Pouring from a generous 19.2oz can, the Great Divide American Lager reveals a crystal-clear pale golden hue, crowned with a substantial white foam that defies the swift dissipation typical of the style. The retro can design, adorned with a prominent “LAGER” in peacoat blue, invokes a sense of nostalgia reminiscent of similar aesthetics found in Hardywood’s Richmond Lager.


The aroma, while subtle, carries notes of fresh bread rolls accompanied by a hint of sweeter white grape juice. It teeters on the edge of understatement, lacking the assertiveness that characterizes more adventurous craft brews.


Diving into the flavor profile, the American Lager presents a grain-forward palate, a familiar “beer” taste akin to mass-produced pale lagers. Absent are any discernible adjunct grains like corn, often a staple in craft lagers marketed as “Mexican.” The sweetness dominates, offering a utilitarian, crowd-pleasing experience rather than a complex, contemplative one.


The mouthfeel adds to the overall sweetness, contributing to a fuller body. Yet, a rough, almost papery finish at the edges hints at a certain rawness, reinforcing its resemblance to mainstream macro lagers. This lager seems tailored for those moments when you need a no-nonsense, lawnmower beer rather than one demanding meticulous analysis in a snifter.


Great Divide’s American Lager subscribes to the prevailing trend of craft breweries venturing into non-hoppy pale lagers. However, unlike some counterparts relying on “Mexican Lager” marketing gimmicks, this offering maintains simplicity as its virtue. Closer in profile to mainstream pale lagers than renowned craft beers, it seemingly embraces this identity. While not an epiphany-inducing brew, its purpose seems rooted in broadening Great Divide’s consumer base, offering a beer suitable for casual settings. In a craft beer landscape dominated by IPAs, such uncomplicated pale lagers play a vital role in appealing to diverse palates.

Perceived Specs for Great Divide American Lager

Sweet 4, Bitter 0, Acid 0, Salt 0, Savory 0, Fat 1, Mineral 0


Free from the trappings of elaborate marketing, Great Divide’s American Lager emerges as a straightforward addition to the craft beer scene. Steering clear of complexity, it embraces a flavor profile reminiscent of macro lagers. This intentional simplicity positions it as a potential crowd-pleaser, particularly in casual settings like tailgates and barbecues. The absence of overpowering elements allows it to serve as an accessible entry point, a deliberate move to expand Great Divide’s reach beyond the confines of the craft beer enthusiast.

Similar Beers

Comparable to Firestone Walker’s Lager, it shares the market with the growing trend of Mexican-style pale lagers, exemplified by 21st Amendment’s El Sully and Sierra Nevada’s Sierraveza. Other notable, low-bitterness pale lagers worth exploring include Upland’s Champagne Velvet, Hardywood’s Richmond Lager, pFriem’s Mexican Lager, New Glarus Totally Naked, and Surly Hell.

In a landscape often dominated by effusive praise, constructive criticism plays a pivotal role in shaping the craft beer industry. It serves as a form of quality control, urging producers to view critical reviews not as hindrances but as valuable insights into potential improvements. The delicate balance between the desires of producers and the discerning preferences of consumers is a dynamic interplay that defines the trajectory of craft beer. As we navigate this terrain, let’s appreciate the nuanced dialogue that fosters growth and excellence in every sip.