Lips Of Faith - Grätzer (3 Floyds Collaboration) - New Belgium Brewing

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Lips Of Faith - Grätzer (3 Floyds Collaboration)Lips Of Faith - Grätzer (3 Floyds Collaboration)

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708 Ratings
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(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 708
Reviews: 99
rAvg: 3.54
pDev: 15.25%
Wants: 24
Gots: 148 | FT: 2
Brewed by:
New Belgium Brewing visit their website
Colorado, United States

Style | ABV
Smoked Beer |  4.50% ABV

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: JohnGalt1 on 06-07-2014

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

Its not dead. But Gratzer is definitely a long-buried style from Poland. Together with 3Floyds we unearthed its robust smokiness with oak smoked wheat and midnight wheat. Polish Lublin hops for a bitter bite and lacto for a slightly sour finish, this pours out a billowing, foamy mouth worth indulging.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 708 | Reviews: 99
Reviews by jstone80:
More User Reviews:
Photo of iRaven99664
3.79/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Love New Belgium, though this isn't a grand slam winner for me like Portage and Rampant.
Not a full technical review, just a few notes.

-couldn't taste or smell smokey like everyone says. Not sure when it was born though, might be an older bottle (though it says its good until may 2015, and its the end of march).

-by how dark and rich the taste is of chocolate and oak, I was highly suprised how watery the mouth felt. Something this dark and "stouty", I figured I would be having a glaze of coffee across my tongue. Sadly, it was like water. Though this is the first time I've and a wheat beer this dark so I'm not sure if its normal. The sour tang they say that the lacto adds is a total plus in my book, as it says its suppose to. I recently had a skunked beet that wasn't suppose to be sour but didn't know until I called the brewery. This tasts more deliberate though, and is a nice mix to the usual for me.

-the color was pronominal! Looks clean, but I can't see the light on the other side. The head was nice and mocha colored. killer!

-Final thoughts. I'm thinking it was a bottle that had been sitting shelved in a cooler too long, The top wasn't so great, but the farther down my glass I go, the more the flavors pop. I had a Sam Adams about two months ago I thought was skunked, but was just kind of stale-ish at the top (The top tasted like a bad attempt at an adjunct lagar, but the farther I went the more like an Adams it tasted like.)

Not my favorite from New Belgium, but I wanna give another bottle a go around. I've always wanted to try a 3 Floyds, and being in alaska, it's the closest I'm going to get (unless anyone knows how I can score some Zombie Dust or Gumball Head)

Photo of rhoadsrage
4.25/5  rDev +20.1%

(Served in a short bowtie glass)

A-4.5 This beer pours a jet black opaque body with a cocoa colored head that breaks into thick lumps after a bit but continues to give good lacing with each sip. Too dense to see any bubbles.

S- 4 The rich mellow midnight wheat aroma has some more dark roasted malt notes that linger in the finish.

T- 4 smooth mellow midnight wheat flavor has a slight smoke hint to it with a gentle black roasted note in the finish with no bitterness. There is a hint of dark cola and smoke in the finish with a gentle green tartness.

M- 4 this beer has a medium mouthfeel with a slight slippery texture and no alcohol heat.

O- 4.5 This beer has a nice mellow dark roast character but more mellow and lighter than a typical stout and some nice tartness and smoke note that offer nice support from the background. Good depth but light and sessionable.

Photo of AtrumAnimus
4.75/5  rDev +34.2%

Pours a very dark and rich black color that is 99% impenetrable to light. The head is a nice light tan that is thick, long lived and leaves a very nice lacing down the glass.

The nose is strong with definite notes of coffee, caramel, alcohol, biscuits, wet earth, vanilla & caramel.

The taste is a nice and complex experience of varied bitters from dark chocolate, coffee and hops to coriander, nutmeg and camphor.

The mouthfeel is rich and allows the flavor to coat the palate perfectly.

Overall this is an exceptional beer and a fantastic taste experience. I highly recommend it as it is one of the all time best Lips of Faith versions to date.

Photo of BEERchitect
3.4/5  rDev -4%

Forward thinking brewers clang heads for the challenged, distinctive and polarizing taste that is of old-world gratzer. Its the sour, smoky and wheaten influences the converge for complex taste... or is it complicated taste?

