This past week I spent visiting with my girl’s family in Green Bay, Wisconsin. Yes, it was cold, yes they all are huge Packers fans, and yes, there was plenty of cheese; but fortunately, for me, there was also plenty of craft beer. While I was crying over the below-25 degree temperatures I was also searching out local breweries in hopes their delicious brews would keep me both warm and sane. The brewery I found had awesome food, better beer, and was in the perfect location. This weekend’s beer review comes from Hinterland Brewing Company (Green Bay Brewing Company) and their Grand Cru is What’s on Tap!
Located in Green Bay’s developing downtown area, Hinterland Brewing Company’s brewery and restaurant is what many breweries should try to replicate, rustic decor and atmosphere and great beers that pair with a fresh, made to order, small plate menu. Though I was interested in their first Firkin Friday (a cask beer without the pull pump) release I actually wound up drinking a beer that is of a style that I do not typically enjoy.
Recently a winner of best beer in Wisconsin, Grand Cru is an American Barleywine / Strong Ale that has complex flavors and mixes qualities of different styles. Each sip had a great combination of toffee and caramel sweetness which was off-set by the slight citrus and hop presence. Grand Cru also has a malt presence (which had a roasted characteristic to it) and very subtle yeast notes and finishes with a slight bitterness. Unlike many barleywines, which can be heavy on the alcohol flavor, overpowering, and have the ability to turn people off before the second sip; Grand Cru’s blend of different beer styles makes it one that anyone can enjoy, regardless of what beer style they prefer.
A beer this complex can pair well with any meal but I recommend drinking a Grand Cru with a nice cut of meat, I prefer a filet but any type of steak will do. The almost creamy mouth-feel of Grand Cru and the slightly char of the meat will offset each other and pair nicely. So this weekend, enjoy a great local brew as you ring in the new year.
Style: Black American Strong Ale / Barleywine
Alcohol by Volume (ABV): 9.6%
Color: Hazy Red / Amberish
Beer Review Stats
Beer Advocate: 85
Rate Beer: 71