Friday, April 10, 2015
Hofstetten Krammer Granitbock (7/10)
What's that you say? You've never heard of a granite-brewed beer? Yeah, neither had I. According to this page the brewers start with a doppelbock style wort and cool it. The wort is then transferred to open granite troughs, and white-hot granite stones are lowered into it. These stones cause the sugars in the malt to carmelize and give it something of a smoked flavor. The beer is left in the granite troughs to ferment and is then transferred to a cellar to be conditioned and matured. If you want to see the beer being made, this YouTube video reportedly shows it (but all the narration is in German so I can't tell you what's being said).
Granitbock pours a dark brown color similar to a cola. The head, as you can see in the photo, is thin and doesn't last long. It's a beige or tan color.
The aroma is sweet and malty, with no hint of hops bitterness. There is a hint of dark fruit in it, too. This is exactly what you expect from a doppelbock.
The flavor reminds me a little of Dogfish Head's Palo Santo Marron or a Belgian Strong Dark Ale. It's sweet, malty, and has a strong caramel note from the granite stone heating. Dark fruit is present in here as well. There is a touch of grain bitterness to it, but hops definitely takes a back seat here. I can also pick up some mineral notes from the granite, which is unexpected but not unpleasant.
I like the beer, and it's something I anticipate buying again, but I can't honestly tell you I "love" it. It's good, and I definitely recommend trying it. Beer Advocate rates it an 84 or "good". Rate Beer gives it a 92 overall. Apart from the mineral notes from the granite used during brewing and fermenting, it's a straight-up doppelbock and a good example of the style. However, there are other doppelbocks I like more, so I'm rating this a 7 out of 10.
When I checked Beer Menus, they didn't show it available in the Columbus area. Here's the link in case you want to find this beer and check it out.