Great Divide Returns…

Great Divide Brewing CompanyIn the world of craft beer, it is not uncommon for a brewery to pull back a little on their distribution.  A brewery may enjoy a rush of success, expand beyond their own regional territories, then have a tough time keeping up with the demand in those areas as the craft beer fans there clamor to try this new-to-them beer.  After a while, many breweries in this situation may decide it’s best to pull back until their brewing capacity can handle filling the orders in those areas.  It’s a difficult but understandable decision, as I would think the last thing you might want to develop is a reputation for inconsistent availability.  About two years ago, this very situation occurred as Colorado’s Great Divide Brewing Company decided to pull out of a number of states and regions, including my own in southern and central Virginia, until their capacity could fulfill orders consistently.  Fans of the brewery’s beers (including myself) in those areas watched as beers such as their very good Titan IPA, and of course, the brewery’s well known Yeti series of imperial stouts, disappeared from store shelves and from taps.

It is good news then, that Great Divide is returning to at least a few of those regions, the Roanoke area included, with beers possibly available in stores and in restaurants as soon as this weekend.  For fans of the brewery’s Yeti series, or as the Great Divide calls it, the Yeti “Clan”, this couldn’t have better timing, as some might agree that cooler weather is the perfect season for stouts.  The “Clan” includes Great Divide’s year round Yeti Imperial Stout, as well as the Oak Aged, Espresso Oak Aged, and Chocolate Oak Aged versions.  A newer Oatmeal Yeti recently replaced a Belgian style version of the beer, but across the board, this line up of big, luscious stouts is worth checking out and revisiting, again and again.  Each “treatment” boasts its own sense of individuality, but overall, is a part of an extremely impressive collection of rich, velvety smooth, decadent big time stouts.  Ratings for these beers on and fall easily within the mid to high nineties to right at a score of 100.  Also, the brewery’s Hibernation Ale, a warming, stronger winter seasonal type ale, is something to look out for as well as we inch towards the end of the year.

When breweries encounter a need to pull back on distribution, it is an understandable development, though a disappointing one for their fans in the affected areas.  When Great Divide decided to do so, the official word included a hope of returning to those regions at some point in the future, but such language always tends to be lined with an understandably nervous feeling of uncertainty at best.  As it turns out, the brewery was able to thankfully remain true to their word, and we will once again be lucky to have their beers available to us.  Welcome back, Great Divide.


~ by thebeerroad on October 3, 2013.

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