Looking for a beer that’s “Something Special?” Starting October 11, 2016 our Grisette (Belgian Style Ale), aptly named, Something Special, will be on tap in the tasting room.
Grisette is a little-known style that only in recent years has been gaining popularity with North American breweries. As we release this beer, we thought it would be appropriate to unearth (see what I did there ;)) the history of the style. The most comprehensive research has been done by a fellow funky beer enthusiast, Dave Janssen at Hors Categorie Brewing.
History: The Grisette Style dates back to the 1700’s as the drink of choice for miners in the South of Belgium. Typically, it was of session strength (under 5% ABV), as it was meant to be refreshing after working the mines. They used a good portion of wheat in addition to barley, but most of flavor was derived from the hops (low alpha noble-type hops) and a Mixed Fermentation process (Sacc, Brett, Pedio, and Lacto).
Due to the origin and similar flavors, you might be wondering how the Grisette differs from a Saison? The main difference is the time between brewing and consuming. That amount of time plays a big role on the recipe as well as what flavors would develop over that time.
· Saison was brewed in off months by the farmers and drank many months later during harvest by the workers, so it would pick up acidity and earthy Brett notes as it aged.
· Grisette was drank year round and therefore was consumed fresh before any acidity was present and the hop flavor and aroma were still dominant.
Therefore, in brewing this beer at Council we did our best to emulate the style, while still using modern ingredients and techniques. We used a simple grain bill with wheat malt, flaked oats and Pilsner malt. For hops, we used a mix of East Kent and Styrian Goldings to provide a traditional spicy and floral aspect. Lastly, we pitched a blend of Saison yeast, Belgian yeast and an earthy, stone fruit forward Brett strain. This produced an extremely dry beer that has a nice mix of earthy and spicy yeast notes that blend seamlessly with the hop flavor.
-Jeff "Wild Man" Crane
Something Special - Grisette 4.5% ABV
Malt: 62% Pilsner, 27% White Wheat, 11% Oats
Hops: East Kent Goldings, Styrain Goldings
Yeast: Belgian Saison yeast, Abbey Ale yeast, and Brett Michaels
Date Brewed: 8/9/16