Hibernation Ale by Great Divide Brewing
Not long ago I was getting reports back from our team at the GABF (The Great American Beer Festival) about all the great craft beer they were enjoying. One of the top beers that made their list was Great Divide’s Hibernation Ale. Great Divide has become one of our favorite breweries at Cigar Brief. Their popularity at CB and elsewhere stems from their ability to make consistently great craft beer that isn’t only tasty, but also robust and unique in profile. Whether it be one of their ales or one of their stouts, almost every Great Divide beer we have had pairs well with cigars. So with that pedigree up on the line again, the main question was, “how does the Hibernation Ale stack up with the rest of the lineup?”
Hibernation Ale pours with a thin creamy head from the tap and has a murky brown body that borders on opaque in dim lighting. The lacing and residue is minimal but present and the nosing of the Ale reveals a malty profile with a Carmel and toffee presence.
Sipping the Hibernation Ale reveals a boozy body with a thick molasses profile. The notes that appear are that of figs and bitters. It’s not overly bitter, but there’s definitely a presence of hops there. I think perhaps the most interesting thing to me is that it drinks like a poor man’s Bruery Fruet. The Fruet is another CB favorite, but with a price tag of $30.00 it’s only an occasional indulgence. Hibernation on the other hand can be obtained for $9.99 a six-pack at your local liquor mart.
During the winter season a nice warming ale goes a long way to warm the cockles of the heart. The Hibernation Ale not only does that, but it goes the extra distance to provide a sweet and rich profile that pairs well with cigars. If your planning on drinking the Hibernation with a cigar, then I wholeheartedly recommend doing it with a full bodied stick that showcases the sweeter notes. My personal recommendation for this beer would be to pair it with the Tres Reynas by SAG. The Reynas has a strong but sweet profile that has notes of sweet raisin or fig.
Hibernation Ale is an easy choice for the season, but beyond that its an easy choice for those who love a rich craft beer. I would recommend this beer to any one who likes a rich stout, porter or strong ale. The Hibernation Ale by Great Divide is not only a fantastic example of an old ale, but it’s also a fantastic example of what a great beer should be. It is only produced during the winter months from what I understand, so don’t delay and go pick one of these guys up today.
Style: Old Ale
Price: $9.99 a six-pack