Dark and toasty upon the pour, the senses pick up on notes of vinegar-based barbecue almost immediately. With the aroma and early taste of smoldering embers and the tangy vinous character of sour grapes and dry chardonnay align on the early palate with a Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde type of schizophrenia.

The middle opens up to the savoriness of burnt toast, roasted pecan, light coffee and dry cocoa powder. Much like biting on apple skin and grape seed, an acute astringency links up to the tangy tartness found in drier white wine for a collection of palate sensations and flavors to battle for prominence over the tongue.

Its bulk of wheat bread and associated doughy sweetness retreats quickly in finish and leaves the taste of toasted grain and sourness to continue duel it out even late on the palate. Growing spiciness of peppercorn elevates the toast and smoke and eventually outlasts the sourness in a dry and oaky aftertaste.

Photo of Franziskaner
3.63/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Black in color and impenetrable to light. There's a quarter inch of khaki colored head resting on top. Brussels lacing. Aroma is compiled of smoked wheat. The flavor is strong with dark wheat with a strong smokey element that strengthens in the back of the palate. The mouth is smokey and a bit sticky.
Appearance: 3.75

Photo of pat61
4/5  rDev +13%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had this on tap at Pig & Fiddle and Muddy Waters as well as from a fresh bomber bottle. L: Pours brilliant deep brown under a persistent very finely bubbled dense 3” tan tinted head S: hints of funk, fruit, chocolate, vanilla and smoke T: The flavors follow the aromas with the addition of a layer of sour and salt with sharp, dry and malty finish and touch of tart and a smokey aftertaste. F: Very creamy, with a medium body and carbonation. O: A unique and interesting beer.

Photo of MattyG85
4.21/5  rDev +18.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a 22 oz. bottle into a New Belgium Globe glass.

Appearance: Pours a very dark brownish black with a moderate amount of bubbles. Big three finger tan head with good retention. Leaves a lot of creamy lacing.

Smell: A roasty, smokey, and fairly sweet dark malt forward aroma with big hints of smoke and chocolate. Upfront dark roasted barley malts with hints of dark chocolate, coffee, burnt toast, caramel, biscuit, grains, cream, and yeast. Huge aroma of smoke along with some hints of oak, wood, leather, and tobacco. Subtle dark fruit hints of raisin and fig. Also some light earthy hop hints. A very good aroma.

Taste: Like the aroma, a roasty, smokey, and somewhat sweet dark malt driven taste with big notes of smoke, toast, and chocolate. Big upfront taste of dark roasted barley malts with notes of dark chocolate, coffee, toast, burnt caramel, biscuit, grains, cream, milk, and yeast. Big taste of smoked malt with some notes of wood, oak, tobacco, and leather. Light undertones of dark fruit with some notes of raisin, fig, and cherry. Subtle earthy hop notes. A pretty good taste.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied with a moderate amount of carbonation. Very creamy and smooth with a fairly drying finish.

Overall: A pretty good twist on a smoked beer. Good smoke and oak presence with a nice creamy dark malt taste.

Photo of beatenbyjacks
3.53/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Appearance - Dark brown with redish hues in the light. Nice tan head with some decent lacing.

Smell - smokey roasted malts is all I got

Taste - Lots of smokiness, burnt wood, nice bitter finish

Mouthfeel - decently carbonated, but leaves that strong smoke taste in your mouth

Overall - I was let down again by the LOF. I wasn't too sure about this beer and sure enough it was lackluster.

Photo of Auraan
4/5  rDev +13%

Poured a deep black body with brown highlights when held to light and two fingers of thick tan head. A very nice, stout-looking beer. Scents of roasted malt, rye bread, coffee, earthy, herbal hops and charred oak wood. Overall impression of aroma is of a uniquely robust aroma that is rich, roasty, smokey and very pleasant. Unique and very nice. Flavor begins bitter with notes of smoked malt, oak, charred wood, bitter black coffee and a slight sour tang. This moves into a middle that is very smokey, with notes of smoked wheat, tangy wheat malt and herbal hops. Finish is bitter with notes of bitter, herbal medicine hops, smoked malt, a slight tang, burnt black coffee and burnt oak wood. Aftertaste is bitter with notes of bitter herbal hops, smoked malt, burnt oak wood and burnt dark roast coffee. Overall impression of flavor is of a very bitter, very smokey flavor that is deep and strong, despite the beer's low ABV. Very nice and very pleasant to the right palate. Mouthfeel is light bodied with medium-high carbonation and a slightly drying, woody mouthfeel. Overall impression of mouthfeel is of a light, yet smokey, drying and woody beer. I hesitate to call it refreshing, it is more rich in spite of its light body and low ABV. Overall this is a very unique beer. It is rich, deep, bitter and smokey in both aroma and flavor. It is very bold and flavorful, despite its very low ABV. The mouthfeel aids the flavor and contributes to the light but full flavor of the beer. Very nice and well down.

