Beau’s Brewery is welcoming the change of seasons locally with a change of beers for their Gruit Series. Incoming and now available in LCBOs in Ontario is Original Gruit, a 6.3% hazy golden ale brewed with Labrador tea, bog myrtle, and yarrow – three key ingredients that harken back to the roots of gruit as a beer style. It is mildly citrusy and finely balanced, with pleasant herbal qualities offsetting the sweetness of the malts.
An imperial version of Original Gruit was also created as a limited-edition brewery-only release. Called Grandmaster O.G., the recipe uses all the ingredients of Original Gruit and adds in thyme, and offers intensified flavours and strength. A 2015 version of Grandmaster O.G. won Silver at the 2015 Canadian Brewing Awards.
Beau’s launched the Gruit Series in 2015, with the intent to highlight beers in which herbs, spices and other botanicals replace a dominant hop character, throwing the door open to experimentation. Each gruit in the series features a unique combination of ingredients and flavours.
The herbal character of gruits lends itself well to cooking with these beers. Beau’s resident chef, Bruce Wood, recommends poaching chicken in Original Gruit or adding it into a pan gravy. He also recommends pairing it with mild blue cheeses, and desserts such as cheesecake, or Alsatian-style chèvre tart flambée. Recipes designed to use Original Gruit are available at beaus.ca/recipes.
Original Gruit is now available at select LCBOs in 600 ml bottles for a spring feature period, and can also be purchased (along with Grandmaster O.G.) from the Beau’s Brewery retail store. Home delivery of both beers is available in the City of Ottawa via the BYBO service (www.bybo.ca). Original Gruit will also be made available in the next few weeks through Ontario grocery outlets that carry craft beer, and craft-friendly Québec-based grocery and corner stores will also stock it for the same spring feature period. Media samples of Original Gruit and Grandmaster O.G. are available upon request.