Belgica | Great Divide Brewing Company

Liked This Beer
3.66 w/ 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:
No notes at this time.

Added by Bitterbill on 04-28-2009

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 397 |  Reviews: 309
Photo of belgbeerdrinker
3.23/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

a: clear golden ale with moderate, pillow-y head that slowly settles to thin layer, nicelacing, little bubbly activity
s: light belgian yeast with a bit of hop spiciness and coriander
t: first taste is a battle between hoppy sharpness and soft belgian yeast with spicy citrus easily winning out and a bitter finish
m: medium body (barely) with carbonated blast from middle to end
d: this started off pretty nice with nice balance all around. but by the end of it, it wasn't a highly drinkable brew as the hoppy bitterness just became too overpowering

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Photo of Haybeerman
3.45/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Bright, clear yellow/gold color. Poured a 2 finger white head that dissipated to a thick skim. Laced in thin rings.

S: Light fruit and cloves. Orange, apricot and lemon zest.

T: Citrus, light fruits and sweet bready malts. Resiny floral hops in the middle. Sharply bitter in the finish, but the resiny taste lingers. Warming alcohol in the finish as well.

M: Medium body, Balanced carbonation. Resiny aftertaste.

D: Interesting and flavorful, but not sessionable.

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Photo of jdense
3.55/5  rDev -3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

TV on the Radio Beer Tour Review #1.

On tap at the awesome Bier Stein in Eugene pint glass.

Clear golden body under one finger white head, decent lacing. The smell of malts/candi sugar is very prominent in the nose, and even more so on the tastebuds. The sweetness, while not cloying certainly masks the hops presence. Minimal carbonation, not much in the way of mouthfeel. Quite drinkable, but a little on the sweet side for me. More of a tripel with hops than a true IPA. In the end, pretty drinkable, a nice session beer for a hot summer day.

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Photo of Slatetank
4.05/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to tenderbranson69 for the chance to try this. Poured chilled in a double walled tumbler.

A - A very clear golden w/ 2 fingers of rocky snowy head fromm a vigorous pour. Sheets and streems of lace cling + hold, the bead is fine

S - A spiced and floral hop aroma w/ hints of white pepper and mild lemony hop aroma w/ sweet malt undercurrent in the nose.

M - Crisp medium body w/ plenty of spice from hops and yeast moderately malty finish w/ a yeasty feel

T - A yeast and spice note upfront w/ nutty malt and gentle pine from the hops w/ biscuity taste and mild grainy maltiness. There is a crisp citrus in the middle into the hopped finish

D - A great and drinkable belgian IPA, the drinkability is the key sweet malt mixed w/ moderate hopping makes this easy to quaff -seems like a summer beer and the flavor keeps you coming back

Re-review 1/24 = bottle at Cobbletsone's in York

A -3.5 S 3.5 M 3 T 3 D 3.0

I am not sure if it was an old bottle or what, but it didn't measure up to my prior review.
The color is hazed gold w/ light pale white cap and bead is uneven sized w/ lace that is spotty.
Smell is ery light but grassy / spiced combo with a phenolic and light earthy odor w/ nutty berry essence that has light grainy odor w/ it. Feel is dry and bitter w/ spicy accent and strong vegetal quality w/ moderately dry middle and grassy astringency w/ slight sharpness in the finish

The taste is a good belgian yeast taste, but not great w/ phenolic and dry aspects over the top w/ grassy/vegetal hops scattered across the palate and slight dry yeastiness w/ mild fruity edge, which seems kind of grapey. The flavor is like a PBJ with wierd fruit/nutty malt combo. I am not sure what happened, but this is either an old bottle or something went haywire, not sure -either way I won't try this again unless I know it is fresh.

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

12 oz bottle poured into my Gulden Draak tulip, Belgica is a brassy gold with a white head that leaves decent lace.

Smell is yeasty, but with sweet fruity citrus and a wood like hop aroma, not cured or oaky, but like twigs or something earthy.

Taste is also pretty yeasty, with some fruitiness but mostly that earthy character, which is a bit acrid on the palate, with a long lingering, bitter finish. There's a incohesive dichotomy of citrusy American hops and spicey, earthy noble....there's enough Belgian character from the yeast, that I'd much prefer they'd stuck to all American hops.

Mouthfeel has a on the lighter side, dry and spicy.

Drinkability is pretty good, this is an assertive beer that is a bit much at first. But I had probably 4 of these out a of 6 pack 2-3 weeks ago and it was a pretty easy sipper over that session, with the most notable factors being the yeastiness and wood.