Photo of Brenden
3.5/5  rDev -1.1%

This beer is almost black, but allows some red-brown highlights to sneak in, and isn't thick enough to permit some light from shining through the body. It sports a smallish tan cap of froth that holds up pretty nicely, only settling very slowly and present to the very end while leaving patchy deposits behind.
The smell isn't incredibly complex, but it offers more than just smoke or wheat. In fact, the wheat kind of hides a bit, interesting since it's the main component of the malt contribution. It is earthy with a little soft dryness, but the smoke is the feature. Underneath lie some cocoa powder and maybe a little nut.
The flavor doesn't allow so much distinction; it's difficult to get anything besides smoke. Interestingly, the smoke itself is clean, not building up the slightest harshness whatsoever. But the only flavor is that smoke, really, though the sourness it's supposed to have finally shows up in the middle and there's a light hoppy bitterness that pulls into the finish.
I don't know what kind of body a gratzer's supposed to have, though it seems it works best light and medium might be pushing it but could still work. This one borders them, but the feel is thin. It runs pretty smooth but only has a little crispness to it. It goes fairly dry, and just a very gentle tang runs on the tongue from the sourness.

Photo of Jeffreysan
3.79/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

22 oz bottle, poured into a pint glass

Appearance: Pours a beautiful, completely opaque, pitch-black color with two and a half fingers of oatmeal-colored head that dissolved away into a thin lacing of foam that completely covered the top of the beer.

Aroma: Very aromatic with lots of bready, earthy, smoky, toasted malt and wheat aromas, imparting notes of freshly toasted dark bread, freshly roasted coffee beans, licorice, brown sugar, vinegar, lactose and oddly enough, bacon.

Taste: Very interesting. There is a lot of the aforementioned roasted malt and roasted wheat flavors, bready and cereal-like, followed by some meaty, barbeque-like smoke, hits of brown sugar-like sweetness and vinegar-like sourness. Complex and original.

Mouthfeel: Slightly chewy and very smooth as there is very little in the way of carbonation. With an ABV of 4.5%, there is no alcohol on the palate.

Overall: This is a very interesting beer. Malty, bready, smoky, vinegary and sour. I’m not sure I like it, but it sure is interesting. It’s sort of a hybrid between a Doppelbock and a rauchbier. Very interesting.

Photo of samtrillo
3.6/5  rDev +1.7%

Reminded me of St. Sebastian Dark Ale in both taste and mouthfeel. Definitely more sour on the finish, however. Like drinking a sour coca cola. Nat bad. If be interested in more from this style.

Photo of troygreer
1.56/5  rDev -55.9%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 1 | feel: 3 | overall: 1

Poured black not much head. Smells mostly of smoke but the aroma is pretty faint.

Each sip of this beer brings bitterness and sour smoke. Imagine a tin can full of water that had cigarettes floating in it for some time. There was also a lemon rind in this water. That is the best I can do to describe how I feel about this beer.

The aftertaste lingers for far too long and makes me cringe at the thought of another sip.

To the drain.

Photo of ChopperSmith
4.05/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22 oz. bottle into a tulip glass.

Appearance: Dark brown and opaque, nearly black. A small one finger head of tan foam. Leaves nice sticky lacing as the beer recedes. Maintains a thin foam cap throughout.

Smell: Smoky and woody, with a whiff of coffee and chocolate. Slight sweet aroma as well.

Taste: Smoke, dark malts, slight sour tartness and wheaty. I like smoked beers when the smoke flavor isn't overwhelming, and this one isn't. It has a good balance and the smoke is actually what makes this beer so good.

Mouth feel: Medium bodied, low carbonation, slick on the tongue.

