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Professor Fritz Briem 13th Century Grut Bier - Professor Fritz Briem

Professor Fritz Briem 13th Century Grut BierProfessor Fritz Briem 13th Century Grut Bier

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

226 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 226
Reviews: 150
rAvg: 3.84
pDev: 14.58%

Brewed by:
Professor Fritz Briem

Style | ABV
Scottish Gruit / Ancient Herbed Ale |  4.60% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
Created by Dr. Fritz Briem of Doemens Institute (  http://www.doemens.org  ), brewed by Weihenstephan & Doemens.

(Beer added by: Slatetank on 07-29-2008)
View: Beers (4) |  Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 226 | Reviews: 150 | Show All Ratings:
Reviews by kkipple:
Photo of kkipple

South Carolina

4.45/5  rDev +15.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Great Odin's raven, how have I not reviewed this one yet?! Fixing this right now. From notes (and many bottles):

I'M FRITZ BRIEM BITCH! </ Rick James> Okay, now that we've the requisite introduction out of the way... no really, try it out loud, it's funny... who is Fritz Briem? I mean, his name is on the label of this (I assume) contract brewed beer by Wiehenstephan... a quick Google sez: he was "a member of the technical and research staff at Weihenstephan."

Okay. So the good Doctor obviously knows his stuff. Now onto the beer. This is a Gruit. It replaces hops with a tonne of weird botanicals including Ginger, Anise, Gentian (???), Rosemary and Caraway. Oh, and Bay leaves. Okay. So now you have something to go on with.

I dunno... the best review of this unique minor masterpiece is simply to crack one for yourself. Serve at around 55 degrees F and go to town... as it warms all kinds, and I mean all kinds, of weird, impossible to pinpoint aromas come out of this hazy-pale yellow ale. It's sort of mystical, actually.

The nose is quite simply a cornucopia of herbs. Insanity. Potpourri. Lemon, ginger (check), anise, pepper, tart, tea-like, grassy, spicy, earthy. You'll come up with your own adjectives. There is zero hop aroma, of course, and barely any real malt to be smelt, leaving your brain and nose reeling from the (well balanced) herbal assault. Smells sort of like walking through a spice aisle, but fresher. You simply MUST experience it for yourself -- exceptional? Yes.

The flavor is weird, and woolly, and herbal. Fritz Briem (...bitch) has made a beer like absolutely NOTHING else I've ever had.
No food, no drink has come within yards of the unique herbal-fizz punch this... thing... packs. it's soft and drinkable and tart-sour and light and as you sip on this beverage your eyes get wider and wider and you get The Fear and expect elves or kobolds to suddenly leap out from behind the oaks and rowan trees that keep... getting... closer... they'll drag you into the circle and force some vegetal potion down your throat and you'll feel light headed, and dance with them till dawn, till you awake to find yourself face-down in a freshly cut lawn with a three eyed moon-child scattering flower cuttings over your prone form while she hums in a high-pitched, sing-song voice... the trees, the colors...

Er, sorry, where was I? Oh, yeah, the Gruit. Please drink some. Find it and drink it out of a goblet while listening to your trip-out music of choice and wearing less clothing than you'd usually.
This is devastatingly unique, to me, and I love it.

On a more... useful note, when I serve this to beer geeks, which is often, I tell them to think of it as an herbal soda. It only remotely resembles beer, but is supremely memorable, mind-expanding and, dare I say, delicious. Surely the best Gruit I have had to date. Fritz Briem, I bow in your general direction. Keep taking orders from the faeries and I'll keep drinking.

Serving type: bottle

07-04-2010 22:10:26 | More by kkipple
More User Reviews:
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4.25/5  rDev +10.7%

04-09-2014 03:24:14 | More by Jame515
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New Jersey

3.75/5  rDev -2.3%

03-31-2014 01:06:39 | More by starshockey9
Photo of mactrail


3.56/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Pale yellow with just a slight haze. I thought the Brugse Zot glass with the jester would be Medieval enough. Swarms of bubbles in the glass and a coarse white head. It settles down to near flatness after a few minutes. Light weight and rather tart.

The bitterness is a quite intense when it seeps in. Gentian is quite distinct and medicinal and you wouldn't mistake it for any kind of hop. Long aromatics in the nose, but the herbs don't jump out with individual flavors. I taste lavender, which of course isn't one of the ingredients on the label. Maybe it's the bay leaves and anis. A crazy mix.

Overall it's a very interesting interesting quaff, and this "Historic Signature Series" is well worth seeking out. From the 500 ml bottle purchased at Mayfair Liquors in Denver. My first Gruit to rate, at least, though I've had the Scottish heather and seaweed ones.

Serving type: bottle

03-28-2014 02:54:43 | More by mactrail
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3.5/5  rDev -8.9%

03-24-2014 16:50:39 | More by iatethecloudsfor
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New York

4.29/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

A mostly clear gold SRM 4-5 with a big, bubbly half-inch head. No real lacing on the inside of a Spaten Seidel, though particles in suspension range in size. Most sediment was left in the bottle. That which transferred slowly settled out.

Fresh lemon with caraway. Possibly some rosemary, but definitely anise. Anise becomes stronger with warmth. Some bay leaf and fresh ginger are also noticeable.

Tart fruit with ginger. The aroma comes through nicely and is quite refreshing. The sweet/tart interplay becomes prevalent in a mild, lingering, herbal finish.

