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General Category => Commercial Beer Reviews => Topic started by: dhacker on September 30, 2010, 05:32:01 PM

Title: Great Divide's Tripel
Post by: dhacker on September 30, 2010, 05:32:01 PM
What a magnificent beer! Seek it out it IS that good. I wish I knew what the grain bill is because it just seems there's something more than Pilsner going on in there. Initially it has the signature Belgian character . . banana and clove . . peppery, a subtle, pleasing alcohol warmth (9.3%abv) but as it lingers there is a complexity that builds and when you exhale, you are reminded of the faint flavor of a superfine cigar. AWESOME!
Title: Re: Great Divide's Tripel
Post by: MDixon on October 01, 2010, 05:15:40 AM
I believe Great Divide is often underrated or overlooked and believe it or not I think it is due to the blandness of the labels. I'm not a label kinda guy, but many are.

If you had the choice between these two and knew nothing about them, which would you choose?
(http://t2.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcTEUWqqr0xD7AYT0UVrlxt8EqSGt45VYRsbdmjz4lgy063aIEA&t=1&usg=__5jiZNksmEFTBfRN0K4dt9DNArF8=)
(http://t1.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcTpVNRxuWRAJXFYTIlbAvLSZFr4eqoj_gX4o__n1MG2lciwMfg&t=1&usg=__ou8xhU0ZzvGHWeyemL0Mv8lkOW0=)

Their labels are almost like the generics from the 70's which just said BEER. Thank goodness enough of us look past the label to find out what is inside the bottle.

As far as their Tripel, not confident I have had it, I'll have to give it a whirl.
Title: Re: Great Divide's Tripel
Post by: blatz on October 01, 2010, 06:36:25 AM
thanks for posting dhacker.  I agree with MDixon that Great Divide is underrated overall - they have a great portfolio of beers.  I have seen this before, but have skipped over, I don't know why, but I'll grab a bottle next time I'm in the store.  IIRC, its a bomber only, correct?

Cheers!
Title: Re: Great Divide's Tripel
Post by: bluesman on October 01, 2010, 06:40:05 AM
Great Divide makes a great IPA. I haven't had their Tripel yet.  I'll keep a look out for it though.  
Thanks for the review!
Title: Re: Great Divide's Tripel
Post by: dhacker on October 01, 2010, 07:25:00 AM
thanks for posting dhacker.  I agree with MDixon that Great Divide is underrated overall - they have a great portfolio of beers.  I have seen this before, but have skipped over, I don't know why, but I'll grab a bottle next time I'm in the store.  IIRC, its a bomber only, correct?

Cheers!

Not sure about the packaging. Mine came from the keg. It was one of the beers tapped at Growler's Craft Beer on Hilton Head Island when I was there. I brought a growler home and wish I had about 20 more!  :)
Title: Re: Great Divide's Tripel
Post by: euge on October 01, 2010, 10:30:15 AM
I can get a whole host of Great Divide beers here. Will have to try- probably this weekend when I do s'more ribs...
Title: Re: Great Divide's Tripel
Post by: narvin on October 01, 2010, 12:42:51 PM
Most people I know think very highly of Great Divide. If Great Divide Tripel is overlooked, it is either because they usually make American style beers, or because they aren't as new as The Bruery and people like the latest and greatest thing.  
Title: Re: Great Divide's Tripel
Post by: MDixon on October 01, 2010, 02:29:55 PM
I just picked The Bruery label because it was the first one I came across without the bottle showing. Pick ANY tripel label and simply based on appearance most would choose whatever vs the Great Divide labels.
Title: Re: Great Divide's Tripel
Post by: narvin on October 01, 2010, 06:12:30 PM
I just picked The Bruery label because it was the first one I came across without the bottle showing. Pick ANY tripel label and simply based on appearance most would choose whatever vs the Great Divide labels.

Let me clarify -- no one I take seriously chooses beer by label.  People who do also choose beer based on othesr whims.  Despite this, Great Divide is doing just fine.  They've been around longer than most.
Title: Re: Great Divide's Tripel
Post by: majorvices on October 03, 2010, 03:55:19 AM
Labels have more control over our purchase making decisions than most of us could ever realize.

