Grimm Artisanal Ales, not to be confused with GRIMM BROTHERS out in Colorado, have been silently lurking and sniping new tickers in the New York area left and right. Not unlike what Other Half has been up to with their hoppy offerings, Grimm has been turning out impressive stouts and wild ales to satiate the thirstiest of Penny-farthing riders out in the BK.
But wait, the cans say Virginia, who is running this bad ratchet? OH CHRIST DON’T TELL ME IT’S ANOTHER JEPPE, WE ALREADY HAVE ENOUGH OVERPRICED CONTRACT BREWING DETRITUS FROM THOSE TWO TWINS. Well, not exactly. This summer they’ve been working out of two different spots — Flagship Brewing Co on Staten Island and Beltway Brewing Co in Northern VA. All the Flagship stuff has been draft only so I have no fucking clue what that tastes like, all these bottles offerings are technically VA beer by way of BK “FLAVOR TECHNICIANS.”
Gypsies are all the rage now, with their gawdy gowns, lurid caravans, and co-opted mash tuns. Let’s see if these guys should pack up their bindles and continue to ride the rails or if fortune telling is here to stay.
JUST USED ALL MY GYPSY REFERENCES FOR THE YEAR.
Take it easy, it’s just a Gold Medal Winner at GABF, which is to say “People from 2008 would have loved this” based on the “modern” judging criteria. To be fair, this is a fantastic non-BA stout, a segment that is all but disappearing like stainless Chards because ratchets be thirsty for that basic butter. The nose on this is ridiculous and complex and serves as a great touchstone for what Grimm is capable of from malt massaging: anise, bakers chocolate, black licorice, and blackstrap molsasses. This is a nice hybrid of the Abyss realm with the awesome bitter roast of the late 2000’s Darkness.
The mouthfeel is dialed in, slick, and almost drinks like a massive porter cum de BBXXIV, etc. This is a callback to when beer was fun and reductionist, before name branded barrel aging was a greater concern than actual ability. This is one of the top giants of the non barrel aged realm and a hallmark of a slowly dying style.
SPEAKING OF WHICH:
When he saw that I landed the regular version, Shtit sent me this for no reason, so here’s a head to head. The BA version, to be clear is a VERY GOOD beer. It has even better carb and a drier mouthfeel, the same nestle chocolate kisses, but adds a requisite Tollhouse Cookie blast of Vanilla, coconut, mallowfoam, and Skor Bar.
SO WHAT IS THE PROBLEM?
If there is a distinct “problem” if we can call it that, it’s that this becomes “just” a very good barrel aged stout, but at the expense of all of the character of the nuanced non-BA version. This is unquestionably delicious, but it ends up feeling like something akin to Central Waters 15, 16, or one of the innumerable barrel aged stouts you have had before. It’s weird grip that in improving the beer, it loses a component of distinct character. If you don’t drink a ton of beers, you will prefer this version, and sure, it’s a slightly less impressive Parabola at its core, but to savor a time machine of a naturally aspirated RIS is something undeniably special.
ALRIGHT WHAT ELSE CAN I BITCH ABOUT?
This was like a crisp refreshing shower after a tryst with an inexpensive escort: the salinity washes clean for max enjoyment. This is Drillable with a capital “D” and seems like something straight out of the Westbrook playbook, Gose Gone Wild notwithstanding. I can see Brian Strumke stroking his hairless scalp in fruity contemplation of the brackish mandarin orange slices dancing with that creamy frothy swallow. It is not too acidic, not too complex, not too salty and Goldilockses the execution: everything feels jussst right, if not predictable.
So if Super Going is a refreshing saltines and marmalade adventure, this is like some proto-Pizza Boy shit.
“American wild/sour ale brewed with apricots, dry hopped with El Dorado, Columbus, and Cascade, and conditioned on oak.
My boner was still pounding from that Barrel 7 opulence from Holy Mountain so I came into this expecting something similar, sadly a top 10 beer for 2015, this is not. I mean it isn’t ovetly deficient in any capacity. The oak and fruit tannins are there, that predictable stonefruit with hamfisted turbidity, that’s fine. With the apricot game divested from the hook, chain and hinges, you have to come hard as fuck to stand out these days.
This ends up drinking like a baby Mimosa, some delicate Bellini that would pair perfectly with some Hollandaise smothered eggs. The acidity thankfully doesn’t poison things with acetic butyric acid collisions. But what is the grapple point that allows you to ascend higher? Sadly I have a hard time distinguishing this from something that is good but not great like Peach Bu. For the average person, that alone would be enough to compel a nocturnal emission, so take what I say with a rope of salt.
Well, yes and no. Since this isn’t trading apeshit high yet, it would be a great time to lock down and see if you enjoy their gentle offerings early on, At the same time, there are so. fucking. many. apricot sours these days. This is an above-average but not world class iteration of well tread ground.
Alright, since I am already at 1000 words, let’s suffice it to say that this is VERY similar to the Super GOING, the symmetry has a marginally “worse” lemon pledge zest to it that is still basically just crushable alcoholic gatorade. It lacks the fusel components to make it legit Faderade, but you can crush this at Tee Ball games before you get ejected for screaming redfaced at third grade competitors. IT’S LIKE HE ISN’T EVEN LISTENING OUT THERE.
Do you like lemon lime powerade? Do you enjoy all of those innumerable PETITE X,Y,Z, from De Garde? Then you will love this. That’s all there is to it.
HANG ON THEY MAKE HOPPY BEERS TOO, arguably the best things that they make, LET’S TALK ABOUT THAT OKAY
Alright so roll call:
Sours? Yup. Stouts? Yup. FINE. But what about the elusive hoppy cross sections, can they do that shit? HUH?
The answer is a resounding FUQQQYASSSS and not unlike the Tin Man, I will miss these most of all.
Listen, I know this is a sour/saison/linestepping AWA, but the hops are so fucking phenomenl in this lemon meringue banger I had to holler. The nose is an assault of flawless guava, mango, pureed pineapple and tangerine. The taste has this whiskey sour with real egg white whip to the mouthfeel that underscores the light lacto aspects, like lemon Jello. This goes hard in the paint and it would be their best offering if not for THIS DIPA THAT GOES BALLS TO AND AROUND THE WALL:
This is the pinnacle of what Grimm is about and it crushes in a field that is almost impossible to distinguish yourself. The DIPA game has radically changed in the past 2 years, all those Conan yeast infections now make people shy away from clean DIPAs and the sappy resin game has been handed to Founder’s in a resounding rejection of parsimony. This takes that smoothie whip of London Ale III strain, the loving embrace of sticky cones, white grape, tonnage of honeydew, this long lacquer finish like cut lumber in shop class. It is on par with the other incredible giants in the “messy DIPA” realm like the Crusher and reaches longingly at the Ephraim crown.
This might be the best new DIPA I have had this year and it is a vast understatement to say that you should trade for it. These are “pricey” at $5 a can, but god damn, you would be remiss to overlook something that has the potential to push the genre to bold new resinous buds.
THIS SHIT RIGHT HERE TICKER
THIS SHIT RIGHT HERE
THIS SHIT RIGHT HERE
THAT LAST BATCH WAS NOTHIN
THIS SHIT IS CALLED HOPDEAF, YOU SIP IT AND U GO DEAF.