From Beau’s All Natural Brewing in Vankleek Hill Ontario comes their “Triceratops Tripel” a Gruit Tripel. The beer pours an orange colour with a white head and a pretty active carbonation. The aroma consists of gruit spices, melon, herbal and floral, sweet and malty. The flavour is of gruit spice, pepper, earth, melon, candied fruit, caramel, herbal hops and yeast. The alcohol content comes in at 9%. This blend of a Belgian Tripel and a Gruit is quite interesting and well worth picking up a bottle.
Commercial Description: Brewed for the 5th annual International Gruit Day, this beer features an assortment of organic botanicals including bog myrtle, dried heather flowers and lavender. The Gruit Tripel is a marriage between the centuries-old technique of using herbs, spices and other botanicals to create inventive recipes (known as gruit ales), and the relatively recent Belgian-style tripel, a dense, malt-forward golden ale.
From Torchlight Brewing in Nelson BC comes their “Gruit (Traditional Medieval Ale)”. The beer pours a deep brown colour with a tan head. The aroma consists of lots of different spices and a sweetness but I can not really differentiate what is what. The flavour is of a mixture of spices, sweet caramel, some sourness and lots of fruit notes. The alcohol content comes in at 8%. I will admit the first time I had this beer when it was still fresh I was not a huge fan but this bottle has really mellowed out and I quite enjoyed it. I will also admit I enjoy very few Gruits as I am not a big fan of most of spice combinations they use.
Commercial Description: Definitely not for everyone this ancient ale is sour and less carbonated than anything we drink today. The recipe is from the Middle Ages and the herbs used to make it were used before hops were discovered. Flavoured with things like mugwort, yarrow, meadowsweet, heather tips, and fermented with some brettanomyces this is definitely a strange taste experience and not for the wary. It’s bottle conditioning and best when aged so putting it away to cellar will vastly improve its taste and carbonation.
Coming from Salt Spring Island’s Saltspring Island Ales (Gulf Island Brewery) comes the “Saturnalia Gruit” an Ancient Ale using no hops as the style predates hops being used in beer. This beer pours a dark brown colour with an off white head. The aroma consists of sweet anise, malts, chocolate and cinnamon. The flavour is of sourness and tartness with cinnamon, chocolate and anise. The alcohol content comes in at 5%. This is a very interesting beer for sure. I really enjoyed the bottle for sure but I am not sure what I think of this style of beer but I am sure happy to see a style reborn none the less! If you have never had a Gruit before pick up a bottle right away to see what you think.
COMMERCIAL DESCRIPTION: Named for a Roman Festival of mythical revelry, our ’Saturnalia’ Gruit is made without hops, using a special blend of herbs and spices. A darker brew with notes of chocolate, cinnamon and anise, Saturnalia is our second foray into the realm of ancient ’Gruit’ Ales. Raise a glass of this truly unique beverage and share a toast to independence and eccentricity.