Sacred Gruit Ale
Mountain Town Brewing Co.

Sacred Gruit AleSacred Gruit Ale
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Scottish Gruit / Ancient Herbed Ale
Ranked #39
Ranked #44,473
3.42 | pDev: 20.47%
Mountain Town Brewing Co.
Michigan, United States
Sacred Gruit AleSacred Gruit Ale
Notes: A pale ale brewed with yarrow, myrtle and rosemary. This comes from the label and is very helpful and informative when looking at the description of the beer.
Reviews: 22 | Ratings: 54 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of Beginner2
3.73/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

I rate this as the defender of obscure styles and the congratulator of brewers who take the tougher road and try to instruct the American palate that there is more to beer than hops. That said.....

Sacred Gruit Looks decent, a dark-ish gold until the sediment gets poured (and alas, no foam from beginning to end.) It Smells herbal, mostly malty... both OK by me. So this is what myrtle and yarrow Taste like ! All this is good, though not much potential for greatness. A decent sit in the mouth and then Sacred Gruit is done... A good experience, but not one I will jump at repeating.

I went on their website and it was having problems. So maybe another of their ventures to teach the American palate will intrigue me and I will buy it and their website will be up.

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Photo of Tripel_Threat
3.87/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Poured from bottle to tulip. Color is a bright, ruddy orange. Capped but a few fingers off-white foam. Nice rosemary aroma accompanied by floral/herbal notes, and bright fruits, grapes and lemons. Flavor of toasted biscuit, rosemary, spices, lemon, white grapes, pear. Some sort of warm flavor at the core, like spiced honey. (I had lavender honey on toast earlier, would habe made a good compliment). Very nice. Would make an excellent winter ale.

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Photo of Victory_Sabre1973
4.08/5  rDev +19.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer pours a murky reddish brown color. The head was minimal, but there is carbonation evident in the beer. The nose has a floral feel to it. The taste is light. Got a floral taste. Somewhat refreshing feel to it, and a easy drinking beer.

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Photo of superspak
3.68/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 ounce bottle into pint glass, bottled on 6/8/2015. Pours lightly hazy/cloudy golden orange color with a one finger fairly dense off white head with good retention, that reduces to a thin cap that lingers. Light spotty lacing clings around the glass, with a good amount of streaming carbonation retaining the cap. Aromas of lemon, pear, apple, white grape, honey, biscuit, rosemary, light caramel/nuttiness, herbal, floral, and yeast earthiness. Nice aromas with good balance and complexity of herbal spices, fruity yeast, and bready malt notes; with good strength. Taste of lemon, pear, apple, white grape, honey, biscuit, light caramel/nuttiness, rosemary, herbal, floral, and yeast earthiness. Light herbal/spicy bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of lemon, pear, apple, white grape, honey, biscuit, herbal, floral, and yeast earthiness on the finish for a good bit. Nice complexity, robustness, and balance of herbal spices, fruity yeast, and bready malt flavors; with a nice malt/bitterness balance and zero cloying flavors after the finish. Medium carbonation and body; with a very smooth, moderately creamy/bready, and slightly sticky mouthfeel that is nice. Alcohol is very well hidden with minimal warming present after the finish. Overall this is a nice gruit style. All around good complexity, robustness, and balance of herbal spices, fruity yeast, and bready malt flavors; and very smooth and easy to drink. A nicely enjoyable offering.

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Photo of pat61
4/5  rDev +17%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

L: Hazy orange gold with a thin sudsy white foam collar. S: Smells fresh with orange, perfumy floral, herbal spice T: Lightly tart, spicy, fruit with a hint of hibiscus. F: Medium light body and medium carbonation. O: This is one of those things where the brewer attempts to do something interesting and succeeds. The sour tartness goes well with the spice.

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Photo of breakingbland
3.59/5  rDev +5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Pours a cloudy orange with little carbonation. The primary hits to the palate are sour, herbal, and some fruit (maybe orange). Couldn't pick out any if the specific herbs, tho'. Overall, it’s a fairly sweet beer. The body was light.

This is my first gruit, and I'm glad I tried it even thought I might not try it again. However, I would be willing to try other gruits just for fun.

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Photo of kickbundler
2.75/5  rDev -19.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

This is my first gruit beer so I have nothing to compare. It pours a somewhat cloudy copper brown color. Very little head. There is not much aroma, a little malty smell with a whiff of herb. The taste gives a little of the same maltiness/herbiness with a discernible rosemary taste in the finish. The overall effect is decent but I find my palate wanting more bitterness. This is an interesting beverage, I would recommend trying.

