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

very good
166 Reviews
Professor Fritz Briem 13th Century Grut BierProfessor Fritz Briem 13th 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 ( ), brewed by Weihenstephan & Doemens.

Added by Slatetank on 07-29-2008

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Reviews: 166 | Ratings: 299
Photo of avalon07
4.47/5  rDev +16.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Poured from a bottle to a pint glass. Had a pale yellow color and a cloudy consistency. There was a half inch of foamy head that quickly dissipated. Not a whole lot of lacing.

S: A sweet smelling beer - spicy, malty, hoppy.

T: Tasted of hops and spices with some malt. Spices ruled the roost, but that's not necessarily a bad thing this beer.

M: A vibrant amount of carbonation and a dry, smooth finish. Light-bodied.

D: An airy, tasty, drinkable beer. Great for summer.

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Photo of Damian
4.43/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 3 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Drank from a 1 pint .9 fl oz bottle purchased at Mountview Plaza Wines & Liquors, Naugatuck, Connecticut
Served in a pint glass

The beer poured a slightly cloudy, pale yellow color with a flimsy, bright white, one-finger head that quickly dissipated.

The aroma was absolutely amazing and so unique. Super herbal, spicy and floral with notes of ginger and orange zest. As the beer warmed, the ginger became progressively stronger.

The taste was wildly interesting and complex. Like the aroma, the flavor profile was quite floral with tons of lavender and anise notes. Citrusy, with indications of lemon and jasmine. Rosemary appeared in the center. Hints of eucalyptus were noticeable as well. Bay leaf and anise came through on the crisp, dry, slightly earthy finish. Overall, I found that this beer had more intense top notes than other gruits.

The mouthfeel was light, crisp and a touch airy with a near Champagne-like carbonation.

Drinkability was excellent. This is a light, refreshing and flavorful beer that goes down so effortlessly. I could imagine this making for a wonderful aperitif.

After trying a few of the best gruits in the world, I can unquestionably say that this one is tops on my personal list. Seek this out and be prepared to taste something like you have never tasted before.

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Photo of Rayek
4.21/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a Tulip.

A: Cloudy gold with a steady stream of fine carbonation. A frothy eggshell head has decent retention, but doesn't leave any lace.

S: Extremely herbal. Heavy scents of caraway, rosemary, bay leaf and ginger dominate the nose. The caraway aroma almost clears the nostrils. A dry biscuit scent hides way in the back.

T: The herbs continue. Biscuit malts are there, plus a bit of lemon, but the herbal flavors steal the show. The herb flavors are numerous and the label is happy to list them all: bay leaf, ginger, caraway, anise, rosemary and gentian. Of those, the rosemary, ginger and caraway are the most pronounced. Finishes with a effervescent dryness.

M: The light body is grainy and has a high level of carbonation.

D: This is certainly a different beer that I had to drink with an open mind. The pleasant herbalism combined with the low ABV make this beer go down easily. I'm really glad I picked this one up.

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Photo of wchesak
3.67/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

poured into a conical dogfish head glass

A - 1 1/2 fingers of white head, which disappeared quickly and left a very tiny ring of white around the rim, looks very much like a Belgian wit or gueze with the light straw/cloudiness, no lace at all

S - like someone was blindfolded and picked out spices from a spice rack - carraway is the biggest, lemon peel, ginger

T - some of the same characteristics of a wit, with the toned down malt profile and slight tart in the back of the throat, however the spices, with some profile as smell, take center stage in the middle of the tasting

M - light bodied, good bubbly carbonation, finishes clean

D - refreshing but don't think i could put up with the different spices beyond a bottle, glad I tried this style of beer that is not represented very much on the market

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Photo of Ragingbull
1.76/5  rDev -54.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