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Photo of wyattshotmaker
2.12/5  rDev -42.1%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

poured into a pint glass with a nice inch thick head that is apparently here to stay.nand okay pale yellow,but the head and retention make up for that.

smells sweet,peppery,and funky. a little bit of biscuit in the nose.overall,smells alot like their hades ale which i am not a big fan of.

this is a strange beer.much better than the hades.peppery and spicy yeast flavors that finishes with a pronounced hop character and a hint of biscuity malt.i was expecting a much more pronounced hop flavor.i feel like the yeast flavor really dominates.moderate carbonation is fitting for this style.

i had this beer with some spicy guacamole and blue the hades,i really feel like this beer is missing something,which is compounded by the overbearing yeast flavor.not bad,wouldnt try it again.

if anyone from great divide is reading this,change the yeast(s) you use in the hades and belgica's just way too overwhelming.

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Photo of sevopie
2.73/5  rDev -25.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

Brilliant golden in color with a rocky tan head that laces moderately well.

Smells like wet dog mixed with grass clippings. Not very pleasant.

Taste improves upon the smell, but still doesn't shine. The funky yeast just doesn't quite meld with the hops. Its very spicy on the finish as well, and it feels like the hops and the natural spiciness are fighting with each other for control of your palate.

Light and zesty on the palate in a good way.

The flavors just don't match up the way I had hoped. Overall, this isn't a terrible brew, but its certainly not one I will be revisiting.

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

Poured from the 12oz bottle into a Duvel tulip glass. Mellow golden body is crowned by an inch worth of creamy white head that has some nice peaks and valleys before receding to a thick ring. Sweet fruit, grassy hops, and a touch of biscuit malt come through in the nose. Palate is nice pale malt and a touch of honey up front, before light notes of peach and a flourish of grassy hops. The finish is nice and dry, with a hint of sweetness lingering for a moment. Body is full but not thick or sticky, quite pleasant. A very drinkable ale that certainly does not seem as strong as the 7.5% it holds.

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Photo of rowew
3.95/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Presentation: 12 oz longneck, labels match the new Great Divide style - yellow with lions on it. Food pairings, ABV, bottled date are all clearly marked.

Appearance: Pours clear golden with a large, dense head.

Smell: Peppery belgian yeast, spicy and a bit of funk, hops are there too but definitely play second fiddle to the yeast.

Taste: Interesting - just like the aroma, the yeast dominates - with that spicy belgian funk you'd expect from a Belgian Golden, but there is a fair amount of bitterness in the finish. The hop flavors aren't the star, but they mix nicely with the yeast flavors.

Overall impression: This is pretty drinkable for a high abv, there is just a hint of the alcohol. Nice flavors, and a good addition to the lineup - they've got the hoppy beers covered elsewhere, so this is an interesting take on a style.

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

12oz bottle $1.85 bottled 04/24/09. Nice golden yellow color, little head, clear. I was expecting this to be like a Belgian Titan IPA but it is not. It smells slightly hoppy and a whiff of Belgian style yeast. The flavor is interesting, not as hoppy as it smells but the normal IPA flavors are not completely overwhelmed as they are in some other American-Belgian-style_IPA's (whew). This is still recognizable as an IPA in my opinion with a bitter finish.

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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 Bitterbill
3.45/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This pours a clear medium gold with a 1 finger head of foam.

The smell is hoppy with a big aroma of clove and yeast, some banana, and a light lemon zestiness. The smell is kind of smells like it has some Brett in it.

The taste is very Belgian with loads of cloves and bananas with a good yeasty flavour and definitely some citrus hop bitterness that I can taste mostly near and through the finish. The alcohol is noticeable as some warming after the swallow.

Medium mouthfeel, actually low end of medium, with fairly light carbonation. It could use some improvement here.

Drinkability? This is a good effort at a Belgian IPA but 1 bottle at a sitting and I'm done. I do have 5 more bottles to enjoy, though.

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Photo of Oxymoron
3.46/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

How did they come up with the name? Did someone sneeze? Pours a crystal clear lemony yellow color with a fizzy white head. Good retention and lacing through the entire tasting.

The nose has a malt and fizzy aroma. To start there is a distinct pilsner aroma that gives a husky aroma to it. Some light nutty aroma that I usually associate with Victory malt. Some carbonic aromas as well, a bit of a deterrent. The hops are there with some spicy, herbal and flowery aromas. Some minor spice notes, pepper and esters but very light. Would have liked to see more Belgian characteristics.