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Photo of Copernicandream
3.39/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3.25

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a tulip.

A: Golden orange with a bit of light obstrution from the unfiltered elements. No head to speak of, very low carbonation in general.

S: Mild on the nose but welcoming. Definitely a herbal fruit character, some green apple mixed with rosemary. The yarrow is obvious (but I think easily mistaken if you've never smelled it cut fresh), it is very floral and sweet with just a hint of peppery spiciness. Subtle diacetyl.

T: Sour. Follows the nose with cider like traits, the herbal component is very unique and lends a rising bitterness that hits much more anterior on the palate as compared to the back-tongue hop bite. I was pleasantly surprised by the sour and feels that it complements the mild spice character well. The relatively anemic malt profile fades slowly on the aftertaste.

M: No body to speak of, very thin, very water, with an extremely fine (champagne-like) but minimal carbonation.

O: The negative reviews are not really justified. Its a gruit, it isnt supposed to taste like the beer you know (there is a reason it died out circa 1500). The unique bitterness, and unfiltered sour component alone make it a worthy try. The herbal component is mild but present - a knowledge of the herbs would help in the appreciation of this brew.

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Photo of biegaman
3/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Sacred Gruit Ale is not only without hops but also carbonation. It is entirely flat and has a nectarous, golden complexion; what is actually a pretty handsome ale could nonetheless be described as something that was poured from a plastic squeeze bottle with a bee on the label.

The aroma is disappointing considering it's brewed with three types of herbs; added to pastas or meat they create savory aromatics but apparently lend little fragrance to ales. You'd think a beer without hops would smell more malty but this is virtually scent-free.

I can't claim to really know what yarrow, sweet gale (myrtle) or marsh rosemary taste like, but I'm sure they've more character than this recipe let's on. This has little much of anything earthy, savory, herbal; nothing you'd brew into a tea or use to season a steak.

If pressed, I'd suggest hints of juniper berries or unfermented white wine juice (it's somewhat grape-y and sweet). There may be a hint of caramel but little else that can be attributed to the malts. They're absent in the mouthfeel too, which is without volume or texture.

Mt. Pleasant Sacred Gruit is not a conventional ale nor does it taste like one. I bought it expecting as much but also hoped it would be more interesting; it's not its unique ingredients that distinguishes it from other beers, it's its totally forgettable, dismissible drinkability. Whether viewed as a novel experiment or simply a pleasant drink, it fails on both counts.

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Photo of thickgirth
4/5  rDev +17%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

people who go by the label and expect a "pale ale" will be disappointed. but people who are looking for something on the level of a low end jolly pumpkin sour might enjoy this flavor for the price. I really found it quite enjoyable and find some of the negative reviews to be mind boggling.

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Photo of Cotton_27
1.32/5  rDev -61.4%
look: 3 | smell: 1 | taste: 1 | feel: 3 | overall: 1

This is by far the one of the most disturbing beers I've ever had, didn't smell very good or taste very good, I purchased it from the brewery in Mt. P so it should have been fresh, might be for some but most def. not for me. Bought two, gave second one to a friend, he didnt care for it either.

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Photo of smalenberg
3.14/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.25

A - Amber verging on peach in color, no head to speak of.

S - Rosemary is noticeable in a slightly bubblegum/candy sugar sweetness. There is additional herbal character here that could be the yarrow and/or myrtle - I'm not familiar enough with either to say for sure - but in any case, it gives a slight earthy note that underlies strong sweetness.

T - Comes across like a sour, with a decidedly green apple presence that doesn't seem like it belongs there as well as a lemony character. Something present that reminds me of an artificial sweetener. Yarrow seems to be intended to substitute for hops to provide some bittering, and it is there, but doesn't seem to balance properly with the sweet and sours.

M - The artificial sweetener quality I mentioned in the taste hangs around sort of like the aftertaste in a bad diet soda, only not as strong.

O - This is a tough beer to judge mainly because you can't approach it like most other beer, but that being said there are some rough edges here. I was really interested to try a commercial gruit example. The only thing similar I've had is Williams Brothers Fraoch Heather, and it was decidedly better. The smell was the best part of the beer. I won't be buying it again.