Overall: I haven't had this style before, but I really like it. It's interesting and different, and very drinkable. I really like that smoked flavor with the slight sour tang. It really works for me. I will look for this again.

Photo of PBRmeasap1980
3.68/5  rDev +4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

bomber into pint glass

A- dark, dark brown
S- Rich, roasted malt. Coffee
T- Sweet malt and smoke. A little oaky bitterness on the end
M- Thin with tiny bubbles

O- Not a bad offering, but not my favorite either. I haven't had a ton of polish beers, but I'm at least happy I gave this a try. Not planning on buying any more.

Photo of russpowell
3.51/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Pours an effervescent ebony with 3 fingers of tan head. Great lacing & above average head retention

S: Gummyness & smokeyness once warm

T: Mild smokeyness, a little dryness, & gummy sweetness up front. Some fig & pear mix with smokeyness & dryness as this warms, slight taffy flavor as well. Finishes dry, a little smokey with the aforementioned taffy

MF: Medium bodied, light carbonation

Drinks okay, but doesn't deliver much in the way of good flavor. A letdown like most of this series

Photo of bisonfort
4.5/5  rDev +27.1%

Best wheat beer I've ever had. Liked the smokiness.

Photo of morimech
3.96/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 4

Is ciemny the correct Polish word for dark color? Well it is very dark, I believe the darkest wheat beer I have had. Very dark brown that appears black in the New Belgium snifter. A large tan head forms and slowly settles to a one finger cap. Heavy lacing is left down the glass.

Intensely smoky aroma. Smells almost like a Schlenkerla beer. Notes of tobacco, bacon, vanilla, and wood. Maybe a little wheat bread and floral hints sneaks into the aroma but it is very muted.

Hard to get past the smokiness in the flavor to pick up other flavors. Flavors of quality cigar tobacco, bacon, wood, wheat, and a mild twang in the finish. Very mild bitterness with not much, if any hop flavor detected.

Light body which throws the consumer off from what is a very dark, robust looking beer. Feels a touch thin on the palate.

Seems a little too intensely smoky to make this a beer for regular consumption. Not sure in the home country would be that smoky. Could not really tell if the lacto had taken hold yet either. But it is a very interesting beer and one for smoked beer lovers.

Photo of gillagorilla
3.41/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

22 oz. bomber poured into a Burley Oak snifter (no date, but it just came out)

A: Pitch black with the darkest hue of brown when looking from the top at the angled glass. Thick head that subsides readily enough and leaves nice lacing on the side (freshly cleaned glass). Slightly mocha colored head.

S: There is this weird earthy smoke/roast in there, unlike other smoked beers that I've had. I can't place it, but it might be a combination of the lacto, Polish hops, smoking, and use of wheat. It's like freshly turned dirt (smells a bit like I think the image on the label would smell like it)

T: Subtle smokiness with the overall body of a wheat beer. It is even slightly watery. I don't know what you want me to tell you, but it just isn't an exciting style. I don't get the slight lacto sour at all and it isn't even that smoky overall. FFF, why did you have to do a Gratzer for this collaboration with quite a large distribution footprint?

M: Smooth with just a slight bit of roughness.

O: $10 or maybe $9 for the bomber and not worth it in my opinion. Sometimes I wish collaborations were in 12 oz. bottles. Just not a style that you really want 22 oz. of, but I guess one to share in the disdain. I had to help some people move (they lived on the 3rd floor of a house) and they had a ton of stuff, so I needed a lot of beer (went for this over the only other beer in my fridge, a can of Nomader Weisse). 8 oz. are going to make pancakes tomorrow.

Photo of bluejacket74
3.83/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

22 ounce bottle, label says best enjoyed by May 2015. Served in a mug, the beer pours dark brown with about an inch tan head. Head retention and lacing are both good. I like the aroma, the brew smells like chocolate, coffee, smoked meats/malt, and dark bread/bready malt. It tastes like bittersweet chocolate, smoked meat/malts, dark bread, wheat, wood, and there's also a nice light tart finish. None of the flavors overpowered the others. Mouthfeel/body is light/medium, it's a bit creamy and slick with a good amount of carbonation. I don't think I've ever had a traditional grätzer before so I really can't compare this brew to one. With that being said, I thought this was a good beer and would like to try it again. $8.99 a bomber.

