Thursday, January 28, 2016

Craft breweries in North America & Europe to mark International Gruit Day on Feb. 1

Vankleek Hill, ON

Herbal, spicy and each with a unique blend of terroir, gruit is a beer style that pre-dates the use of hops – 29 breweries, including Beau’s All Natural will participate in International Gruit Day 2016

Beau’s Brewery will join 28 other craft breweries in Ontario, Québec, New Brunswick, British Columbia, the U.S. and as far away as Lithuania to mark International Gruit Day this Monday, February 1. The annual event, inaugurated by Vankleek Hill, ON craft brewery Beau’s in 2013, was created to celebrate and raise awareness of the gruit beer style.

Gruit ales go back to a time in history before the Bavarian purity act, which dictated that hops would be the only acceptable ingredient to complement water, barley and yeast in beer-making. In gruits, a variety of other botanicals are used in lieu of hops, creating beers that are herbal, spicy, and each with a unique blend of terroir.

Beau’s has created a special gruit to celebrate International Gruit Day: called Tyrannosaurus Gruit, it is a red ale brewed with beets, hibiscus flowers, local spruce tips, and juniper berries. The beer’s official release date will be February 4 to launch Beau’s feBREWary event in Ontario and Québec, but Beau’s will tap a special “sneak preview” keg of Tyrannosaurus Gruit in their retail space on International Gruit Day, and have free samples available for guests throughout the day.

“We conceived this event because we ourselves were excited about gruits, and wanted to reach out to other breweries who felt the same,” says Beau’s co-founder Steve Beauchesne. “Every year we see a mix of breweries who are participating for the first time, as well as some who have been onboard with this since 2013. Seeing all the brewing innovation in terms of gruit recipes out there is both great, and inspiring,”

Beau’s brewed its first gruit ale in 2008. Called Bog Water, the ale’s recipe calls for organic bog myrtle, which is locally harvested and added to the brew. Bog Water is currently for sale in the LCBO as part of Beau’s ongoing Gruit Series, for which a new gruit is created every few months upon each solstice and equinox. Bog Water, and an imperial version of Bog Water called The Bogfather, will both be available for sampling and purchase at the brewery’s retail store on International Gruit Day.

A list of breweries participating in International Gruit Day for 2016, as well as a description of their gruit recipes and local events to mark the day, is available at For those in the craft brewing industry looking to participate for next year, Steve Beauchesne will be moderating a panel of some of the brewing world’s foremost experts on gruits at the 2016 Craft Brewers Conference, to be held May 3-6 in Philadelphia, PA.


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