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Grätzer | Westbrook Brewing Co.

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87 Ratings

Brewed by:
Westbrook Brewing Co.
South Carolina, United States

Style: Smoked Beer

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 3.40%

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
This is our interpretation of a Grätzer, which is a traditional German style smoked wheat brewed with lots of hops and 90% oak smoked wheat malt. The result is a spritzy, smokey and refreshing ale.

10 IBU

Added by avalon07 on 05-26-2012

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 87 |  Reviews: 21
Photo of jsanford
4.67/5  rDev +33.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a hazy yellow with a fluffy white head that fades to a puffy ring in the center and a slight ring around the edge. Aromas is all smoke, and nice, meaty smoke reminiscent of bacon and smoked salmon. My fiancee claims this reminds her of a Bagel-with-lox, and I can definitely see it. Touch of grainy wheat in the aroma as well. Taste is similarly smoky, lots more bacon and fish, but amazingly smooth and refreshing. I'm getting a touch of citrusy hops as well, fitting since it's apparently brewed with "lots of hops". I'd be curious to experience this without the smoke, it'd probably make a nice citrusy Wheat Beer. Anyways. Mouthfeel is crisp and refreshing, with a medium-thin body and good carbonation. Overall another phenomenal "forgotten" beer style from Westbrook. Between this, their Gose, and their smoked Berliner Weisse (Lichtenhainer Weisse), Westbrook has easily become one of the most exciting and unique breweries in the country. I only wonder what's next? Gruit perhaps?

 994 characters

Photo of JWQ
4.25/5  rDev +21.8%

Photo of FUwolfpacker
4.25/5  rDev +21.8%

Photo of GORUM
4.25/5  rDev +21.8%

Photo of Huhzubendah
4.18/5  rDev +19.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Very excited to try this one. I'm a big fan of German beers, low alcohol beers on a wrm day, and smoked beers. This seems like a great marriage of the above.

The beer is clear and pale golden with a small white head. The aroma brings some German characteristics, bread, grain, subtle smoke. Smoke character emerges more as the beer is allowed to warm. Really light and refreshing. A lot of flavor packed into such a low abv beer, though everything is chill and understated. Smoke and kolsch linger in the finish. Nicely done. I'm glad I have another to enjoy.

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Photo of listenatjoes
4.03/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

In a world of heavy hitting, high ABV craft beers I'm intrigued to find complexity and flavors in the 4% and lower ABV beers. This is surely one. From a 22 oz bomber with bottling date of 12/19/2012 from the Greenville Beer Exchange.
Kudos to Westbrook for going so low on the ABV, at the risk of creating a watered down brew as some reviewers have noted. But this does make for a refreshing, effervescent beer with very light color (Berliner weisse) but with these great smoked wheat aromas. Much of that can be read from the label. Where the label and I disagree is in the "lots of hops". I'm getting no floral/finishing hops from this and it is only mildly bitter. At 10 IBU, it just ain't hoppy. And that's OK with me. Layers of wheat, light malt with a semi-tart finish.
As a disclaimer, though I've drank hundreds of different brews across dozens of styles, this is the first Gratzer-style beer I've had. So in terms of hitting the style guidelines, I can't be sure and have no palate reference for this specific type.

 1,026 characters

Photo of avalon07
4.02/5  rDev +15.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: Poured from a growler to a pint glass. Had a pale yellow color and a cloudy consistency. There was a small amount of foamy head that quickly dissipated. Not much lacing.

S: A very smoky aroma, with hints of hops and wheat as well.

T: Tasted of smoked malt, a bit of wheat, hops (more than you might expect), and possibly a little citrus in the finish. The smokiness doesn't overpower the flavor, which is pretty solid. Reminds me of Professor Fritz Briem's Grodziskie.

M: A good amount of carbonation with a crisp, smooth finish. Light-bodied.

O: A well done, slightly odd beer. Drinkable.

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Photo of vancean2
4/5  rDev +14.6%

Photo of Boski
4/5  rDev +14.6%

Photo of johnsonni
4/5  rDev +14.6%

Photo of thatoneguymike
4/5  rDev +14.6%

Photo of RedneckBeerz
4/5  rDev +14.6%

Photo of Lovely85
4/5  rDev +14.6%

Photo of rudabegga9
4/5  rDev +14.6%

Photo of hilgart1
4/5  rDev +14.6%

Photo of joe1510
4/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz Bomber

Yet another gem sent my way courtesy of Cackalack Wil, thanks guy! This Gratzer is very pale, straw golden from the get go with substantial haze. Tiny little carbonation bubbles rush to the crown from what seems every surface of the glass. The head is amazingly white, creamy, and leaves behind sheet lacing. Impressive.

The nose actually smells very refreshing, mouthwatering actually, especially when taking into consideration that this is a smoked beer. Tangy wheat is first and foremost with the smoke a close second but keep in mind this beer is soft all around. Neither the wheat nor the smoke are overly done. There's an undercurrent of snappy citrus that reminds me of coriander but is probably from the "lots of hops" that Westbrook mentions using.. I like where this is headed.

