I have blogged about Grimbergen beer many times, starting with a visit to the Abbey itself and the moment when Baltika started importing this beer to Russia. Let me remind you that for Eastern Europe (not only Russia), Grimbergen is brewed in Poland at Bosman Browar in Szczecin, which belongs to Carlsberg. When I wrote the review, there was also French.
The reason for writing this post was the intelligence report by Igor Samsonovich, saying that there were two types of Grimbergen Blonde with different strengths on the market. I went to look for it. He who seeks but finds!
Grimbergen Blonde with an alcohol content of 5.5% was found in the Aromatic World store, and with the good old 6.7% in Dixy (they report that in Perekrestok, too).
As you can see, the degree drop is pretty decent to talk about “a little optimization. Yes, sometimes beer giants change the density and respectively the strength of the beer to decrease, but it happens as a rule by 0.5-1% no more.
Since Grimbergen is considered a “beer drink” according to our idiotic laws, there is no obligation to indicate the % of ENS and it is not indicated on the can. How much they lowered the density, it’s hard to say. The main question is why it was done and what is the difference in taste?
By the way, the date of filling in jars is different by only two days! 11.12.21 which is 6,7% and 13.12.21 with the new 5,5%.
You can see in the photo that the color is slightly different. The new one is a little darker, which is strange. However, the composition is also slightly different. 5.5% – water,barley malt, glucose syrup, wheat malt, sugar, barley malt extract, hop products. 6.7 – water,barley malt, glucose syrup, wheat malt, caramelized sugar (that’s the color!), hop products.
The aroma is the same – slightly caramel and floral. The taste is also quite similar in profile – caramel, malt, flowers, nice hops. Expectedly, the 5.5% alcohol is more watery, but it reveals itself if the beer stands a little longer and gets warm. If the bar would have poured it without comparison, most likely you would not have noticed.
Now back to the main question – why? To make it cheaper? Probably this too, even though Grimbergen is positioned as a “premium” product and saving three kopecks is not as important as in the mass segment. Most likely the emphasis was put on “drinkability”. That is precisely why the alcohol was reduced so radically.
Beer with 5.5% you can drink much more than 6.7%, not only because of the alcohol itself, but also because of the saturation (or rather less saturated) taste. I think that’s the reason. Whether Grimbergen Blonde will now be available only at 5.5% and whether the “downgrading” will affect other brands of this brand – I do not know. We will see.
I’ll leave the grade the same as before, “B+”, I like this beer. Maybe not an outstanding blonde, but in style and pleasant in flavor.