Photo of TruePerception
3.56/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

New Belgium/Three Floyds' Grätzer Ale. 4.5% ABV.

A: Just a slim line of head. Extremely dark brown, nearly black. Honeyed brown in the dimple. A bit of sheeting, and just a slight bit of emaciated lacing.

S: Charred wheat toast (bread) up front. Light graphite. A faint molasses note. Not complex, but a nice scent.

T/MF: Big, yet soft char dominates. Faint licorice. Grassy note to the char flavor. Not bad, but not great.

Poured from a 22 oz. bottle, into a Belgian tulip glass.

Photo of fourstringer
4.01/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Poured from a bomber into a flared pilsner glass. Moderate hand. I am instructed by the bottle to enjoy by May 2015. Done. Artwork sports some miscellaneous undead coming for you on their zombie bicycles. Is that Freddy Krueger?

A: Opaque, essentially black body viewed straight on. 3 fingers of rocky, tan head. Good retention. Nice lacing. That's a handsome brew.

S: Smoky, slightly musty earth. Peat. Roasted malt notes with nuts, lighter coffee.

T: Smoke, peat notes open, closely followed by a roasted malt tang. A mild hop bitterness develops for a mostly dry finish. No alcohol of note. Slightly sour in the aftertaste with some linger smoke essence, charcoal.

M: Moderate carbonation with a light to moderate overall mouth feel.

O: Nice smoky, roasty brew. I can only recall having one other gratzer in the past (Dr. Briem's, I believe) and from my hazy recollection, I'd say this one has it beat. A bit more assertive.


Photo of smakawhat
3.61/5  rDev +2%

Poured from the bottle into a pokal glass.

Deep walnut and mahogany brown body. Opaque. Capped up with a nice cocoa tan and fluffy head. Three fingers with some good lacing and island puck settling down as it falls. Falls a little quicker than anticipated, but leave some nice ring lacing to match. Neat lookingb brew and unexpected, almost milkshake in appearance.

A nice simple mix of smoked malts, hints of light tobacco, but also some nice hints of milky chocolate quality to match. Minimal hop front herbality it seems a bit, but the smoke is the star. Solid.

Palate comes with a bit wetter than expected body, even for this style. Drying finish, and suprisingly crisp airy that flashes quickly. Good amounts of smoke but kind of fleeting and drying, turning very ashen right away. Mild tang of tartness, quite actually well subdued and controlled if not hinted from the aroma. Compliments not too badly actually, one of the less weirder Lips of Faith brews on that front.

Overall not too bad, one of the more easier Lips of Faith brews I can dig my way through.

Photo of JohnGalt1
2.88/5  rDev -18.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.75


22 ... I picked this up last week at Home Brew Stuff in Garden City.. Finally getting around to enjoying a bottle tonight... Pours a Dark Brown with a dark tan head with good retention and lacing.

Nose is oak smoke and little else in the way of a Gratzer... Nothing really tart or in that wormhole. Standard Oak smoked brew.. seems fallow with no attempts at anything interesting.

Flavor is smokey and very flimsy.

Too many cooks in the kitchen trying to come up with a salable brew... I have never met a person I could imagine buying this thing twice. Not terrible, just no redeeming qualities.


Photo of LiquidAmber
3.93/5  rDev +11%

Poured from a bottle into a Dogfish Head pint glass. Pours a very dark mahogany brown with a fine, half finger light brown head with great retention and sheets of lacing. Aroma of smoky toasted grain, cocoa, nuts with a bit of meaty smokehouse. Flavor starts similar to the aroma, with smoky toasted wheat with light hints of cocoa and nuts, develops a bit of tartness as the flavor thins out a bit, exposing the smokiness more clearly. Long lingering smokehouse aftertaste with hints of bacon. A quite nicely made interpretation of a Gratzer leaning towards the theory that this style was slightly sour. I'm not a sour fan, but the light tartness in this was pleasing and fit well with the smoke. I liked this more as I drank the glass and as much as the more lightly flavored attempt at a traditional version of this from Professor Briem. Nicely done and a successful Lips of Faith experiment. Possibly a bit challenging for those not familiar with the history of this rare, nearly extinct style.

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Lips Of Faith - Grätzer (3 Floyds Collaboration) from New Belgium Brewing
80 out of 100 based on 708 ratings.