Friday, August 23, 2013

Great Divide, Hoss Rye Lager

Here's a hidden Oktoberfest beer. We originally found this one in the variety pack that Great Divide sent us last year. This is the first year we have this beer in six packs. As you can see from the label on the right, the brewery is not billing this as a Oktoberfest beer however, according to the brewery, "Hoss is based on the Märzen lagers of Germany" which are what Oktoberfests are. 

This is a really interesting M
ärzen. With the addition of Rye to the traditional Vienna and Munich malt base this lager takes on spicy notes that complement the touch of richness from the malts. This brew is has layered sweet malt notes, with some hints of cherry and almond. The spiciness of the Rye definitely give this a more exciting feel then the run of the mill Oktoberfests. Even with the Rye, this beer still keeps the signature smooth finish of an Oktoberfest. 

I really enjoyed this beer from Great Divide. They took a traditional Fall beer and gave it a nice twist that makes it a little more crafty. If your in the mood for an smooth Oktoberfest beer but your tired of the same old selection, then you should definitely grab a six pack of this. Especially at $11.99 a six pack, it definitely delivers!

Personal Rating: 9 /10
Style Rating: 9.5

Wanna try it now? Order it online at:

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Great Lakes Brewing, Silver and Gold IPL

India Pale Lager, is this a new trend? I had never heard of any brewers doing a IPA in a lager style instead of the traditional ale style but recently Sam Adams released their Double Agent IPL and now Great Lakes is doing one for their 25th anniversary. This does seem like a good combo for Great Lakes because the beer that made them popular and started to win awards and accolades was their Dortmunder Gold Lager. Today, with IPAs being the hot beer category and Great Lakes producing a number of good IPAs, they have combined the past and present with an IPA brewed with their Dortmunder Gold Lager yeast. This makes for a very interesting combination with the hoppy aromatics but crisp lager finish.

When you pop open this beer the IPA lover in me is rewarded by a nice west coast style aroma. Citrus, pine and grapefruit waft from the glass giving this a good mark in my book for the IPA style aroma. This brew is clocking in at 7.5% ABV which seems to be a magic number with some of my favorite beers being right near this number (Lagunitas Little Sumpin Sumpin, Uinta Hop Notch and Troegs Perpetual IPA). When you take your first sip their is a slight hoppy bitterness up front but it is quickly replaced by light, crisp lager finish. This beer reminds me of Lagunitas Fractional IPA or Founders All Day IPA (both of which are below 5% ABV and taste like a hoppy Bud Light). I have to say that while I was not a fan of the two "daytime" IPA I just mentioned, it was more because the price point was too high. The beers were easy to drink but if your going to buy a case for a party it would set you back $40 or more. This IPL is very easy to drink and with the 7.5% ABV it at least gives you a bang for the $9.99 buck that you will shill out for this 4 pack.

Overall, I would recommend this beer for a nice warm Summer night where you want to session a few IPLs. Its refreshing enough that is will cool you down while a few brews will do the trick. Keep your eyes open as I have a good feeling you will be seeing more and more beers in this style.

Personal Rating: 9 /10
Style Rating: ??? for a new style

Wanna try it now? Order it online at: