Brouwerij De Graal is another of the new wave of Belgium’s 21st Century breweries. Founded in 2002, De Graal (Flemish for “The Grail”) is making beer combining traditional skill and methods with the latest technology. Brewer and founder Wim Saeyens earned his PhD in Pharmaceutical Sciences and Chemistry at the University of Leuven before attending brewing school in Ghent. The brewery has already seen some excellent success domestically in Belgium as well as in international markets. So much so that they’ve already had to expand!
De Graal is brewing a mix of traditional Belgian styles and mixes in a few twists as well. De Graal Gember is one of those beers with a twist. Gember is a higher alcohol version of their blonde but with ginger added to the brewing process.
Appearance: Hazy blonde, white head, excellent retention.
Aroma: Ginger, candied pineapple, clove, pepper, earthy woodsy notes.
Taste: Lemon creme, pineapple, with a touch of pepper in the finish and a light ginger bite.
Overall Impression: The mouthfeel is creamy with an excellent level of effervescence. The ginger, while prominent, is not overwhelming nor distracting. It mixes into the whole of the beer instead of dominating it. I like ginger and De Graal does a great job of making a beer with it. This beer has a great fragrance and has that touch of ginger bite in the finish that you’re looking for in a product that uses real ginger. Refreshing for summer or warming for winter, De Graal Gember will add a ginger zing to your beery life.
Availability: This brewery is still small. I’ve only seen their Gember in stores in the Pacific Northwest. I have yet to see one of their other varieties. I’m hoping to see more as they expand though. Imported by Shelton Brothers.