There's nothing really to update from nose to flavor. The wheat remains tangy and surprisingly substantial for a beer with such low abv. The smoke is soft, muting the wheat a bit and leaving a film on the palate with hardwood embers and very mild smoked sausage lingering. Again, what reminds me of coriander pops up in the middle and adds a touch of citrus. Hops again. The finish is salty like a gose. I'm a big fan of these flavor combinations.

The mouthfeel is tough to explain. The actual weight is light but it has, from the smoked malt I assume, a palate coating ability that seems wholly appropriate. The light smoke lingers while a little slickness remains after each drink. This beer is refreshing and highly drinkable.

Westbrook nailed this beer. It's exactly what they describe on the label; "spritzy, smoky, and refreshing". The wheat and smoke are perfectly balanced. The hops add a nice citric side note. I could drink this beer often. Can this and toss it in sixers. Thanks. Cheers, Wilson!

 1,811 characters

Photo of RochefortChris
4/5  rDev +14.6%

Photo of kylehay2004
4/5  rDev +14.6%

Photo of DaPan
4/5  rDev +14.6%

Photo of macrosmatic
3.94/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.75

Thanks to dogdoc for sending this bottle! Reviewed from notes. Poured from bomber into an Upland pint glass.

A: Very hazy light gold, with a thin white head and visible carbonation average to a bit low.

S: Smoky, like old charcoal, wheat malt and a light lactic presence. The smoke isn't terribly strong, but seems to blanket over most of the rest of potential aromas.

T: Barbecue smoke, light wheat and pilsner malts, a very light lactic tartness, and a mild hoppy bitterness towards the end. The smoke flavor lingers a bit in the hang.

M: Light body, moderate carbonation sensation, no alcohol presence at all.

O: I believe this is my second Gratzer, and while smoked beers aren't my thing in general, I find these lighter smoked beers to be among the most palatable. I don't know that I'd go looking for another pour of this one, but that's personal preference. I feel like the beer was well-made. Not nearly as tart as Westbrook's take on the Gose, but still a quality beer. Would be about a 3.5 on my scale of personal preference.

 1,040 characters

Photo of Treebs
3.91/5  rDev +12%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

22 oz. bottle served in a Westbrook snifter. Bottle 12/19/12.

A: Pours a semi-hazy apricot color with a foamy white head forming on the pour. It recedes to a thin bubble film and ring. Sticky sheets of lace are left down the glass.

S: I've smelt a beer like this beer. Cracked wheat with a nice smokey body. No char or meat flavors, just a nice woody smoke. There is a light underlying fruitiness to it as well, but it smells fresh and grassy as well.

T: The smoke is upfront. Wood smoked oats with some grassy hop undertones. There is a light residual tartness, but it is short lived on the palate. The finish is extremely clean with just a hint of smoke on the jowls.

M: This goes down like water. Light bodied with a medium high carbonation level. Slightly prickly in nature this goes down very easy and is highly drinkable.

O: This was quite the interesting beer. The smoked wood flavors that this had was something I've never picked up in a beer of this drinkability and lightness. The smoke isn't overpowering and it fits nicely with the light base beer. Sessionable and highly drinkable. I recommend this to people looking to try something new.

 1,156 characters

Photo of BlackBelt5112203
3.85/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

22 oz bottle poured into a pint glass at fridge-cellar temperature.

L – Pale straw color with a 2.5-finger frothy, rocky, white head. Really nice retention and some nice patchy lacing. Crystal clear with lots of bubbles. As some sediment gets into the glass, it gains the traditional haze of most wheat beers. This is one of the lightest beers that I’ve ever seen.

S – Smells exactly as advertised – smoked wheat. I’m getting grainy wheat with some coriander yeast aromas, possibly some citrus hops, and definitely a good amount of smoke reminiscent of bacon.

T – The taste is pretty bland up front but flavors start to appear after some time. Ones I can pick out include sweet bready and grainy malts, some spicy yeast (and possibly elements of smoke and hops, too), and a bit of smoke that’s not as prominent as it was in the aroma. Some faint citrus hops come through at the very finish.

F – Light-bodied with good tingling carbonation, a crisp and spritzy mouthfeel, and a sweet, slightly bitter, and crisp finish. Some spicy smoke and bitter citrus hop flavors linger.

O – This is an interesting beer. I really like when breweries recreate these old styles. The aroma is great and exactly what I was expecting. The taste has similar elements but is just very watered down. I wonder if all examples of this style are the same way. At 3.4% ABV, I think it must be tough to impart much of a robust taste. Either way, this is a cool brew and one that I’m glad I got to try.

 1,500 characters

Photo of Damian74
3.75/5  rDev +7.4%

Photo of Canada_Dan
3.75/5  rDev +7.4%

Photo of UltimateLivewire
3.75/5  rDev +7.4%

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Grätzer from Westbrook Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 3.49 out of 5 with 87 ratings
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