Style Details

Piwo Grod­zis­kie
His­to­ri­cal Beer
BJCP Style Code
27 A5
Pale yel­low to medi­um gold in color with excel­lent cla­ri­ty. A tall, bil­lo­wy, white, tight­ly-knit head with excel­lent reten­ti­on is distinc­ti­ve. Mur­ki­ness is a fault.
Low to mode­ra­te oak wood smo­ke is the most pro­mi­nent aro­ma com­po­nent, but can be subt­le and hard to detect. A low spi­cy, her­bal, or flo­ral hop aro­ma is typi­cal­ly pre­sent, and should be lower than or equal to the smo­ke in inten­si­ty. Hints of grai­ny wheat are also detec­ted in the best examp­les. The aro­ma is other­wi­se clean, alt­hough light pome fruit esters (espe­ci­al­ly ripe red apple or pear) are wel­co­me. No aci­di­ty. Slight water-deri­ved sul­fu­ry notes may be present.
Modera­te­ly-low to medi­um oak smo­ke fla­vor up front which car­ri­es into the finish; the smo­ke can be stron­ger in fla­vor than in aro­ma. The smo­ke cha­rac­ter is gent­le, should not be acrid, and can lend an impres­si­on of sweet­ness. A mode­ra­te to strong bit­ter­ness is rea­di­ly evi­dent which lin­gers through the finish. The over­all balan­ce is toward bit­ter­ness. Low but per­cep­ti­ble spi­cy, her­bal, or flo­ral hop fla­vor. Low grai­ny wheat cha­rac­ter in the back­ground. Light pome fruit esters (red apple or pear) may be pre­sent. Dry, crisp finish. No sourness.
Light in body, with a crisp and dry finish. Car­bo­na­ti­on is quite high and can add a slight car­bo­nic bite or prick­ly sen­sa­ti­on. No noti­ceable alco­hol warmth. 
Over­all Impression
A low-gra­vi­ty, high­ly-car­bo­na­ted, light-bodi­ed ale com­bi­ning an oak-smo­ked fla­vor with a clean hop bit­ter­ness. High­ly sessionable.
Typi­cal Ingredients
Grain bill usual­ly con­sists enti­re­ly of oak-smo­ked wheat malt. Oak-smo­ked wheat malt has a dif­fe­rent (and less inten­se) smo­ke cha­rac­ter than Ger­man beech­wood-smo­ked bar­ley malt; it has a drier, cris­per, lea­ner qua­li­ty – a bacon/ham smo­ke fla­vor is inap­pro­pria­te. Saa­zer-type hops (Polish, Czech or Ger­man), mode­ra­te hard­ness sul­fa­te water, and a rela­tively clean and atte­nua­ti­ve con­ti­nen­tal ale yeast fer­men­ted at mode­ra­te ale tem­pe­ra­tures are tra­di­tio­nal. Ger­man hefe­wei­zen yeast or other strains with a phe­nol or strong ester cha­rac­ter are inappropriate.
Deve­lo­ped as a uni­que style cen­tu­ries ago in the Polish city of Grod­zisk (known as Grätz when ruled by Prus­sia and Ger­ma­ny). Its fame and popu­la­ri­ty rapidly exten­ded to other parts of the world in the late 19th and ear­ly 20th cen­tu­ry. Regu­lar com­mer­cial pro­duc­tion decli­ned after WWII and cea­sed altog­e­ther in the ear­ly-mid 1990s. This style descrip­ti­on descri­bes the tra­di­tio­nal ver­si­on during its peri­od of grea­test popularity.
Pro­no­un­ced in Eng­lish as “pivo grow-JEES-kee-uh” (mea­ning: Grod­zisk beer). Known as Grät­zer (pro­no­un­ced “GRA­TE-sir”) in Ger­man-spea­king count­ries, and in some beer lite­ra­tu­re. Tra­di­tio­nal­ly made using a mul­ti-step mash, a long boil (~2 hours), and mul­ti­ple strains of ale yeast. The beer is never fil­te­red but Isin­glass is used to cla­ri­fy befo­re bot­t­le con­di­tio­ning. Tra­di­tio­nal­ly ser­ved in tall coni­cal glass­wa­re to accom­mo­da­te the vigo­rous foam stand. 
Com­mer­cial Examples
Ori­gi­nal Gravity
1.028 - 1.032 SG
Final Gra­vi­ty
1.006 - 1.012 SG
3 - 6 SRM
2.0 - 3.0 %vol
20 - 35 IBU