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Photo of Mitchster
1.82/5  rDev -46.8%
look: 1.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1.5

$2.79 for a 12oz twist off bottle. 5.8% ABV. A "pale ale brewed with yarrow, myrtle and rosemary". Pours out to a clear golden peach with no head despite a vigorous pour. Very low carbonation, ~1.5 carbs. No head, no retention, no lacing. The nose is intriguing...I definitely notice the malt, a little diacetyl on top of the herbal notes. I wouldn't be able to discern the herbs used but there is a subtle pine character like rosemary, although it doesn't smell like fresh rosemary per say. Medium fruitiness from the yeast strain and a little pink bubblegum. Mouthfeel is quite ruddy and oxidized with medium acidity and a medium body. The taste starts out interesting enough but quickly devolves into a limpid oxidized mess. Again, I strongly suspect an English yeast strain but the taste tells me it's ringwood. Ugh. No bitterness. Caramel aftertaste. Weird adjuncty finish.

Definitely not my cup of tea. I would not buy this again and can't recommend it even for the curious.

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Photo of BirdsandHops
3.86/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Pours a hazy orange-gold with a finger of off-white head that fades into a thin ring with no lacing.

S: Bubblegum and candy sugar notes up front followed by some peach and apricot aromas. There are light tart notes as well on a finish that is both sweet and sour.

T: The bubblegum is a bit less present here, but the tart fruit flavors are very present--reminiscent of blackberries and peaches. There are slight funky notes as well with a finish that is clean and tart, like a really tart white wine.

M: Medium-light body with low carbonation, this beer's tartness keeps it from being too watery, though I'd still like a bit more carbonation.

O: An interesting and refreshing beer. This is only the second gruit I've had and the first was radically different with juniper and lavender. This one is more like a Berliner weisse--tart and sour yet light and refreshing. Enjoyable overall, though.

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Photo of GRG1313
4.51/5  rDev +31.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a dark honey orange with a feint white head that quickly fades; nice color but appears like clear orange jello.

Nose is assertive herbs. The beer is brewed with yarrow, myrtle and rosemary - I can smell light and nice rosemary and must assume some of the other herbal character is yarrow and/or myrtle (as I have no idea of the characteristics of those.) However, nose is spicy and welcoming.

Mouthfeel is thin but, for style and flavor profile just what you'd want; perfectly elegant, light carbonation and perfectly balanced.

The thin feel brings out the best of the flavor profile which is tart and citric with undertones of oranges and tangerines with a squeeze of lime. The flavor profile rocks! Super refreshing, lemony and appealing, with lots of lightly sweet lemon/lime/orange tones and a great "pucker" factor without being a sour. This is just a wonderful drink, although certainly not your typical or expected brew.

I hate that this beer may get lower scores or bad reviews because there is "not enough hops" or "not enough malt." That shows a misunderstanding of the style. Please, review the style and judge to style - this one is a winner. You may like a very hoppy beer or a very malty beer - this is not the one for you. But, the score should not suffer because you don't like the style. For the style, it's wonderful.

Shows no alcohol and some would like just for the refreshing and appealing tones. Light citric finish. I think this is a love it or hate it kind of beer; I love it.

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Photo of StoutHunter
3.12/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I picked up a bottle of Mt. Pleasant's Sacred Gruit Ale last week for $2.59 at The Lager Mill. I have never had this style before, so I thought I would start off with one from a local brewery to get an idea of what this style is all about and if I like it or not, so lets see how it goes. No visible bottling date 2012 Vintage. Poured from a brown 12oz bottle into a imperial pint glass.

A- I like the label on this beer, it has a cool fairy tale style look to it, Mt. Pleasant is starting to step their label game up, it's about time. It poured a a nice golden orange amber color that was pretty cloudy and it had a nice bright golden orange color when held to the light. It had a finger and a half worth of fizzy white head that quickly died down to hardly anything. The color was nice, but the head was disappointing, it dissipated faster then the head on a Bud Light, pretty average looking.

S- The aroma seems to be pretty fragrant, it smells similar to a Wheat Beer, it starts out with a good amount of sweet malts that impart a sweet, grainy, and pretty wheaty aroma. After that comes yeast and spices that come together to makes a heavy spicy yeast and pretty herbal aroma, there was also a slight lemon aroma towards the end. It smells ok, I find it to be very similar to Short's Nicie Spicie.

T- The taste seems to be very similar to the aroma. It starts off with a good amount of malts that have just the right amount of sweetness and impart some doughy, bready, and wheat flavors. Next comes some spices with no individual one sticking out more then the other, they just meld together. Towards the end I get some herbs and some more spices, there is no bitterness just a slightly sweet and tart taste on the finish, and it has a grainy and herbal aftertaste. The taste was ok, no flavors stuck out as being really good, but there was also nothing completely out of place either, I am pretty indifferent about it.

M- Smooth, slightly dry, medium bodied, with a higher amount of carbonation that was a little prickly. The mouthfeel was ok, I could have done without the pricklyness, but I think this style needs a little more carbonation then usual so I don't think it's that out of place, just not to my liking.

