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If you are a fan of dry, pale lagers, then the Dutch beer company, Grolsch, offers a great selection of products. But how does the beverage rank amongst other brands like it? Read our Grolsch beer review if you want to find out.
Though Heineken may be the more well-known Dutch beer brand name, the Grolsch beer company offers a product that competes with the lager on multiple levels — from taste to presentation. In this review, we will take an in-depth look at the beer company, its history, and its products.
We will then taste the beer and review using pros and cons and parallel system. If you want to to know whether or not this Dutch beer is worth a few extra dollars, then keep reading our Grolsch beer review. Let us get started by first exploring the history of the beer and the product line they offer.
WHAT IS GROLSCH BEER?
Grolsch beer is a brewing company founded in the Netherlands in 1615. It gets its name from the town; it started the brewery in Groenlo. At the time the city was known as Grolle, so the name translated to ‘of Grolle.’ Besides Heineken, Grolsch is the second largest distributor in the Netherlands.
As you can probably guess, the company contains strongly tied to the rich Dutch drinking tradition. The beer brand name changed ownership three times: from SABMiller to Anheuser Busch to the Japanese company Asahi Breweries, where it currently resides.
While the Grolsch company is mainly known for its popular international pilsner, the manufacturer produces lots of different types and variations. However, it is known for its bold flavored pale lagers — beer with a bright yellow color and crisp, but bitter, taste.
The four most popular types of beer they offer are the Grolsch Premium Pilsner, Grolsch Premium Blond, Grolsch Premium Light and Grolsch Premium Weizen. However, the list does not end there. Grolsch also includes many specialty brews available in limited supply or at select tastes. They include:
- Grolsch Premium Lentebok
- Grolsch Premium Herfstbok
- Grolsch Premium Malt
- Grolsch Oud Bruin
- Grolsch Het Kanon
- Grolsch Premium 2.5
- Grolsch Lemon 2.5
- Grolsch Cranberry Rosé
- Grolsch Radler
The Grolsch company also owns and brews the Amsterdam brand lagers. Though these beers taste very similar, they are more popular on the European, Singapore and Australian markets. They include the following beers:
- Amsterdam Maximator
- Amsterdam Navigator
- Amsterdam Explorator
- Amsterdam Mariner
- Amsterdam Liberator
However, despite the wide variety available, from this point forward we will only cover the Grolsch Premium Pilsner since it is by and far the most popular beer available and what most people think of when they think of a Grolsch.
GROLSCH BEER SPECIFICATIONS
We do not think everyone will like Grolsch Premium Pilsner. Like many European beers, it features hops that give the product a distinctly bitter taste. But if you do not mind the taste of dry beers, then we think you’ll love this one. Think Heineken, but with a lot more flavor elements.
You will probably also pick up a lot of elements of floral hops, wheat taste, and malt if you refine your pallet enough. Unlike some European lagers, it even does not come with a pungent smell. However, it does come with a distinct odor that is reminiscent of certain types of American beers.
They typically either store their beer by keg or in an attractive green bottle with a distinct flip top. This feature gives the beer a slightly more sophisticated feel. In terms of alcohol percentage, the beer features a five percent ABV. Like most pilsners, it comes in a bold gold coloring and a thick white pour-foam.
Type of Beer: Pilsner
Alcohol Percentage: 5% ABV
Bottle Capacity: 15.9 ounces
Flavor Profile: Bitter with notes of floral hops
Color: Vivid bright gold color with white foam
Carrying Vessel: Distinct green glass with a flip top closing device
HOW MUCH DOES GROLSCH BEER USUALLY COST?
Typically you can find Grolsch beer in your local Total Wine, or any place that carries a wide variety of international beers and ciders. Currently, a four pack of sixteen-ounce bottles costs ten dollars, which averages out to around two dollars and fifty cents per beers.
The cost of the beer differs depending on the place you buy it. If you visit the Netherlands, then the drink will be much cheaper since it is a domestic product there. This product costs a little more when compared to Heineken. A six pack of Heineken costs around ten dollars — which means you get roughly two more bottles.
HOW DOES GROLSCH COMPARE WITH OTHER TYPES OF BEER?
In this section, we will compare the Grolsch Premium Pilsner to two of its top competitors: Heineken and Stella Artois. By making this comparison, we hope to point out some areas in which the beers overlap, as well as some areas in which they differ.
Heineken is another Dutch brewing company that produces a favorite pale lager. It also comes in an attractive green bottle. However, the similarities between the two beers essentially stop there. In terms of flavor Heineken is a much milder beer.
It lacks a lot of the bitterness that makes the Grolsch Premium Pilsner more of an acquired taste. As such, this beer would work better for someone who prefers a smoother drinking experience. It also contains slightly more carbonation than the Grolsch Premium Pilsner.
Another popular point of comparison with Grolsch beer is the Belgian pilsner Stella Artois. However, like Heneiken, Stella Artois also differs quite a bit from the Grolsch Premium Pilsner. This difference comes through mainly in the flavor. You can expect a lot less bitterness from a Stella Artois.
However, some people say this smoothness associated with a Stella Artois is boring. In some cases, it feel kind of like eating a big buttered roll — decadent, but not very flavorful. It also comes with less alcohol percentage than the Grolsch Premium Pilsner — four percent altogether.
Still, we recommend going with what you prefer. Heneiken and Stella Artois fall on the more easy drinking side of the list. But, if you like a little complexity in your lager, then you cannot go wrong with the Grolsch Premium Pilsner.
GROLSCH PROS AND CONS LIST
In this section, we will list some of the things we like about the product and some things we think could use improvement. First off we love the bitter flavor that comes with the beer. It contains immediate hints of wheat and hoppy floral goodness that makes us come back for more and more.
Another pro for us is the mouthfeel the drink produces. The medium and light-bodied nature the product makes it a very sippable drink. Like most beers, it also tastes better off the tap. But, because it is a pilsner, it provides extra foam and pressure that brings the flavors to a head.
Plus, the product comes in a fresh bottle with a flip top. Who does not like that? Unfortunately, there are some drawbacks associated with the beer that we need to list as well. Our biggest problem with the Grolsch Premium Pilsner is that the flavor hits your mouth and then it is gone just like that.
While the initial taste itself is excellent, you get for barely a second before it becomes replaced by a bitter aftertaste. Also compared to full body beers like IPA and stouts, these beer feel a bit dull. While it is incredibly drinkable and enjoyable, it is quickly forgettable. You would need to drink a few to remember.
Also, as we mentioned, the drink comes very bitterly. While some people will probably like this feature, many will not. If you prefer sweet and fruity beers, then look elsewhere. We also would prefer it if the Grolsch Premium Pilsner came in six packs instead of four packs.
- Great initial flavor
- Comes in a cool bottle
- Good mouthfeel
- Better in draft form
- Flavor went too quickly
- Slightly dull compared to other beers
- Some may not like bitterness
- Only four-bottle packs
GROLSCH BEER REVIEW: CONCLUSION
In conclusion of this Grolsch Beer review, we enjoyed the Grolsch Premium Pilsner, and we think it will appeal to drinkers who enjoy a diverse body of malty, floral and bitter flavors. AS such we give it a rating of four out of five stars.
If you hate these qualities, then we recommend you stay away. However, we do believe that like most things, you can acquire specific tastes. As such, try bringing a four pack of Grolsch Premium Pilsner to your next party. After you get over the initial bitterness, you might be surprised what lies under the hood.
We hope this Grolsch beer review helped you decide whether or not the product is right for you. Make sure if you choose to enjoy a Grolsch Premium Pilsner, that you find a safe ride home. Have fun, and get tasting!