The taste is similar. The bitterness is the first thing I really notice. A strong bitterness that is not balanced to finishing hops, but that is what the style is about. Some spice notes enhance the bitterness a bit more. Some floral notes at the end but limited. The pils malt really comes out and lingers into the finish. I would have liked to see more of a Belgian pale malt but it works. There is a light nuttiness as well with a hint of biscuit notes. The yeast comes out more as it warms, but a light ester with some floral and fruity notes.

The body is moderate, a bit much for a Belgian beer. The carbonation is a bit high and brings out a slight carbonic bite. This even more emphasizes the bitterness. Overall a fun style but I would like to see a bit more Belgian character come out of this.

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Photo of biggred1
4.22/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bottle dated May 5, 2009 (only 6 days old!)

Clear golden with a fluffy, pockmarked white head that leaves sticky lace on the glass. Belgian yeast, coriander, clove, floral hops and honeycomb make up the nose. The flavor is much like the smell with more fresh leafy hops up front. Slippery hop oil mouthfeel, nice resinous hops in the finish. Nice flavor concentration with well hidden alcohol. A gem.

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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 BretSikkink
3.73/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Yellow gold color with a gorgeous ivory head. Smooth and foamy, with a little pitting and more than a smattering of sticky lace, this is one beautiful brew.

The nose is floral, lightly sweet, and with a good nose of spices in there. Initially, the flavor is similar, with the pale Pils malt sweetness up front leading into flowery, fruity hop notes.The spicing comes up too hard towards the finish, though. Lots of white pepper, cardamom, and ester alcohols.

Basically a really good beer, although the flavor is somewhat unbalanced. It's clearly remarkably well crafted, from the head to the mouthfeel that manages to be both thin and creamy, with a peppery dry finish. I will definitely keep an eye out for a keg, but I don't know if I would want more than one at a time - not something I say about Houblon Chouffe or Le Freak.

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Photo of goodbyeohio
4.1/5  rDev +12%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

belgian pilsner malt
us & euro hops
"unique belgian yeast strain"

peppery, floral aroma with a healthy yeast presence. powerful, lasting bitterness of fresh, orangey hops which become earthy in the finish. big body, slightly sweet, which counters the ibu onslaught. and at 7.2%, this is both sippable and refreshing. this recently arrived in 6ers along with bombers of saison and dunkel weiss. at $8~/6pk, i will keep buying this all summer. perhaps not the most innovative or original, but notable nonetheless.

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Photo of shivtim
4.24/5  rDev +15.8%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Surprised to see this on-tap at The Porter in L5P, Atlanta. Had to try it! Served up in a snifter. Straw/copper in color, hazy, with a nice fluffy head that gradually recedes.

Nose is fantastic - Heavy pine forest IPA notes mix with wonderful grassy spicy wet hay and plum earthy sweetness. The smells interweave dramatically.

Taste is a bit subdued compared to the smell, but still good. More of the IPA characteristics come through in the taste. Citrus hops and the like.

Above average mouthfeel and drinkability. Great new brew.

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Photo of bigbelcher
3.06/5  rDev -16.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Drinking this beer reminded me of the old Wendys commercial "where is the beef"? Where is the Belgium? It has all the charecteristics of a good IPA with good hop aroma and bitterness but is missing any real Belgian charecter. Color was a yellowish golden color. Hazy, not brillant. Aroma was of slightly grassy hops. Not much legs. Flavor was all hops, very low malt. Tasted a lot like a homebrewed IPA. For the style I would much rather drink an Urthel Hopit.

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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 Mebuzzard
4.12/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Another solid brew from Great Divide. This beer is golden, slight haze topped with a nice 2 finger foam, somewhat sticky and medium lacing.
A good combination of initial spice and fruit with some aromatic hops. Clove and coriander turn into green pine and slight resin. Nice carbo to quench the thirst. A great summer brew or a "tweeny" with a Wit and AIPA.

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4.15/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Nice bright light golden colored body. Head is white and small on initial pour, that turns to a slight lacing and rimming on the glass.

S: Big, rich full smell of Belgian yeast. Nice fresh baked bread, light fruits, spice and some hop.

T: Again big Belgian yeast in the forefront. Nice spice notes and light fruitiness. The hops play a deffinate roll in the make up of the beer but take a back seat to full Belgian style flavor.

M: Mouthfeel is good and light bodied with little carbonation and nice slick movement.

D: A shame it's only going to be a seasonal. Good thing it's 7.2% abv will let it sit around all year. Killer beer.

Props to Great Divide for a wonderful follow up to Claymore. The seasonal line-up is damn good.

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Belgica from Great Divide Brewing Company
Beer rating: 52.1% out of 100 with 397 ratings
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