Overall I was pretty indifferent about this beer, I didn't hate it, but I for sure didn't love it, this is my first of the style so I don't really know how on par this beer is but if I had to guess I would say that it's pretty average. This beer had ok drinkability, it went down pretty smooth, but the flavor really didn't hold my attention so one is enough for me, but this beer might hit the spot on a really hot day. What I liked most about this beer was the aroma, it wasn't bad and it reminded me of Nicie Spicie. What I liked least about this beer was that it seemed to be pretty average all around, no aspect stuck out as being really well done. I won't be buy this again, I could think of a lot of other beers that I would much rather have for the same price. If you are a Gruit fan then this is worth a try to see where it stands but I don't think I would recommend it to my friends as a good beer, even to the ones that don't like hoppy beers. I wasn't too into this beer, there wasn't anything about it that impressed me, but it for sure wasn't horrible tasting, just pretty boring and not exciting at all. This beer falls in the same category as most of Mt. Pleasant's beers, average, I am still waiting to really impressed by this brewery. My first Gruit didn't leave a great first impression, but I will still be looking for more of this style.

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Photo of paulginva
3.53/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

APPEARANCE: This beer, poured from a tap into a pint glass, produced an off-white foamy 1/2" head that dissipated quickly leaving virtually no head lacing. Carbonation was moderate in a hazy deep amber body.

AROMA: Light malts, some light yeast and a very light hint of lemon.

TASTE: The same as the smell but more complex. I don't know what was used instead of hops here and you can taste it at the end, but throughout the sip whatever it is provides backbone without being obvious. Some spices, light malts, a little yeast and a bit of lemon were all I could identify but I suspect there's more

MOUTHFEEL: This beer has a medium body with a smooth texture, moderate carbonation and virtually no body lacing. What little there was dissipates quickly. The initial flavor is moderately sweet shifting to a lightly dry finish that lasted for a short time.

DRINKABILITY: This is my first beer of this style and I qyite liked it. It is easy to dring and repeatable, somewhat memorable (maybe because it was my first; I really don't know) and provides good value for the money. I didn't know what to expect from this "no hops" beer and was pleasantly surprised. While a bit on the bland side, I'd definitely order it again.

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Photo of Lillenk
2.43/5  rDev -28.9%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Had on tap at Grill One Eleven.

Appearance was sort of a hazy light brown/red with a hint of tan on the head.

Smell didn't have a whole lot going on at all.

Taste was about the same in the sense of not much going on. Very bland. Obviously no hoppy notes but very little malty taste either.

Mouthfeel was pretty good. Very light and easy to drink but definately didn't leave you wanting to come back for more.

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Photo of techfed87
4.17/5  rDev +21.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours an even head. Color is a very dense, clouded shade of amber. Smell's of rich malts and herbs are quite clear.

First sip is a taste that almost reminds you of how thanksgiving stuffing smells. It's packed with flavors that are bitter, yes, but not the same type of bitter that hops usually are. These are more nuanced. As the flavor fades, the malt kicks in and finishes the beer off in a very satisfying aftertaste.

The best beer I've had from Mountain Town yet, you really need to try this.

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Photo of goast8127
3.25/5  rDev -5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Reviewed on 10/21

This was my first experience with Gruit. The girl pouring the beer explained that it was one of their newer experimental beers brewed in similar style to those before beer included hops. It had a light golden color with a thin, quarter-inch head. Easy drinking, this beer reminded me of a nice, light pilsner.

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Photo of FSUplumber
3.73/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Stopped by for the first time on my way home. and found it to be a nice little brew pub with a nice bunch of choises. I never had a beer with no hops so I gave it a try.
A- Nice copper color with a thin bead for a head
S- Not much, malt but hardly any of that
T- Sweat, but not as much as I expected, could not pick out any other flavors eather.
M- Medium light
D- Good I might have it agian. Fun to try

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Photo of mothman
3.2/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

On tap at the Michigan Brewers Guild Summer Fest

There is no hops in this beer.

Pours a creamy white head with good retention. Color is a darker golden orange.

Aroma: Kind of fruity with some yeast and lemon grass flavors. Some spices as well.

Taste: More spices here. Fruit flavors, lemons, orange peel. Kind of dry.

Mouthfeel: Crisp and smooth drinking. Medium bodied and a medium amount of carbonation. Ends dry with unpleasant fruit flavors that are dull and bland.

Overall, for a no hop 'beer' it was pretty decent. It was kind of bland, but alright. Not something I really want a lot of though.

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Sacred Gruit Ale from Mountain Town Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 80 out of 100 with 54 ratings