Cloudy gold with a dot of lace and a rim of foam. Spicy and light nose that seems more like a health and beauty aid than a beer. I sampled some of this during a tasting I put on for my wife and my in-laws and they were utterly umimpressed. I was left wanting. At first it was novel and I even wrote "curious." Those drinking with me said it tasted like medicine and also, very specifically, Gilchrist and Soames soap. It just had a "pure cleaner" type of flavor in my opinion. The anise pops out at me with some ginger coming through as well. The attack is actually mild compared to the smells. In the mouth it acts like Ben-Gay. Actually Sucrets is an accurate comparison as I have never eaten Ben-Gay. It numbs my mouth like Sucrets. I do feel as if I ate muscle rub however. The flavors and spices are fairly mild and would maybe garner a higher rating if not for a horrendhous mouthfeel and drinkability. Its tought to be generous with the numbers for this. I was pretty excited about it and I am all about "buying in" to new styles, old styles, and innovative styles. Its probably going to hurt their business that I was able to buy a single of this. Sell it by the case or at least six pack if you want to make money. I won't buy it again unless I have someone who can't resist looking at the train wreck.

I really am trying to be productive here. The spices working together in place of "normal" ingredients is a nice try, but I really think they ought to try again. I have been hesitant to review things I don't like on here in the past, but a B+ rating on BA for this beer is calling into question the integrity of the site in my opinion so I have "sounded off." People who use this site to find good beer as I do on occasion would be upset to go by this review in my opinion. Some stores even print "BA shelf talkers" and I want to have my opinion averaged in here. . . especially since I have three other beer lovers who thought I was being nice.

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Photo of Cyberkedi
4.12/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a hazy yellow with a decent white head. Rich aroma is malty and just a little bit fruity, rather appetizing. Flavor is mainly malty, slightly yeasty, with an undertone of fruit and a little bit of an alcohol bite. Smooth, fizzy, edgy texture helps it glide down the pipes.

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Photo of watkins
3.87/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a pint glass.

A: Since I don't know what to compare this to, this is difficult. Looks like a hazy tea or soda like Mountain Dew a loose, fizzy soda-like head that disappears rather noisily and almost instantly.

S: Smells strongly of aromatic herbs. Fresh bay leaf definitely sticks out. The spice of anise is there as well.

T: Uniquely delicious and light. Sort of like a steeped tea. The spice flavor comes through almost minty. Reminds me of the mice en place for an aromatic stock (peppercorns, caraway, herb bouquet, etc.). Really interesting, and delightful.

M: Very light with prickly yet sparse carbonation.

D: Different, but delightfully so. I probably wouldn't down several of these back to back. However, it's something I will definitely visit again.

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Photo of taylorhamrick
4.01/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I don't know what this is supposed to look at. It's like yellow, very hazy, with loose bubbles and a thin head. Looks a bit like a Mt. Dew or something. I can't say I'm impressed, but I can't say I'm disappointed. I'm exited to dig in to something I've never seen before. The smell is what gets me. Just incredibly powerful on the floral notes, not hops, but just flowers, herbs. Maybe like rosemary, cardaomom, saffron cinnamon, coriander, I can't put my finger on it exactly, like I walked into some kind of herb shop or flower shop. Really out there, and not beery, but very pleasant. I do get a hint of sweetness, but mostly spiciness. The taste continues with the spiciness, but there's more beeriness to this one. I can taste a nice light, powdery maltiness, with some pils malt flavor, maybe some melanoids. Then the herbal, floral, spicy flavors hit full force - all the things I mentioned before, like fruity indian cooking almost - or like a really powerful and dry root beer. I can't say that it's my favorite drink on earth, like a strange tea that you enjoy drinking every once in a while. The body is thin, I didn't expect much different, but its not watery, there's enough to keep it together. Nice carbonation level to bring the herbs to the front. Overall, it goes down well, clean, a pleasant drink. I'm not sure this is a beer you'd want more than one of, but I'd recommend it for an interesting drink. I can't compare it to others in the style, but I would say this is an excellent example.

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Photo of AKBelgianBeast
4/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a very unexpectedly light color, slight hazy yellow/gold with good berliner weissish color and carbonation.