Medium body, highly spritzy with a hint of alcohol, a satin texture with light metallic notes.

This is a superbly refreshing beer, similar to a Radler. I imagine this would be a great summer beer to relax with in the shade with friends. I was pleasantly surprised.

Serving type: bottle

03-23-2014 20:11:42 | More by SLeffler27
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3.5/5  rDev -8.9%

03-07-2014 03:15:44 | More by threedaggers
Photo of fourstringer


4/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a 0.5L bottle into a large glass stein. Moderately aggressive hand. No clear date on a hasty examination of the vessel.

A: Hazy, yellow-green body with 1 finger of white, sudsy head. Ok retention. No lacing. That's an interesting hue...

S: Herbal spice, heavy black pepper, lemon, a bit of grass. Cool.

T: Tart and herbal initially followed by the development of an astringent bitterness. Very dry finish. Lingering essence of bitter-lemon in the aftertaste. No alcohol of note.

M: Moderate to light carbonation with a light body. Has a certain drying effect on the palate.

O: Pretty tasty, citrusy, herbal concoction. Refreshing. Tea-like in it's astringency, but nicely drinkable. It's very interesting that I don't detect any of the cited herbs/spices specifically, but together they generate a very appealing flavor profile.


Serving type: bottle

02-28-2014 23:23:06 | More by fourstringer
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4.25/5  rDev +10.7%

02-18-2014 02:28:48 | More by FFATS
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3.68/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Undated bottle at 55 degrees into imperial pint glass
Aroma of a spring meadow with an over smell of fall’s goldenrod
Head average (4 cm), white, frothy, mostly diminishing into a 2 mm ring
No lacing
Flavor of an herbal tea (Drink it, it’s GOOD for you), obviously no hops, no alcohol, no diacetyl; the only identifiable flavor is of bay leaves and maybe cumin.
Palate light, watery, carbonation starts lively but immediately fades to none.

Kind of makes me glad to be a beer drinker today, not then.

Serving type: bottle

02-09-2014 13:28:42 | More by Ozzylizard
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4/5  rDev +4.2%

02-09-2014 01:51:03 | More by Resuin
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2.96/5  rDev -22.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

S: fruity, biscuit, with some spice

A: golden color

T: spicy, bitter, floral ( lavender) on finish leaves a lingering sharpness.

O: interesting beverage from the 13th century. A little bread note with hints of spice. bitterness lingers on the back of the palate.

Serving type: bottle

01-31-2014 04:37:00 | More by bierdeflanders
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New Jersey

3.5/5  rDev -8.9%

11-26-2013 01:07:06 | More by Chugs13
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3.5/5  rDev -8.9%

11-20-2013 22:44:48 | More by edhizdeid
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3.59/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Enjoyed out of a brown 500 mL botttle with no dating that I can find on the bottle. Poured into a 50 cL glass stein with a textured exterior.

Appearance - Sunny golden body with some haze and on overall bright but somewhat translucent appearance to it. Head is about a finger thick and delicate looking, with small bubbles, like you might expect from champagne, only this one has more heft to it, and sticks around longer too. Eventually the head recedes to a film across the top, leaving little to no lacing whatsoever.

Smell - Very herbal up front, with lots of different spices coming through. The predominant ones to my nose are the bay leaves and rosemary, with a hint of the anise and ginger peeking through as well. Very light and tea-like.

Taste - The way in which the nose reminded me of tea is only more on display with the taste. It's very much like a strong herbal tea, with notes of lemon zest and lemongrass, bay leaves, ginger, and bitter garden greens. The multitude of herbs clearly take the place of hops in modern beer styles, and while it's exceedingly different and unique it's not a bad thing.

Mouthfeel - Light bodied and moderate to low carbonation, with a dry, bitter finish.

Overall, a style I'm glad to have gotten the opportunity to sample. It would be interesting to see other brewers' takes on the style, similar to how berliner weisse (another Professor Fritz Briem portfolio beer) has become increasingly popular in the last several years, it seems. This reminded me a little bit of the limited experience I've had with the Sahti style. Personally, I'll stick with hops for my bittering and flavor when given a choice.

Serving type: bottle

11-04-2013 06:11:18 | More by LambicPentameter
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New York

4/5  rDev +4.2%

11-01-2013 18:58:33 | More by sirsteve42
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New York

4.25/5  rDev +10.7%

09-21-2013 00:03:05 | More by BeerBucks
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3.75/5  rDev -2.3%

08-25-2013 07:39:49 | More by Maillard
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New York

4.75/5  rDev +23.7%

08-22-2013 01:45:17 | More by ausonius
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4.25/5  rDev +10.7%

08-18-2013 19:39:43 | More by coldmeat23
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New York

4/5  rDev +4.2%

08-18-2013 18:50:23 | More by smithj4
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North Carolina

4.25/5  rDev +10.7%

08-04-2013 17:56:57 | More by Immortale25
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1.5/5  rDev -60.9%

08-02-2013 18:51:28 | More by harpus
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4/5  rDev +4.2%

08-02-2013 01:28:19 | More by MRsojourner
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4.5/5  rDev +17.2%

07-21-2013 04:23:34 | More by Jtrigonis
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Professor Fritz Briem 13th Century Grut Bier from Professor Fritz Briem
86 out of 100 based on 226 ratings.