13th Century Grut Bier | Professor Fritz Briem

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13th Century Grut Bier13th Century Grut Bier
Very Good
300 Ratings
13th Century Grut Bier13th Century Grut Bier

Brewed by:
Professor Fritz Briem

Style: Scottish Gruit / Ancient Herbed Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 4.60%

Availability: Year-round

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

Added by Slatetank on 07-29-2008

Bros Score:
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Ratings: 300 |  Reviews: 166
Photo of pat61
5/5  rDev +30.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

L: Pours straw with a slight haze under a thin, white foam cap.
S: A bouquet of spice, most noticeably rosemary, caraway, ginger and anise.
T: A lightly sweet with a hint of sour backgone provides a playground for the spice. Many are hard to pin down and come in and out of focus. Anise and rosemary definitely with a does of ginger heat and flavor that lingers long into the aftertaste. Some background chamomile.
F: Light, refreshing with some sparkle.
O: This is a unique, fragrant, perfumey, herby, light and real fresh beer, well worth hunting down and drinking.

 573 characters

Photo of Beer-Zombie
5/5  rDev +30.2%

I've been wanting to get my hands on this brew for quite some time and low-and-behold
it shows up at the beer store next door to my place! This is going to be a perfect treat as my
weekend starts now...

Pours up cloudy gold with a quickly fading, frizzy white head. Lots of yeast balls nestled into
the bottom of my Duvel chalice. The nose is what'll blow your dick off. It smells of ginger, anise,
rosemary, menthol, lemon peel, mango, licorice. Amazing! Taste is not as diversified. Tart,
oranges, lemons, white pepper, pale malts, floral hops. Spritzy carbo, medium leaning light
bodied. The best gruit I've ever had! Find this and drink this. You won't be dissapointed

 686 characters

Photo of Stockfan42
5/5  rDev +30.2%

Photo of gleemonger
5/5  rDev +30.2%

Photo of psoriasaurus
5/5  rDev +30.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Photo of aeyust
5/5  rDev +30.2%

Photo of afsdan
5/5  rDev +30.2%

Photo of J_Dub
4.75/5  rDev +23.7%

Photo of ausonius
4.75/5  rDev +23.7%

Photo of waiting4lunch
4.75/5  rDev +23.7%

Photo of PuFtonLyfe
4.75/5  rDev +23.7%

Photo of drperm
4.7/5  rDev +22.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

I honestly had no idea what to expect from this, and I really *wanted* to like it -- so a certain trepidation factor entered in, and I was preparing myself for disappointment.

There was no need. This is the most surprising -- and surprisingly different -- brew I've had in quite a while. The closest thing I've had to this would be the offerings from Williams Brothers (makers of Heather Ale and such), but this one really picks up where they leave off.
In summary: I love it. The $7 price tag (ouch!) might keep me from having a steady supply on hand, but otherwise I'd make this a staple in my house.

Appearance: Yellow. Bold, sparkly, glowing, translucently-cloudy yellow. With a billowy white sea-foam top. In my Duvel goblet, it looks divinely perfect. For some reason (and ignoring the other posts on here) I was expecting a much darker brew (thanks to Williams Brothers). Lovely.

Aroma: Wow. This smell is incredible -- like the way I hope my kitchen smells on good days! Bay leaves, ginger, anise, cardamom, peppercorns, coriander, sour cherry, pear, and cinnamon.

Taste: Mulling spices meet Belgian farmhouse meet heather ale. This is absolutely out-of-this-world. My fear was that the "herbiness" would quickly become tiresome and over-the-top, but the opposite happened -- it becomes increasingly catchy and addictive the more I sip. Extremely thirst-quenching and unendingly intriguing. I could honestly stand it to be stronger in the malt, or overall-strength, department, but that's my only (slight) complaint.

Mouthfeel: Perfect. Juicy, piquant, scrubby-bubbles, off-dry. It would even work as a lawnmower beer for some days.

Drinkability: Again, the hefty price tag for a 16.9 fl oz bottle, but geezus this is delicious stuff. I'm going to have to show superhero restraint, put the rest of my unconsumed glass in the fridge, and cook up some vegetarian Indian food to go with this. It's begging for it. It would also be a winner with my "Chaucerian" spiced-Venison pie.

Holy cow I'm in love with this beer.

 2,031 characters

Photo of AtrumAnimus
4.68/5  rDev +21.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

This one pours a whitish pale gold that is nice and cloudy with a thick, rich long lived white head that settles very slowly leaving more of a tall ring than a lacing. My observation is that the head is so thick and slow to settle that it pulls itself back down the inside of the glass.

The nose is somewhat spicy and crisp with hints of bread, grass, tangerines, ginger and bay, and is very pleasant.

The taste is extremely unique and reflects this brews unique style and origins. The notes of ginger, bay leaves, anise and the combination of the wheat and yeast are a great success.

The moutfeel is reach and delivers the complex taste to eh palate nicely.

Overall this is an exceptionally good beer. Very different but very good. I will drink it again, and again, and...

