13th Century Grut Bier - Brauerei Weihenstephan, Freising
This is my first true Gruit style beer. I've heard a lot about Gruits recently and was excited when I found this bottle on a recent trip. My knowledge of Gruits is pretty limited, I just know that they are not brewed with hops. Instead of using hops to flavor the beer, Gruits are brewed with herbs and spices. This particular Gruit is a version released by Weihenstephaner and is modeled after recipes from the 13th century. The label of this beer indicates that is is part of a Historic Signature Series and was brewed by Dr. Fritz Briem in Munich. The historical significance of Gruits isn't lost on me, but there's a good reason beers aren't brewed with ginger and bay leaves anymore... so I'm cautiously optimistic.
This beer pours quite clear, if a little cloudy. As the glass fills up the body turns a bright yellow color that is similar to that of an unfiltered Wheat Beer. There is practically no head to this beer, just a thin ring of bubbles around the edge of the glass.
The aroma here is quite interesting... The dominate aromas are ginger and lemon juice. That matches the flavor almost exactly. The ginger hits your palate first and give this beer an almost sour yeasty flavor. The tart lemon flavor is very strong and makes this hard to drink because it isn't smooth at all. The thin texture and tart flavor really isn't something I can get behind.
If you like Ginger beers with a slice of lemon, you should give this Gruit a try. If you prefer darker or more full bodied beers you won't regret passing this one by.