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Beer Profile

  • Brewery: Great Divide Brewing Company
  • Website:
  • Country: United States
  • State: Colorado
  • Style: American / Robust Porter
  • Malts:
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  • PHM Grade: B+

Great Divide St. Bridget’s Porter

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The country of Ireland has a handful of patron saints. No doubt, the most famous is St. Patrick. Responsible for bringing Christianity to the Emerald Isle, he is now affixed to a holiday that celebrates his legacy and unfortunately, in my opinion, encourages drunkenness.

However, St. Patrick is not the only saint associated with beer. There are others such as: St. Bartholomew, St. Columba, St. Arnou (Arnold), St. Gall, and St. Brigid (or Bridget). Many of their stories stem from the medieval culture before the Roman Empire made its way into Britannia. One such story is that of St. Bridget, a nun who is known for establishing numerous convents and working with those in poor health. Apparently, on one occasion she asked God to turn a pool into beer so that her patients could enjoy the tasty drink and it happened.

While the beer I’m reviewing is not from Ireland, it is saintly on its own merit. It is a darkly roasted beauty that falls from the bottle with like a coffee from a carafe (deep mahogany-black). There was a dense foamy tan head that lasted for quite some time. The aroma was of roasted coffee, chocolate and slightly burnt caramel notes. Side note: Porters preceded the Stout in terms of style. The two are almost identical, but there is some difference. Porters carry coffee-like characteristics and are a little more rounded. Stouts, often centered around the roasted/burnt barley that provides an astringent bitter quality.

That said the taste was of rich, darkly roasted grains. Similar to a cup of joe the mouthfeel was moderately heavy and left a dry finish. I could detect a higher hopping to balance out the dark malt, but they did not distract from the main primary flavors. The carbonation was good and helped to add some life to the brew. Overall, it was a very drinkable Porter with warm, deep grain flavors. I hope St. Bridget looks my way next time I’m in a pool. I’d drink gallons of this stuff.

ABV: 5.9%

Grade: B+

  1. This is such a fun post. I’ve been busy this month both baking with brewer’s yeast from a local brewery–like they would have done during Saint Brigid’s time, and continuing my research on Saint Brigid, who indeed was a proponent of ale. She even turned water into ale on one occasion, when a traveling companion fell ill… Please, come to my blog–it seems you have expertise that I’ve been looking for! I’ve roasted spent barley, from a brewer to bake with, and have used Guinness stout in several loaves of delicious bread… Here’s a link to a recent post. Hope you come and give me some advice!

    jane g meyer — February 2nd, 2010, 8:47 PM
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