Green Mountain Beer Company | Barrel Aged Grand Cru
Green Mountain Beer Company approaches traditional beer styles with a little creativity and flair. As their motto says, they focus on “Old World Brews with Colorado Soul.” While Green Mountain offers newer styles of beer, including their very popular Kama Citra IPA, the focus on traditional German and Belgian styles like Hefeweizen, Pilsner, Tripel and Saison is where Brian Milhaupt and Cassidy Hill, co-founders of Green Mountain Beer Company, find their passion and vision.
In an effort to continue to work to add unique twists to traditional styles, Milhaupt and Assistant Brewer Steve Sanchez recently brewed up the Barrel Aged Grand Cru. This barrel-aged beer comes a few years after Soul Wheel Grand Cru, which was originally brewed in partnership with Craft for Causes and the Tedeschi Trucks Band. On the original run of the Soul Wheel Grand Cru, a portion of all proceeds went to support music education.
Though this partnership has passed since the first brewing, the brewers and community wanted to see the Grand Cru return, and this year the Milhaupt and Sanchez took four barrels (120 gallons) and aged them in red wine barrels for six months.
“Grand Cru translates to ‘your best offering’ or ‘the best of the house,’” said Cassidy Hill. “We wanted to take our Grand Cru and really push it.” With a base Imperial Saison recipe that includes French yeast, raw wheat for exaggerated mouth feel and honey malt for a light bit of sweetness, the base Soul Wheel Grand Cru was funneled into the barrels fully fermented at 9.1%.
After six months of aging the Grand Cru in red wine barrels, Barrel Aged Grand Cru has light, fruity notes on the nose and a little grape must. A quick sniff hits the back of the nose like dark, rich fruit. A sip reveals sweetness through the tongue and a slight hint of tartness that lingers after a swallow. At 12%, this beer is great for sipping in the shade (or sunshine, if you’re feeling brave).
With a wide variety of Colorado soul-infused traditional recipes, Green Mountain Beer Company is producing beer for both the adventurous and traditionalist beer drinkers.