–Belgian Dark Strong Lager–
9.6% abv / 23 ibu
We should ALL be excited about this new beer for a few reasons:
- It is a “Mixed Culture” beer utilizing a belgian ale yeast that is new to us and our house lager yeast. The Belgian yeast is characterized by its beautifully balanced, delicate fruit esters and subtle spicy notes, and is typically used in creating classic Belgian styles. “Mixed Culture” means we blended these two yeasts to ferment simultaneously creating a completely different flavor profile than you would get from just using one kind of yeast.
- An oft used ingredient in Belgian brewing is candy syrups. These rich, flavorful syrups are not extremely thick but are packed with not only sugars to create alcohol but tons of unique flavors depending on what color you use and of course how much you use. We chose to use a hefty dose of amber syrup and a some extra dark syrup to round it out. The amber will give more poignant, “sharp” sweetness whereas the dark syrup will provide more molasses-y rich sugar flavors.
- The most exciting part is the use of malt from South America! Chile to be exact from a maltster called Patagonia Malts. We used their Xtra Pale malt which is not quite as rich as a Pale Ale malt from the U.S. but not quite as lightly flavored as a Pilsner malt which is normally VERY light colored. We topped of our recipe with a some rich character malts and a light dose of super dark Crystal malt from Chile as well.
The name of this beer, Grand CruZ, comes from the a couple of inspirations. At times breweries will call their best beer, sometimes within this belgian style but not always, a Grand Cru. Most often this term is associated with wine but not for some time now. It typically denotes a much higher grade of product and not specifically denoting a style. The cartographer who historically is given credit to the mapping of the South American continent had the last name of Cruz thus in homage to this amazing malt we used we worked in his last name. This is a totally new drinking experience at Wolverine State Brewing…which is pretty frickin awesome if you ask the brewers.