Haven't had the GD tripel yet but I will see if I can find it. Love the Titan and the Yeti. I don't think I have had any of their other beers.
Title: Re: Great Divide's Tripel
Post by: MDixon on October 03, 2010, 10:34:53 AM
I generally try to sample the beers I have not had before, but most people go to the store and are swayed by the labels. If you are a brewery or ever dream of opening one, I'll guarantee a good name for the brewery and decent packaging/art can take you further than a poorly chosen name and bland packaging. If you set a Stone bottle next to a Great Divide bottle, most people would grab the Stone if they knew nothing about the beer, and much as we liked to geek out about it, the vast majority of the consumers know little about the beer...
Title: Re: Great Divide's Tripel
Post by: majorvices on October 03, 2010, 08:42:15 PM
It's almost not fair to compare Stone's branding to .... well ... anyone. They have done a fantastic job. But I do not think that GD has "generic" labels. They are basic, but they are attractive. I certainly don't think they are on line with Stone - those guys have the marketing thing wrapped up tight.

Label design and branding are subjective and - as a graphic designer and marketing guy - I would give GD a "B" .... maybe a "B-" on theirs. Personally. I'd give a B+ or maybe A- to their beers.
Title: Re: Great Divide's Tripel
Post by: MDixon on October 04, 2010, 05:36:10 AM
If you boyz had some decent beer stores down there you'd quickly see how easy it is to pass over the GD stuff. Our local beer heaven has them in with other beers on a shelving unit and I'll admit they get lost in a sea of other more colorful and well thought out labels.
Here's a couple of shots someone took of about half the store, can you spot the GD?  Me neither... ;)
http://www.flickr.com/photos/meguiar/2451821891
http://www.flickr.com/photos/meguiar/2451821957

At one time the labels were not quite as bland. Yeti looked like this
(http://www.simplybeer.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2009/04/greatdivide_yetiimperialstout-224x300.jpg)

Now it appears more bland like this
(http://www.theperfectlyhappyman.com/uploads/great-divide-yeti-imperial-stout-300x225.jpg)

I seem to recall yet another Yeti label, but don't remember exactly what it looked like. Anyway, my point has been there beers are generally very good or better, their artwork is kinda bland.  ;)
Title: Re: Great Divide's Tripel
Post by: narvin on October 04, 2010, 06:59:32 AM
We have some great beer stores.... this is only one wall of a giant beer section:

(http://oi55.tinypic.com/2ih2jj5.jpg)

There's also a local bar with 101 taps from around the world - lots of rare stuff - and they currently have 4 Great Divide's on.  I'm not saying that advertising doesn't mean a lot, but in the craft beer world there's so much more going on... word of mouth, online reviews, etc.

Besides, at bars, can you really see the tap handle?
Title: Re: Great Divide's Tripel
Post by: bluesman on October 04, 2010, 09:50:29 AM
Narvin...which store is that.  

I don't live terribly far from you and I am always on the hunt for stores with giant beer selections.

I'm still trying to find Yeti.  8)
Title: Re: Great Divide's Tripel
Post by: ryang on October 04, 2010, 11:20:08 AM
Their brewhouse is total choas, but yes, they turn out some great beers.  I'm a big fan of their saison (Colette) and of course the yeti series.  Also, their titan ipa is a great "plain" ipa.  Old ruffian barleywine is great.  They just have a lot of nice beers.
Title: Re: Great Divide's Tripel
Post by: narvin on October 04, 2010, 12:14:44 PM
Narvin...which store is that.  

I don't live terribly far from you and I am always on the hunt for stores with giant beer selections.

I'm still trying to find Yeti.  8)

The Perfect Pour in Columbia.  Have you been to State Line Liquors?  They also have a good selection, and it might be closer to you....
Title: Re: Great Divide's Tripel
Post by: bluesman on October 04, 2010, 12:19:49 PM
Narvin...which store is that.  

I don't live terribly far from you and I am always on the hunt for stores with giant beer selections.

I'm still trying to find Yeti.  8)

The Perfect Pour in Columbia.  Have you been to State Line Liquors?  They also have a good selection, and it might be closer to you....

