Monday, January 7, 2008

BJ's Grand Cru 2008

Each winter the guys at BJ's Brewhouse release an extra special beer, their Grand Cru. While the recipe changes each year, you can be assured of one thing - the beer's going to be good.

This year's beer was brewed by Dan Pedersen, who has been with BJ's for eight years - most of them in Portland, but the past year's been spent at their biggest brewery in Reno. The Reno operation, by the way, augments beer supplies for BJ's across the country, down to Southern Oregon, up to Utah and into Colorado.

Grand Cru 2008 drinks an aweful lot like an Imperial Wit, even though you won't get Dan or anyone at BJ's to attribute any sort of style to this. It is brewed with Coriander, Orange Peel and Beet Sugar, in addition to their grain bill, and at 10.4% ABV this beer is nothing to take lightly. Its aroma is intense, zesty and rich overall. The tastes belies the beer's strength, while it isn't light in body you certainly wouldn't be guessing it's the monster it really is. As an added bonus the beer is served in commemorative 10-ounce fluted glasses, enhancing the aroma and overall drinking experience. You can buy the glass to take home if you'd like, we've got a collection of them ourselves that get their workout through the year.

If you like big Belgian beers, you won't want to dally, find your way to a BJ's near you and hope they've still got a bit for you to enjoy.