Grätzer: Smoke & Sour – Steel & Oak Brewing and Four Winds Brewing


Recently two very well respected breweries in Metro Vancouver partnered up to make a collaboration beer.  Steel & Oak Brewing in New Westminster and Four Winds Brewing in Delta brought their differing expertise to the table to make a beer that bends the styles that both breweries make.  Steel & Oak are well known for their Smoked Hefeweizen as well as other smoked beers and really don’t move outside of the German purity laws.  On the other hand Four Winds Brewing has enjoyed huge success with brewing beers infected with wild yeasts and bacteria to make sour beers.  Together they have created the “Grätzer: Smoke & Sour” a Polish style smoked wheat beer with sour notes.  The beer pours a very dark copper colour with a thick tan head.  The aroma is dominated by smoke with hints of some citrus lying below the surface.  The flavour is dominated by smoke even though the smoke is not strong with notes of mild sour from lactobacillus, citrus, wheat and an almost salty aftertaste that can be found in Oyster Stouts (which would lead me to believe that is part of the oysters flavour although I don’t eat them).  The alcohol content comes in at 4% with a very low IBU of 8.  This beer is a very interesting creation to be sure and if you enjoy smoked beers you will probably quite enjoy this beer.  I am not usually a smoked beer fan but the smoke on this isn’t overpowering but the oyster like finish at the end was not to my taste.  I am called crazy all the time though as I only enjoy one type of seafood in fish.  I am quite sure most people are going to really enjoy this one!

Commercial Description:  This Lacto fermented, Oak Smoked Wheat beer is not for the faint of heart.  Smoke, spice, and a slight sourness give this bold Polish style beer a surprisingly balanced aroma and flavour.

Brewed by Peter Schulz (S&O) & Brent Mills (FW) in New Westminster.  Bottled on January 1st, 2015

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