Oh yea...State Line is great.  I'll have to hit the Perfect Pour the next time I get down that way.  Thanks!
Title: Re: Great Divide's Tripel
Post by: majorvices on October 04, 2010, 12:57:29 PM
If you boyz had some decent beer stores down there you'd quickly see how easy it is to pass over the GD stuff. Our local beer heaven has them in with other beers on a shelving unit and I'll admit they get lost in a sea of other more colorful and well thought out labels.
Here's a couple of shots someone took of about half the store, can you spot the GD?  Me neither... ;)
http://www.flickr.com/photos/meguiar/2451821891
http://www.flickr.com/photos/meguiar/2451821957

At one time the labels were not quite as bland. Yeti looked like this
(http://www.simplybeer.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2009/04/greatdivide_yetiimperialstout-224x300.jpg)

Now it appears more bland like this
(http://www.theperfectlyhappyman.com/uploads/great-divide-yeti-imperial-stout-300x225.jpg)

I seem to recall yet another Yeti label, but don't remember exactly what it looked like. Anyway, my point has been there beers are generally very good or better, their artwork is kinda bland.  ;)

We have a few beers stores now, you'd be surprised at the craft beer surge we are having right now. You may chucke, and that's fine - but pretty soon Huntsville, AL is going to be giving Asheville a run for its money. 3 craft breweries opened this year. Including mine. And the beers not all that bad either.

That said, I do know a thing or two about labels - I was a graphic designer for 20 years (still do freelance) and, while I see what you are saying about the labels not being the best thing ever to hit the market they are bold enough to be eye catching. I would argue the way the uses simple, contrasting color schemes and extremely bold type that they may actually be more eye catching than some. Now, intricate and interesting .... maybe a different story.

And, finally, like beer - art is subjective. I happen to think their designs are fine and I always notice them at the beer store.
Title: Re: Great Divide's Tripel
Post by: uthristy on October 04, 2010, 01:52:43 PM
Labels have more control over our purchase making decisions than most of us could ever realize.

So what does this label say?
(http://i821.photobucket.com/albums/zz138/UknowWho2u/My%20brew%20pics/bottle%20beer/th_tSmisjeKuveeElektrik.jpg) (http://i821.photobucket.com/albums/zz138/UknowWho2u/My%20brew%20pics/bottle%20beer/tSmisjeKuveeElektrik.jpg)

or this label?
(http://i821.photobucket.com/albums/zz138/UknowWho2u/My%20brew%20pics/bottle%20beer/th_Zwyntje.jpg) (http://i821.photobucket.com/albums/zz138/UknowWho2u/My%20brew%20pics/bottle%20beer/Zwyntje.jpg)

or this>
(http://i821.photobucket.com/albums/zz138/UknowWho2u/My%20brew%20pics/bottle%20beer/th_SladekHopburst.jpg) (http://i821.photobucket.com/albums/zz138/UknowWho2u/My%20brew%20pics/bottle%20beer/SladekHopburst.jpg)

Labels mean crap to me as a pig in a pink dress is still a pig in a pink dress.

Posted  in an overly dramatic manner ;D :D
Title: Re: Great Divide's Tripel
Post by: MDixon on October 04, 2010, 06:30:34 PM
But send your wife or SO to the beer store. What will they pick first and last? That last one or one of the other two you posted?
Title: Re: Great Divide's Tripel
Post by: MDixon on October 04, 2010, 06:39:44 PM
Besides, at bars, can you really see the tap handle?

What has six pack and bottle art to do with Tap Handles. If you want to win at a bar, have the waiter or waitress suggest your beer...easy...
Title: Re: Great Divide's Tripel
Post by: dhacker on October 04, 2010, 06:46:23 PM
I can get a whole host of Great Divide beers here. Will have to try- probably this weekend when I do s'more ribs...

Did you get to try the beer . . or even craft some ribs?   :)
Title: Re: Great Divide's Tripel
Post by: euge on October 04, 2010, 07:35:06 PM
I can get a whole host of Great Divide beers here. Will have to try- probably this weekend when I do s'more ribs...

Did you get to try the beer . . or even craft some ribs?   :)

Doh!

I did do some St Louis style ribs. By far my best to date. Unfortunately the Great Divide slipped my mind when at the beer store.
Title: Re: Great Divide's Tripel
Post by: uthristy on October 05, 2010, 03:36:17 AM
But send your wife or SO to the beer store. What will they pick first and last? That last one or one of the other two you posted?

