Williams Bros Brewing Company - Grozet

Williams Bros Brewing Company - Grozet

Beer Club featured in U.S. & International Variety Beer Club International Beer Club

Country:

Scotland

Alcohol by Volume:

5.00%

Williams Bros Brewing Company - Grozet

  • Alcohol by Volume: 5.00%
  • Bottle Size: No
  • Serving Temperature: 45-53° F
  • Suggested Glassware: Stange or Tom Collins Glass
A most interesting brew, brewed with wheat, bog myrtle, meadowsweet and secondarily fermented with Scottish Gooseberries. Is this a recipe from Harry Potter's magic class or a beer? Most definitely, it's a beer—but that's not to say there's no magic in it. The term Grozet is Auld Scots for Gooseberry and comes from the Gaelic "Groseid". Since at least the 16th century, Scots monks and alewives brewed indigenous drinks from cereals, wild herbs and ripe fruits. This is a modern day re-creation, with a notable difference being there are hops used in the recipe, giving the nose and flavor a mellow peppery hop note. Of course, berry notes are present, and come off very natural, not "extracty" like many of today's fruit beers which simply add fruit extracts rather than fermenting with the real thing. The gooseberry flavor is subdued when this beer is cold but blossoms as it warms, and when coupled with the wheat, provides an increasing tartness in the finish. So a bit of advice: if you don't like the sour/tart kick that comes from many wheat beers, drink this on the cooler side of our suggested temperature range. But we encourage you to drink it on the warmer side to truly experience the gooseberry flavor—come on, how often do you get to try gooseberries? The berry flavors are tough to describe, but are quite like the flavor you get when you eat watermelon and bite into the green/white section near the rind—slightly acidic, nearly bitter, but still mildly sweet. Overall, a well-crafted balanced brew—great with rising summer temperatures. Recommended with light foods, pastas and salads.
Beer has been brewed in Scotland long before hops were used to act as the bittering agent in beer. As beer is principally derived from boiling malted grains in water, it is inherently sweet due to the sugars released by those grains. To balance the beverage, a bitter flavor counterpoint is needed to offset this sweetness. Today, that's done almost exclusively with hops, but until fairly recently in the grand history of beer, beer's natural sweetness was offset by many other ingredients from roots to flowers to bark to fruit. But the first documented use of hops in brewing dates back to 1079, and they weren't widely introduced to UK beers until the early 1500s. And since beer has been brewed for thousands of years B.C., and because groups of people were rather isolated from one another, that meant cultural and agricultural influences played a huge part in creating many regional differences in beer. Many of the indigenous beers of Scotland, with their unusual, pre-hop ingredients, showcased varied flavors—but largely slipped away into obscurity ages ago. But one man had a plan to reclaim these ancient beers from the deep vaults of time. Bruce Williams, a brewer and homebrew shop owner in Scotland, began in 1986 to make batches of a unique "Heather Ale" using an astonishingly old recipe. Don't ask us how, but in 1986 Bruce uncovered an ancient recipe for "leann fraoich" (Gaelic for heather ale). Heather of course is the flower responsible for the purple hues in the mountains of Scotland. It was used to make beer long before the first hops were ever added to ancient brewing vessels. Beer made with heather is among the oldest beer styles produced in the world (traces of a fermented beverage made with heather flowers have been found dating back to 2,000 B.C.!). Since brewing his now famous Heather Ale, Bruce has triumphantly resurrected additional traditional Scottish beer styles through a partnership with Heather Ale, Ltd., a company dedicated to the resurrection and preservation of authentic Scottish beers. Included in their intriguing and tasty line up are revived concoctions similar to those which once passed the lips of Welsh Druids, Vikings and Celtic tribesmen. Each contains unconventional ingredients—anything from bog myrtle, meadowsweet & Scottish gooseberries (all used to create this month's featured ale, "Grozet Gooseberry & Wheat Ale"), meadowsweet, Scots pine, spruce shoots, elderberries, bladderwrack seaweed and of course, the famed heather. This month, we are proud to offer you an authentic taste of Scotland's tasty malted heritage by bringing you another of their ancient ales of distinction. For more information about Williams Bros Brewing Company or their sister company, Heather Ale, Ltd., including their many interesting & historic libations, check out their web sites at http://www.williamsbrosbrew.com & http://www.heatherale.co.uk/
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