#craftbeer

Risen from the Dead: New Belgium/3 Floyds Grätzer review

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Grätzer is an old beer style from Poland using mainly oak-smoked wheat. The Gratzer style is now considered a sour ale. Grätzer is all but dead. Very few breweries around the world let alone Poland are brewing this kind of beer. Here comes New Belgium and 3 FLoyds breweries, respectively,  to bring it back. Should this zombie ale have been brought back from the (almost) dead? Or are New Belgium and 3 Floyds doing us all a favor in bringing this to our taste buds?

Grätzer pours a pitch black body with a thick beautiful dirty, tan head. From a glance it could be confused with a stout, porter or even a quad. However, once you get your nose close enough you’ll start to get a clue of what is in store.

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Sour! Yes, a decent sour scent hits you as you inch your nose closer to the brew. Not a terrible smell by any means at all, more like a very good sour candy would smell. Grätzer is very earthy and oaky as well – which I quite enjoy. Nothing like the smell of mother Earth. An almost burnt wheat flavor – which I would bet is from the oak smoked wheat. A very hidden hoppy scent was buried underneath the other aromas. You definitely had to reach for some to get them.

Once I got a feel for the look and smell of the brew, I wanted to dig in. I had tried this on draft a couple days prior at a YardHouse and was kinda underwhelmed. The smell from the bottle was immensely different so I was very hopeful this would be better batch.

At first taste I could instantly taste that my bottle had more flavors about. It definitely tasted much better (again, I think it was a bad keg). The feel as I took my first swig was very foamy and light. The beer, at appearance looks to be heavy or thick. Grätzer is actually quite drinkable. Like the smell, it has some earthy tones to the taste along with some subtle wheat flavors that blended nicely together. Malty flavors where definitely there, almost like a Malta or “kids beer” (Caribbean malt beverage, non-alcoholic) brewed very similarly to beer. Grätzer had a very subtle nuttiness to it that was near the aftertaste. The brew had a a sour after taste at the end which I felt got a bit more sour as I neared the end of my glass and bottle.

With all that being said, I don’t have much great nor bad things to say about Grätzer. I’m very neutral about it. Would I have one if I find one again? Sure. Would I go out of my way to find it again, probably not. I’m not sure if it’s just my palate not being used to this style if beer or if it’s just okay to me. Either way, I’m happy I got a chance to try this nearly dead beer style with its unique flavor and I do think some people will enjoy this more than I did.

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AVL Beer week pint glass giveaway!

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I wanted to do a give away for my readers. I was given a free pint glass after a beer and cheese tasting and had already bought one right before. I have a 2014 Asheville beer week pint glass ready to ship anywhere in the United States (sorry rest of the world, shipping is expensive). I will be running the contest for a week until July 9th and will post the winner on twitter and on the blog in a short post.

The rules are very simple. I want to try and kick-start more participation in the comments with my posts, so I just need you guys to comment below. One comment per person. Just Post what your favorite beer and or brewery is and why. Two or three sentences is fine, more is welcome if you have wonderful things to say and make me want to drink your favorite beers.

I will be reading all the comments left by everyone who leaves a comment up until the deadline. Winner will be selected at random. Thank you for reading and good luck!

Asheville Beer week wrap up!

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Last week was my birthday and I really didn’t want to do anything for it. Ok, maybe thats not true, but the one thing I did want was to just be with my girlfriend hang out and have some really awesome beer. I didn’t even suggest anything because she’s been having a rough time of late and all I really wanted was to spend the day with her. She actuality suggested going to Asheville. She knows how much I really enjoy a good brew and interacting and talking about beers with others. So she decided to do something really amazing and drove us to Asheville. Asheville is Beer City, USA. I’m not lying, look it up! It just so happened that the day of my birthday was the start of Beer City’s Beer Week! How fortunate, eh?

This was the third annual beer week in Asheville. The week started on May 23rd and went on until May 31st. Thats a full seven days of beer events all around the city with brew-pubs, taverns, restaurants and breweries doing something different and unique to celebrate the week. Beer and cheese pairings, brew-it-yourself amateur lessons from brewers, special release beers, rotating taps, special beer dinners etc… the list can keep going on and on. Every where you went there was something going on. It was literally beer paradise!

There was no possible way to do everything that was going on in the day. I would check the beer events hourly on my phone to see what would be the most appealing or seemed to be the most fun. No easy feat, let me tell you. Events were going on from from the morning on up until 2am daily. I went and got to do a good amount of them and pretty much did all the events that I wanted to do. I was like a kid in a candy store. I will say that doing an event like this, I would Recommend pacing yourself, especially since you’re going to be doing this for a few days or and always have some water either with you or in between brews!

For now I’ll leave you with some pictures of the wonderful beer city in the mountains. I’ll have another post talking about more events in a bit more details and some of the locations that held said events.

P.s I’ll also have a give a way on the blog soon. Stay tuned to see how you can win a Asheville 2014 pint glass!