The beer that You are holding right now is one of modern approaches to classical polish style called Grodziskie (Grodzisz, in Germany known as Grätzer). This is a historical polish beer style, mainly brewed in the surroundings of Grodzisk Wielkopolski. It was brewed since 14th or 15th century, and in the time of it’s fame, was exported to 37 countries. After WWII and nationalization of the brewery in Grodzisk slowly began to stop production because problems in the communist times. It was finally closed in 1993, and nowadays a lot of polish and foreign craft brewers start to revive the style.
The first obstacle when one tries to produce beer in grodziskie style, is the relatively hard mash filtering, because the mash is 100% oak-smoked wheat malt. Even with original gravity around 7,8° Plato (1.031 OG), a mashed grain without any husks is very hard to filtrate. The other difficulty is the original fermentation schema, where two independent yeast strains were used. Luckily the beer should be fermented without adding too many esters and other additional byproducts and using US-05 strain properly gives a very similar effect. Hops that work best with grodziskie style are noble european ones, because they should not distract the consumer searching for smoky aroma.
How it will taste?
First of all, this one will be refreshing. Just as original „polish champagne” Pukki can be served in champagne glass, but high weizen glass would be also suitable. Properly poured, Pukki will have an astonishing white head and almost clear to perfectly clear liquid beneath it. If some yeast sediment is present in the bottle, avoid pouring it. The beer should be highly carbonated, the bubbles should rise from the bottom during tasting. You will definitely smell pleasant smoky notes, similar to smoked ham or bonfire. Spruce accents and delicate herbal hop notes from Marynka and Sybilla should be also easy to spot. But still, they shouldn’t be stronger than smokiness. The bitterness will be noticeable, but not overwhelming. But this time it will be slightly off the style limits, thanks to addition of spruce.
This particular beer is an effect of cooperation between polish and finnish brewers. The recipe was made together by the guys from Browar Wąsosz an Humalove Brewing, to give the beer some finnish twist. We made our Pukki from 100% oak-smoked malt, hopped it with polish Marynka & Sybilla varieties and fermented it with US-05 strain. As a twist, we added some fresh spruce shoots into the filtration tun, to enrich the aroma with a small „conifery” hint and to add some slightly lingering resiny finish. But still, the beer remains a classical grodziskie style one, with a dominating smokiness, light body and relatively high carbonation.
The label was made according to „mustache line” from Wąsosz and the name came from Finland (Pukki means Santa) 😉
And remember to rate it on untappd and ratebeer before the guys from other parts of the world will taste it (yes, the first batch was made exclusively for The Calendar) 😉