Nose is basically a home spice cabinet. This one smells like a naturopathic doctors office. Bay leaves, caraway.

Taste pretty much follows suit. Open the pantry and take a sip of the spice shelf. Bay leaves, Gingeryness, all kinds of spice going on. The base of the beer feels like a light wheat beer, berliner weissy almost. Not as dry as i was expecting.

Mouthfeel is light and carbonation is right where it feels like it should be.

Drinkability is probably great for the style, but due to the slight overdoing of the spices in this one (I know, I know, its gruit) i dont see myself drinking more than one of these bad boys.

Overall a very interesting beer, and certainly fits the style profile, at least as far as my extremely limited experience with gruit goes. An enjoyable and educational brew, but not one i will be drinking very often. Cool beer.

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Photo of Cresant
3.27/5  rDev -14.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Poured this 16.9 oz. brown bottle into a Nonic glass. No date. The body was a pale yellow-white color with a crisp white head. Sludge was visible in the bottom of the bottle. The head faded to nothing.

Smell was perfumy. Herbs. Juniper. Cracked pepper.

Taste was ginger and shrubbery. Celestial Seasonings herbal tea with carbonation is an adequate description. Rosemary. Alka-Seltzer cold medicine (in a good way!). Interesting, but I wouldn't want to drink much of this one.

Mouthfeel was nicely zesty. Medium to light body.

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Photo of TheManiacalOne
3.5/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 16.9oz bottle into a US tumbler pint glass.

A: The beer is a pale yellow color, with a short white head that fades slowly and leaves a thin lace on the glass.

S: The aroma is of strong spices (ginger & bay leaf), light malts, some fruit and a touch of hops.

T: The taste doesn't have the spice intensity that you get from the smell, but the ginger and bay leaf flavors are still the more dominant ones. There are background flavors of figs and wheat and the malt character isn't too heavy but enough to provide some substance. The hops presence is mild but brings some balance. The after-taste is slightly spicy and slightly bready.

M: Crisp and smooth, light body, medium-to-high carbonation, finish is slightly sticky.

D: A little tasty, goes down easily, not too filling, mild kick, very good representation of style, although this isn't a style that I would normally drink, this is one of the best that I've had in it.

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Photo of KevinBrewer
3.9/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours a clear straw color with a small white fizzy head that dissipates quickly, leaving minimal lacing.

N: Smells similar to a witbier. Ginger is most prominent, supported by wheat malt, anise, and other spices. No hops.

T: The taste is very light. Lemongrass with a touch of ginger and spices. The spices all blend together to form what tastes like a healing potion, in a good way. No one ingredient sticks out too much.

M: Light bodied, fizzy carbonation, and a semidry finish.

D: Very enjoyable, light, refreshing, and rejuvenating. One 17oz bottle was perfect for me.

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Photo of Gmann
3.56/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 2 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a very pale yellow color, slighly hazy, with a wispy pure white head that quickly settles into a light ring. The aroma is spicy and herby. Some banana and pepper, with Vick's vaporub. A bit bizarre but pleasant. The taste is like a Hefe spritzer, with lemon juice, more vaporub action, and other various herbs. A light and very spritzy feel, finishes sweet and tart. Most definitely a different brew, but it was enjoyable. Very light and refreshing. Flavors are a bit bizarre but they work together.

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Photo of rhoadsrage
3.13/5  rDev -18.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

(Served in a dimple mug)

A- This beer pours a thick soapy white head that sits on a glowing pale lemon yellow body with a slight bit of haze. With the second pour this beer becomes completely hazy. There is a very strong carbonation of tiny bubbles racing through this beer.

S- The smell of fancy designer soap has a bright floral perfume quality with some lemony citrus notes and some medicinal herb fragrances.

T- The flavor of ginger and bay really pop at the first sip with the brightness of rosemary and lavender following behind. The finish is a soft soapy anise and ginger heat that lingers for a moment.

