Beer Man is a weekly profile of beers from across the country and around the world.
This week: Great Divide Colette Farmhouse Ale
Great Divide Brewing Co., Denver
Its Colette Farmhouse Ale, a style also known as saison, is made with barley, wheat and rice, the latter which is unusual. The use of rice in beer is generally the province of many of the mass-produced beers from Budweiser, Miller and the like.
However, some craft breweries use it to lighten the body of a beer, and Colette is a far cry from the common American megabeers.
It was packed with the aromas and flavors of orange, lemon, pepper, fresh and bready grain, and spicy Belgian yeast. Its color was a light gold, slightly hazy, topped by a bright white head.
It had medium sweetness, a tart aftertaste and overall was light and refreshing without being watery. Colette is fermented with four different strains of yeast, which provided a slight Belgian-style funk to the background that gave it character without being obnoxious.
The 7.3% ABV ale was very clean and bright on the palate and ended with a slightly dry and fruity finish. Those used to the farmhouse style might find Colette a bit too light, but I didn’t find that to be a detriment.
Also sampled was Denver Pale Ale (5.4% ABV), a rather typical American pale ale with the expected pine and grapefruit notes, though the latter was subdued. It had a nice aroma of fresh grain, which also was present in the flavor, though the pine from the hops still was prominent.
The gold-colored ale also had a general citrusy background and slight chalkiness. It finished with a light bitterness that did not linger too long.
Hoss Oktoberfest Lager (6.2% ABV) was a pleasant surprise in that the amber-colored beer was kicked up a notch by the addition of rye malt.
This provided a nice spicy backdrop to the rich malts used that are typical of the style. Hoss was medium sweet with ample carbonation, and light floral and grassy hop notes. My fondness for malt flavors was rewarded…