepper. Grassy, lemon citrus, honey, with floral hops adding earthy bitterness. The yeast provides a subtle funk. Finishes with a peppery bite.

M - Medium bodied, moderate carbonation.

A good American version. Would have liked more character from the yeast. Good spice and hop profile.

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Photo of PittBeerGirl
2.91/5  rDev -20.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

On-tap this afternoon at mad mex in Robinson.

A-Body is a nearly transparent golden yellow hue with some bubbles steadily rising to the top. Served with a big foamy 2-3 finger white head-this eventually fades to 1 finger and lacing sticks all the way down the glass. This is really a beautiful brew.

S- Not too much to the nose. The overall impression is American Wheat beer with a kick of floral hop. The wheat nose is prominent and is much more grainy than smooth. There is a well done accent of floral hops around the nose but the highlight is the graininess.

T- The flavor is much like the nose. The grainy wheat character is the highlight of this brew-and is moderate in strength at the beginning and strong at the end. There is a hint of alcohol astringency present for the finish-but nothing major, and an accent of floral hops. A moderate strength floral hop bitterness and grainy resin linger for quite awhile.

M- Medium to high carbonation and light to medium weight body.

D- I was able to finish this brew-but I didn't really enjoy it. The grain flavors get cloying and subtract from the Belgian IPA character that this beer should have-it tastes like an Imperial, boring American Wheat that lacks character.

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Photo of tone77
3.05/5  rDev -16.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured from a brown 12 oz. bottle. Has a golden color with a small head. Smell is mild, some hops present. Taste is dominated by hops, maybe a touch of lemon, considerably bitter. Feels medium bodied in the mouth and has average drinkability. Overall this came off to me as a mediocre beer.

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

A - Pours light gold in color into my snifter with about one finger of white head, minimal retention, but nice sticky lacing.

S - Very malty, lemon, biscuit, hops, honey, clove and spice.

T - Malty, hop taste is more present than in the aroma, nice bitterness, honey and clove are present, biscuit, and a bit of a peppery finish.

M - A little thin in body, and very carbonated makes it feel a little too light and dry.

D - This is totally drinkable, and I enjoy it, just didn't wow me or anything.

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Photo of ocelot2500
3.88/5  rDev +6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a hazy straw color with a tight, white head that leaves little bits of lacing.

Smells of spicy and grassy hops.

Tastes of a good hop profile with some solid malts. Hops have a lemony, grassy character, with a little bitterness. Malt adds a bit of fruit and a light sweetness. Yeast adds some spice notes as well with clove and some pepper.

Mouthfeel is medium with a slightly crisp amount of carbonation.

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Photo of spinrsx
3.23/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

12oz Bottle

Appearance - The beer pours a slightly hazy gold colour with a large size frothy white coloured head. There is an average amount of carbonation showing and there some good lacing. The head lasted for over 5 minutes before it was gone entirely.

Smell - breads/grains, hops, lemon juice and zest, cloves

Taste & Mouth - There is an average amount of carbonation and the beer has a lot of pungent flavours going on. There is a lot of lemon juice and zest flavour mixed with cloves. There is also a lot of bread/grain taste mixed with some faint banana, hops, and pine. It finishes with a bitter lemon zest and hop aftertaste.

Drink - Something about the beer just didn't seem quite right.. it was missing a little bit of balance. I'm happy I gave it a shot but I wouldn't seek it out again.

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Photo of FosterJM
3.33/5  rDev -9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

290th review on BA
bottle to NB globe
12oz bottle, bottled 12/21/10

App- Very dark yellow with a nice funnel of bubbles up the middle, A decent one finger head on top.

Smell- Very soft smells, yeasty, bubbly, biscuity.

Taste- Seems a bit muddled to me. Tried to go for a yeasty Belgian flavor but it fell a bit flat. A little too malty, biscuity and flat but did taste good, but could have been better.

Mouth- Thin bodied with a high carbonation level. A nice malt after taste.

Drink- A bit confusing in the glass but was pretty tasty. Dont think Ill grab another.

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Photo of Nerudamann
3.73/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a bottle into a goblet glass.

Look - golden colored, a bit murky, with about a finger's worth of off-white colored foam that dissipates somewhat quickly.

Smell - hoppy and fruity-smelling. The combination of the hops is evident, but which one or ones is most prominent is hard to tell, perhaps the European malts.

Taste and Mouthfeel - definitely hoppy in the taste too, but the bitterness doesn't kick in until the finish. The taste of the hops is strongest in the middle. Texture is well-balanced.

Drinkability - very nice brew. Complicated and interesting enough, and not at all bad tasting.

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Photo of KomodoDragon
3.85/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Even the most careful of pours produced a voluminous white head which stayed a while and generated impeccable lacing.

S - Biscuity, lemony , and hoppy.

T - Buscuity, lemony, and finished with a hop finish. Much in the flavors of GD Titan IPA, GD most have access to some wonderful hops or they are experts in knowing what to do with them. Or both.

M - High carbonation, and a crispness

D - Well balanced. I enjoyed this as a change of pace to a standard IPA.

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Photo of ElijahCSkuggs
3.43/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Silky smooth pour that bubbles up into a dense and thick head. Rather clear, with okay lacing.

Yo, where's the smell at yo? Surprisingly hidden. The most evident smell, for me, is the sweetness factor; be it candy, or something with a strong pinch of fruit. Totally disappointed here.

Hoppy, with a bitter twang. Aftertaste of candy that's very pleasing.

Pretty smooth and creamy feel, that has a dry finish. Tiny lasting bite.

I'm disappointed here. I suppose I was expecting something a bit more Belgian, but it's much more American. A decent brew, but there's no way I'll be buying this over Piraat.

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Belgica from Great Divide Brewing Company
3.66 out of 5 based on 397 ratings.
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