M- This beer has a medium-light mouthfeel with a fizzy finish and no alcohol heat or astringency at all.

D- This beer has strong medicinal herb and soapy flavors that make it a hot mess. The herbs and spices all taste like they are competing against each other and just make for a strange cough drop in a glass experience.

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Photo of twiggamortis420
4.39/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a hazy lemon yellow color with a white foam that recedes to a spotty film. It's almost glowingly radioactive looking.

Holy shit...WTF? I smell wintergreen, rosemary, lemon zest, bubblegum and white pepper. Seriously the craziest beer I have ever laid nostrils upon.

Once again, more surprises in the flavor...sour wild yeastiness mixed with spicy herbal nuances. Just lights up your tongue from every angle imaginable. It's a flavor cornucopia, if you will. Strangely delicious and refreshing. I feel like I don't even need to brush my teeth now. As this is my first grut beer, I would love to try some others...but shit, I would buy this again in a heartbeat.

Every BA owes it to him/herself to try this crazy shit.

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Photo of ybnorml
3.97/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A very pale yellow with a slight haze. Has a good foamy white head that evaporates quickly. I agree with the bay leaf analogy from an earlier review (the first whiff from the bottle made me think of bay rumm after shave). The spice character is the first thing to hit you in the aroma. With the spicy hop notes and light malt character coming in behind. Bay leaf, rosemary and ginger are easy to pick up. The flavor is very light on the palate. With the ginger getting first not and the rosemary/bay leaf showing up on the back of the tongue. Served chilled this still had a marvelous aroma and quenching mouthfeel. I'll look for it again this summer.

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Photo of Sammy
3.92/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours light yellow with a whitish internal haze. Smells like bay leaf shaving cologne. Mouthfeel is both creamy and a tad sour with fizzy carbonation. Very interesting tastes, its a sipper until I am used to it, and then it goes easier. This brewery puts together some high quality products.

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Photo of firkinhophead
3.31/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Pours a hazy pale, yellow-gold with a thin, quickly disappating head.

Aroma of flowers, herbs and spices. Very thick and sweet. Honeysuckle, cardamom, clove, lemongrass.

Taste is smooth and a bit odd. Very pale, powdery malts, biscuity wheat, nectar, pollen, lemony-tart yeast. Only a hint of apple and pear. Some buttery notes. Not very bitter, but quite spicy and dry in the finish, with a fairly strong edge of mint, caraway and anise.

The thin body is suggestive of a wheat beer. Fairly spritzy and light. It would be quite refreshing if not for the herbal, medicinal finish.

Quite interesting, though, and worth a try to see how perfect hops are for beer.

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Photo of tempest
3.65/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Picked up a bottle at Four Firkins. Pours a hazy bright yellow with a white head. I'm not sure what the boundaries of the style exactly are, but certainly is a spiced beer. It's a bit like a spiced wit of hefe in that there's a lot of lemon, ginger and pepper flavors. The body is drinkable and the mellow bready malts are fairly smooth. Certainly worth a try for something different in the style.

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Photo of bluemoonswoon
4.25/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

16.9oz bottle poured into a pint glass.

This beer is pretty wild, not sure the quidelines for this beer so not sure how it's supposed to look and feel. But judging by how quickly the head foamed up and faded away I assume that this style is not known for the luxurious heads that cling to the glass like wallpaper. Instead it pours out very bright and light, like a clear lemonade, very odd but also intriguing.

Aroma is like nothing I've experienced before. This doesn't smell like beer, it smeels like a clam bake on the beach. Seaweed, green tea leaves, rosemary, cilantro, it smells like a granish, like the juices left behind after a pot of mussels without the fishiness. Suffice to say, quite good and completly unique in a style sense at least.

