Great Divide Brewing has been making some terrific beers for years and years, and with the recent addition of brewer Brit Antrim, I only expect them to get even better. They’ve just released a pair of new seasonal beers, Hades and Samurai that are in a slightly different direction for the brewery.
From the press release:
Hades is a Belgian-style strong golden ale (7.3% ABV) brewed with a proprietary Belgian yeast strain originally from Belgium’s Moortgat brewery. The yeast gives the beer a distinctive spicy flavor and aroma. A noticeable hop level and a medium malt character make the beer an assertive, yet extremely well-balanced and crisp ale.
Great Divide founder Brian Dunn decided that a Belgian-style strong golden would be the brewery’s next beer and set the general parameters, while Brit Antrim, brewery operations manager, developed the recipe for the beer.
“I wanted a Belgian-style beer with lots of character and flavor,” Dunn says, “but with slightly lower alcohol for drinkability reasons. You can drink a couple glasses of Hades and not end up with a helluva buzz.”
Dunn says the beer pairs up well with steamed mussels, crusty breads and virtually any artisan-style cheese. He says the beer’s spicy charm makes it a fine summer time refresher.
Hades is only the second Belgian-style beer brewed by Great Divide. The company made a Belgian-style wit back in 1999. Hades is available in all Great Divide markets in 22-ounce bottles, and on draft in limited supply.
Brewed with rice and barley malts, Samurai is an easy drinking and unique version of unfiltered ale. The addition of rice gives Samurai (5.2% ABV) a crisp, refreshing and clean taste that pairs well with fish, Asian food, and lighter styles of cheeses.
Dunn points out that Samurai is not an Asian-style beer despite its name and rice component. “Asian beers are typically tightly filtered lagers brewed with rice and barley,” Dunn says. “Samurai is very different, it’s fermented with an ale yeast and it’s unfiltered. The ale yeast gives Samurai a slightly fruity flavor and aroma.”
“I felt,” Dunn says, “that we needed an accessible, super-quaffable beer for the summer, but one that wasn’t brewed with wheat. The rice makes Samurai crisp and clean, and gives it a unique twist for a craft-brewed summer beer.”
Now available in six packs and on draft, Samurai has been a draft-only beer in the Denver market for the past 2 years. Growing interest and demand for the beer in the Denver area prompted Great Divide to release the beer as a bottled summer seasonal.
Dunn is proud to acknowledge that his company’s two new beers may come as a surprise to Great Divide fans. “We’ve become known for Yeti-sized, hoppy, assertive beers,” Dunn says. “But these beers allow us to flex a different set of our brewing muscles, and mix things up a bit for our fans.”
I’ll be in Denver at the end of the month, so hopefully I’ll get a chance to give both of these a try while I’m there.