Boy thats kinda of a sexist comment LOL, but no my wife was trained better then that  :D
Title: Re: Great Divide's Tripel
Post by: MDixon on October 05, 2010, 06:18:14 AM
I said wife or Significant Other...  ;)
Title: Re: Great Divide's Tripel
Post by: chumley on October 05, 2010, 12:28:54 PM
Great Divide's Denver Pale Ale is about as good as a session beer can get.
Title: Re: Great Divide's Tripel
Post by: majorvices on October 10, 2010, 06:20:27 AM
Labels have more control over our purchase making decisions than most of us could ever realize.

So what does this label say?
(http://i821.photobucket.com/albums/zz138/UknowWho2u/My%20brew%20pics/bottle%20beer/th_tSmisjeKuveeElektrik.jpg) (http://i821.photobucket.com/albums/zz138/UknowWho2u/My%20brew%20pics/bottle%20beer/tSmisjeKuveeElektrik.jpg)

or this label?
(http://i821.photobucket.com/albums/zz138/UknowWho2u/My%20brew%20pics/bottle%20beer/th_Zwyntje.jpg) (http://i821.photobucket.com/albums/zz138/UknowWho2u/My%20brew%20pics/bottle%20beer/Zwyntje.jpg)

or this>
(http://i821.photobucket.com/albums/zz138/UknowWho2u/My%20brew%20pics/bottle%20beer/th_SladekHopburst.jpg) (http://i821.photobucket.com/albums/zz138/UknowWho2u/My%20brew%20pics/bottle%20beer/SladekHopburst.jpg)

Labels mean crap to me as a pig in a pink dress is still a pig in a pink dress.

Posted  in an overly dramatic manner ;D :D


Those labels certainly say something. Otherwise, why bother putting anything on the labels except the name of the brewery in plain type? The label is a significant contributor to branding. Even in the case of a label that doesn't look "modern or professional" by our standards. Kitchy, funky, hand drawn - all that stuff is meant to attract. Its sets up your expectation.

Even Westvleteren's lack of a label is branding. It says quality in a way a label can't say. It's sells itself as "exclusive".

There's basically 7 triggers that a brand will inspire: Power, Trust, Mystique, Vice, Alarm, Lust, and Prestige. Just about any label will say this about a company, or a it will have a mixture of the two. For instance: Budweisser is going for Trust and Prestige. Sam Adams goes for Prestige. Blue Moon is going for Mystique. Brasserie Caracole is definitely going for Mystique. Stone is going for Vice and Prestige. It seems that GD is going for Prestige and Power. It's interesting that obviously changed the direction of their labels from previous branding. I'm not exactly sure their message is clear, but IMO the boldness of their designs probably is mean to jump out at you from the shelves, in spite of what Mike thinks. I'm not saying they are doing a great job at their branding - I'm just saying.  ;)

I think that all breweries, whether they know it or not, are aiming for one of those triggers with their branding. Likewise, everyone of us, whether we know it or not, are triggered by brand. Labels do influence people to pull the trigger on their purchase. In Thirsty's case, it looks like you are triggered by Mystique from the labels you have posted here and elsewhere.
Title: Re: Great Divide's Tripel
Post by: uthristy on October 11, 2010, 02:18:01 PM
In Thirsty's case, it looks like you are triggered by Mystique from the labels you have posted here and elsewhere.


Actually  2 of those labels styles are very common in Belgium, but what do all those beers have in common? all dreadful, 1 was bought due to the well know brewery, 1  a recommendation from a forum member and the pig was a random grab off the shelf full of handrawn labels( Belgian thing)->It meet 1 criteria in that it was a triple.

I understand marketing due to having a longtime buddy in marketing, but as he always jokes we(beer geeks) should be above the simple minds games (marketing).

His job is to play on peoples  feeling like you posted, and as  I always say good marketing could sell water to a drowning man.

Labels mean crap as its whats inside that counts and that gets the repeat sales.

None of those beers will ever be bought again in this household :D
Title: Re: Great Divide's Tripel
Post by: MDixon on October 11, 2010, 02:28:10 PM
Let's look at marketing a little deeper. Picked up a bottle of Le Bleu water at a hotel as my arrival gift. I was kinda excited thinking, "Wow, that water must come from France. Wonder if it will taste any different than regular water." Get to the room and look closer at the bottle and it is packaged in Advance, NC. That's about 20 miles from where I grew up  ::)

Want me to really bust your bubble, grab that bottle of Texas Pete...you'd assume it was from Texas right? Nope, Winston-Salem, NC, again about 20 miles from where I grew up...  ;)