 778 characters

Photo of seedyone
4.6/5  rDev +19.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

From bottle at Rattle n Hum, NYC. You think you know beer? Nah ha! This will open your eyes. Nose says lemon-ish, Bay leaves? Yesiree, Bob. Not only are all those ancients present they exist within harmoniously. I`m left with a feeling of want & deprivation because there are no more in the cellar & I want.

I`ll stop here because I'm afraid my praise will distance me from my next bottle.

I've said too much.

 412 characters

Photo of CBodamer
4.59/5  rDev +19.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Photo of Bouleboubier
4.56/5  rDev +18.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

A: really cloudy, yellow....bright white head, spongy - a nice amount, good rise, just doesn't want to stick around....it looks like a Berliner Weisse, or Absinthe

S: herbal - pasta sauce?! (but this goes away)...I'd like to think the rosemary and ginger comes out most predominantly....sniffed, for reference, all the herbs/spices listed on the label (with the exception of gentian, though I did have Angostura on hand...)....wasn't detecting any caraway and the anise was thankfully just enough to balance, bay leaves perhaps the same...with the green herbs and the ginger was a wonderful citrus blend of an aroma....the whole spice bill was so well balanced and edged toward accessibility

T: up front, a nasty, funky mystery (but this goes away)....the aftertaste very much mirrors the smell....I suppose that's the gentian that's prevalent here....fruity, mildly tart, some vague sweetness - herbs and spices are so well balanced and mellow enough....ginger/bay-leaf bite very late, but still fairly subdued....a sort of herbal/floral and certainly bright citrus flavors are the core here

M: sort of thinnish, a little dry....spritzy (or is that the citrusy/herbal bite?) - enhances the thinness....later, there's actually a pleasant, yet soft, filling sensation, yet it washes away somewhat clean, though a little residual stickiness remains on the palate....the lighter body works to its advantage here though

O: in my mind, this is the best of the more readily available gruit ales on the market....something that truly stands out, and it's so drinkable!...and only a German or (better) British yeast seems appropriate for this style (Belgian "gruit" is a waste/joke)...the yeast must have some hand in the flavor here, but it still allows the flavorings to come through....definitely try this if you haven't!

 1,820 characters

Photo of BeerAdvocate
4.5/5  rDev +17.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Review from BeerAdvocate Magazine Issue #39 (Apr 2010):

This rare treat is part of the Historic Signature Series of forgotten styles brewed according to the historic recipes by Dr. Fritz Briem of the Doemens Institute. Gruits have their place in lore, with sources citing psychotropic properties and berserking effects. Not sure if we'll get our Viking on here, but this interpretation is brewed with bay leaves, ginger, caraway, anise, rosemary, gentian, wheat, barley and wild hops.

Pale, straw, cloudy, with a ton of carbonation that induces a massive foaming white head. This eventu- ally settles to a creamy lace that sticks to the end. Very fragrant in the nose. Sweet herbal with ginger, floral (lilac), soft rosemary, mint, menthol and wheat husks. Light bodied; flash of crispness, then smooth with an underlying creaminess. A bit tart with a nice wheat twang, mild grassy bitterness and pine sap. Ginger flavors dominate with a soft spiciness. Juniper. Sage. Cloves. Soft licorice. Touch of sweetness, but dry overall. Wheat tannins toward the end with a linger of mixed-bag of spices, grassiness and menthol.

For those looking to experience beer of yore, this is a must. There's a lot going on, but it's delicious, highly drinkable and refreshing; it works well, and gives you a glimpse into beer geek palates of the 13th century. And though examples of the style are quite rare (we currently list fewer than 50 on the website), this is quite possibly one of the best Gruits we've had to-date.

 1,508 characters

Photo of Beer21
4.5/5  rDev +17.2%

Photo of jessicapreuss
4.5/5  rDev +17.2%

Photo of RandyKemka
4.5/5  rDev +17.2%

Photo of st9647v3
4.5/5  rDev +17.2%

Photo of pathman
4.5/5  rDev +17.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of alalvarez75
4.5/5  rDev +17.2%

Photo of Kurmaraja
4.5/5  rDev +17.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A beautiful beer in all aspects. Complex herbal bouquet - slightly perfumed and floral, smelling like spring, laurel & bay, rosemary and lemon balm. Flavor adds a mentholated winter green brightness, slight ginger bight, rustic wildness of sage. Slightly mossy and forest edge. Effervescent but not sharp; rounded and soft. All this makes the beer sound incredibly odd. The real accomplishment here is that it's not; its uniqueness is intriguing rather than in your face and challenging. To American palates unaccustomed to herbal drinks, only familiar with herbs as something in your occasional cough drop or medicine, sure; I can see how they may struggle to wrap their minds around this. But for anyone with a modicum of culinary sophistication, this is astounding.

 768 characters

Photo of bigred89
4.5/5  rDev +17.2%

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13th Century Grut Bier from Professor Fritz Briem
Beer rating: 3.84 out of 5 with 300 ratings