How Great Divide Revamped a Long-Standing Staple

Great Divide recently announced it has rejuvenated its Hercules Imperial IPA and it was an important beer to update said Marketing Manager​ ​Matt Sandy​.

The Denver brewery had actually DQ’d Hercules from its portfolio as a year-round 12-ounce six-pack option.

“Sales were declining and though it had a devoted following, sometimes you need to make difficult decisions,” Sandy explained. “Consumer tastes have shifted away from a Double IPA whose chief attributes are maltiness and hop bitterness.

“That being said, we loved the name and we loved the imagery so we didn’t want to abandon the brand entirely.”

​So ​Hercules​ got a makeover with an updated recipe, refreshed art, and a brand-new package.

Now​, the 9.5% ABV DIPA is​ exclusively available as a 19.2oz can​.

READ MORE: Dogfish Head Reveals New Double IPA and brings back Raison D’Extra

“Redeveloping the Hercules recipe and making it available in the 19.2oz format allows us to reach a new consumer,” explained VP of Sales & Marketing Kirk Simpson in a release. “We had the right brand for the consumer who is seeking a high ABV experience. We just needed to add the 19.2 format to broaden our reach, we are excited to see what can happen here.

“Hercules will be priced to reach those consumers in the fast-growing convenience and grocery store channels.” ​

​Sandy added that while Great Divide has been producing large format, single-serve cans for several years, he also said “we’d never put the cart before the horse before.

“The c-store market is growing and we saw that consumer is looking for a high-ABV, flavorful, craft option and Hercules fit the bill,” he said. “We hope that consumers will pick up Hercules at a c-store and be inspired to further explore the Great Divide portfolio at more traditional points of purchase.”

Brewed with Amarillo, Cascade, Centennial, and Chinook hops, the reformulated Hercules Imperial IPA recipe tones down the bitterness and maltiness of the original version in favor of a lighter mouthfeel and more approachable drinking experience.

Hercules was part of the original Great Divide Brewing Co. Maverick Series first released in 2003. The beer remained in the Denver brewery’s portfolio for nearly two decades before changing consumer tastes necessitated a new path.

​Sandy pointed out that the name and icon were extremely ​”​strong​” and ​they didn’t want to simply abandon the brand​. instead, they modernized the old-timey strongman slightly along with the beer itself​.

“Voila!,​” he said in a release, “we had a product primed for the burgeoning single-serve craft market.”

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