Pine, tea, lemongrass, rosemary, seaweed, but at every moment bright and light, nothing is a burden here. It tastes like a carbonated tea but better, the finsh only seems to strengthen these inital flavors and make them more pronounced. The finish is also slightly minty, very interesting to say the least. Mouthfeel is on the lighter side of medium bodied an very lively, carbonation is popping away and the spices in this beer compliment this wonderfully by popping away as well, there is never a dull moment with this beer.

A fun beer to drink as things always seem to be changing taste wise and at 4.6% the flavor profile is intense,lots of complexity and punch you in the face flavors to boot. Just wish it was prettier to look at, but I suppose there was more to worry about in the middle ages.

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Photo of mbrasi
4.42/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours pale yellow with a white head that has some retention. Aroma is unique, unlike any brew I've had close to Berliner Weisse but way different. Ginger, lemon and rosemary dominate but it's a bbig salad of spice. Tastes like a ginger beer with some mint mouthwash and an almost medicinal aftertaste like alka seltzer. Finish is somewhat dry and refreshing. Not too bad, very drinkable.

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Photo of jwc215
3.4/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours hazed lemon-drop yellow with a fizzy white head that thins and stays a bit before disappearing.

The smell is herbal/medicinal - bay leaves, rosemary, a touch of anise - other spices that blend. Potpourri-smelling. Interesting.

The tase is herbal, medicinal and perfumy. The herbs blend together. Some lemon tartness gives balance. Finishes with an herbal bitter dryness.

Light-bodied and almost effervescent.

An "interesting" historical brew. Too overboard on the spices for me. A beer to share with a beer friend as a "conversation piece". I've had gruits that were more enjoyable, but this one goes in a different, interesting direction.

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Photo of thekanna
4.11/5  rDev +7%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a slightly pale, thin-looking yellow with a bit of head.

Smell: Very complex. Aroma of mead mulling spices (cloves, coriander, cinnamon, anise, fennel, etc). Strong yet subdued hints of rosemary. Slight honey sweetness.

Taste: Tropical fruits, especially longans. Some fresh pine scent in there too.

Overall: Very interesting beer; fruity, carbonated, they threw everything they could think of in there but the hops (as synonymous with this style).

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Photo of mikesgroove
4/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

My first Gruit, I received this bottle as a most generous extra. Glad to cross this one off the list. Served cold and poured into a pint glass, this one was consumed on 12/08/2008.

I poured this very cloudy and pasty looking yellow liquid into a pint glass. Very thick and dull yellow in color. Small fizzy white head reached up and settled rather quickly, leaving just some token lacing behind in its wake,

The aroma was really odd. Lots of spice, random fruit notes, and truly a kitchen sink like feel to it. Following over into the flavor,it was an odd conconcotion. Lots of ginger like flavors, hints of nutmeg and cinnamon, light lemon like zest and some earthy tones. Thin and very well carbonated feel here, really a soda lke consistency. Smooth and very drinkable.

Overall this was an intresting beer if you can call it that. Not at all what I was expecting, though very nicely done. I could see this fitting in quite well and was a nice change of pace.

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Photo of emerge077
4.08/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pastel yellow body, it just glows when backlit. A fizzy flurry of bubbles flock to the surface, settling into a white blanket of foam, that settles out soon enough. As this sits and opens up, there's a complex array of spices out there. Lots of floral and citrus, daffodil, coriander, anise, plenty of stuff i'm missing, due to not knowing my specific spices (bottle also lists caraway, bay leaf, rosemary, and gentian). Maybe ginger root, even though I hate ginger, it smells pretty good.

Leafy, herbal taste, core root beer spices without the sweetness, mild popcorn kernel, all on a soft bed of wheat. So fresh smelling, like fresh cut herbs. Really something unique, it's hard to describe. Dry aftertaste that has a natural sweetness to it. Lots of character, and i'm at a loss for words this time. It's really effervescent and that carries it along well. Easy to finish the 16 oz.

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Professor Fritz Briem 13th Century Grut Bier from Professor Fritz Briem
3.84 out of 5 based on 299 ratings.
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