Beer Man

Great Divide rolls out a new beer, Wolfgang, this summer

Great Divide Brewing will release its second new beer of the year in July, Wolfgang, a big, malty dopplebock that will replace Smoked Baltic Porter in the brewery's seasonal lineup.

Wolfgang is the first beer that was designed and tested on Great Divide's new seven-barrel pilot brewing system, which was acquired in December and allows the brewers to experiment with one-off beers, special releases and new recipes.

"Our brewers got together for some experimentation," says Great Divide spokeswoman Hanna Laney, adding that they also tested a regular bock beer. "With the new pilot system, they were able to tinker with it. It definitely guided the process."

With notes of caramel, dark fruit and coffee, Wolfgang is a big lager, weighing in at 8 percent ABV. "It's definitely not a lighter beer; it's substantial with a darker, sweeter, rich backbone," Laney says, adding that it'll "appeal to a wide group of people." Smoked Baltic Porter on the other hand, which Great Divide will discontinue for now, was something that "people either loved or hated," Laney says. "It wasn't a perfect fit for what we do." The beer is a dark lager made with smoked malts.

Wolfgang is part of Great Divide's lineup of four seasonal bomber bottle releases, a group that has rebranded as the Tank Farm Series. Great Divide releases a seasonal sixpack, one seasonal Yeti beer and one Tank Farm beer each quarter of the year. In January, Great Divide released a new pilsner, Nomad, in sixpacks.

Dopplebocks, a German style, are traditionally given names ending in "-ator," but Laney says most of the good names are already taken, and long names don't fit well on Great Divide's tap handles anyway. But Wolfgang, she says, kind of has the same feel to it.

It will be sold in 22-ounce bomber bottles beginning July 1.

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Jonathan Shikes is a Denver native who writes about business and beer for Westword.
Contact: Jonathan Shikes

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