Saturday, November 27, 2010

434. Dr. Fritz Briem 13th Century Grut Bier

Another beer from Dr. Fritz Briem and the Doemens Institute; our last one was Dr. Fritz Briem 1809 Berliner Weisse. Chatter on Al Gore’s invention seems a mixed bag as to whether Weihenstephan contributed to the production or not. I’ll just let that go, and focus on the beer. Grut Bier pours a hazy, dirty gold and has an herbal grapefruit and spicy ginger nose; there are also pine and other spice elements nestled in amongst the herbal and ginger notes, along with a slight metallic tang. The head is white and light, and quickly disappears. Opening with a light sweetness before transitioning into a tart herbal middle with slight wood flavors, Grut Bier also has bite from the ginger before giving way to candy sweetness in the finish coupled with rosemary pine flavors that linger along with the herbal flavors (I want to say that there is also bay leaf, but I am less able to ascertain what bay leaf tastes like by itself on my palate, unless I felt like heading over to the cupboard, pulling one out, and sucking on it for verification; for all of the obvious reasons, I am going to hold out on that). The carbonation is spritzy and bright, coupled with a light body, and the beer is light and effervescent on the palate—it literally dances on the tongue. With an interesting and complex mix of flavors, Grut Bier is a well-made and all-around well-balanced beer. The flavors, carbonation, and body all work seamlessly together to create an excellent drinking experience. This beer is certainly a Top 10 Best contender for the new year—it offers different and new palate and flavor sensations. Damn tasty stuff.

Gruit Ale is beer. And Soylent Green is people.

From the bottle: “Before the German Purity Law ‘Reinheitsgebot’ of 1516 it was common practice to use any kind of different spices, herbs, fruits and other plants to provide balance to beer. Hops was not yet well known at this time. Grut Bier has roots in many cultures and each culture had its own ‘special ingredients’: Egyptians, Native Americans, Arabian Tribes, Gaulles, Germanic Tribes and the Vikings. This interpretation of a traditional Grut Bier is spiced with Lorbeer (Bay Leaves), Ingwer (Ginger), Kummel (Caraway), Anis (Anise), Rosemarin (Rosemarie) & Enzian (Gentian). It is brewed with water, wheat & barley malt, ‘pollinated wild hops’ and fermented using top fermenting yeast.”

ABV: 4.6%


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