Brewmaster, 2nd part

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  • On 23rd November 2013

We want to present the second part of Bar & Beer, a beer club collectable Brewmaster article, nº 12 of 2013.

Adapted by: Gruit Projects

THE GRUIT SECRET MIXTURE

Although the selection of herbs that was used in ancient gruit was one of the greatest brewers´ secrets, there were some of them that always were present.

JUNIPERUSJUNIPER Juniperus communis

This plant of many species and with wide expansion in the northern hemisphere is commonly associated with gin. Its dark berries are used to provide flavor and aroma for gin –its best known application- but also in beers like Finland´s Sahti. And it´s used for different kinds of meat, too.

ROSEMARY Rosmarinus officinalis

With a huge presence in Mediterranean lands – it grows in poor, arid and dry soils near the coast. This is a perennial bush with little leaves used in the kitchen to flavor stews and meals in general. It was used in beer in some countries during the Middle Ages.

LAVANDER Lavandula angustifolia

When summer is coming, the violet hues of this perennial plant cover the whole European continent. From the mint family, despite its sweet and fragrant aroma- so valued in personal care products- lavender can be deceptive and surprisingly, when we use the leaves or flowers in beer, the liquid has bitter overtones.

BRABANT MYRTLE Myrica gale

The historical application for excellence of this deciduous bush was its use in beer elaboration in which it gave resinous nuances and bitterness notes to alcohol. Its fragrant leaves, maximized by drying, were a suitable substitute for people who couldn´t afford the imported species.

ArtemisiaVulgarisARTEMIS Artemisia vulgaris

There are few plants whose mention evokes the time of witch hunts quite like artemis, that was used to make an infusion to add to beer. Such was the significance of this use that even the name for this plant – mugworth- derives from the fact that beer was served and drunk in a mug.

WOODRUFF Asperula odorata

Growing at the edge of the forest, the union of this plant with beer still survives in Germany, where its characteristic notes serve to compensate lactic acidity of Berliner Weisse. Its leaves are used to give taste to a German drink made of a mixture of young Moselle wine with Champagne.

GRUIT BEERS NOWADAYS: TASTE NOTES

cinco estilos de cervezas Gruit

Gruit Blond

ORIGIN: Belgium

BREWERY: Gruit

ALCOHOL: 5,5% Vol. Alc.

FORMAT: 33 Cl.

Golden straw colored with a good turbidity, which lets us see a fine constant bubbling. Good white foam. Cereals evolve into spices like coriander and cloves in the first moment. Then fruit scents and some honey notes appear. It is slightly acidic with silky palate. Throughout the drink spices reappear. The end is slightly resinous with a lingering bittersweet aftertaste.

Gruit Amber

ORIGIN: Belgium

BREWERY: Gruit

ALCOHOL: 6,6% Vol. Alc.

FORMAT: 33 Cl.

Body colored between amber and light brown. It is surprisingly transparent with cream foam formation.  It has initially fruit aromas with strong caramel base. It evolves to citric like mandarin and orange. In the mouth the first carbonic reveals the sweet taste typical of malts.  Caramel notes appear without cloying. It´s fresh, with a clean finish.

Gruit Bruin

ORIGIN: Belgium

BREWERY: Gruit

ALCOHOL: 8% Vol. Alc.

FORMAT: 33 Cl.

It is dark brown with red nuances. The foam´s color is like milky coffee with good durability. It is high turbidity and very aromatic. It has great presence of toasted malts, toffee, something chocolate and coffee, but overcoat a lot of caramel. It is pleasant in the mouth. Robust without tiring or saturating. The alcohol goes unnoticed by some inexplicable fresh notes. Lasting finish to remember.

Gruit Wit

ORIGIN: Belgium

BREWERY: Gruit

ALCOHOL: 5% Vol. Alc.

FORMAT: 33 Cl.

It is muted gold, turbid, with white shades. Very white foam of low medium duration. Moderate effervescence. Cereal aroma with less presence of spices than we expected, given its style and construction. In the mouth there are herbs that are missing in the nose. Delicate carbonic, slightly acidic and as it couldn´t be otherwise, refreshing. The end is fairly dry.