What Is Grand Cru?

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What is grand cru? It is a question beer enthusiasts will want to know the answer to. Beer of this quality is not easy to come by, and when you do find it, you want to be sure that you are getting your money’s worth.

What Is Grand Cru?

Grand cru is a Belgian-style ale brewed with malt, hops, and other secret spices that give it a unique flavor. The term “grand cru” means “great growth” in French, and this beer is truly a great example of what can be accomplished with fermentation and aging. It is one of the best beers.

Reinaert Grand Cru

This beer is usually deep amber and has a complex flavor: both malty and hoppy. The maltiness of the beer comes from dark Belgian candi sugar, which gives the beer a sweetness that is offset by the bitterness of the hops. The result is a well-balanced beer perfect for sipping on a cold winter night.

Grand cru is not a type of beer you will find on tap at your local bar; however, it is worth seeking out if you are a fan of Belgian-style ales. This beer is best enjoyed at cellar temperature, which means that it should be stored in a cool, dark place until you are ready to drink it.

Where Does Grand Cru Come From?

The term “grand cru” is most commonly associated with wine, and it can also be applied to beer. In the world of wine, a grand cru is a vineyard that produces grapes of exceptional quality. Grand cru is a brewery that produces beer of outstanding quality in the beer world.

There are only a handful of grand cru breweries globally, all located in Belgium. The most famous of these breweries is Cantillon, which has been making elegant cru beer for over 100 years. Other notable grand cru breweries include Drie Fonteinen and Girardin.

How Is Grand Cru Made?

Grand cru is made using spontaneous fermentation, which is also used to make lambic beer. This process involves exposing the wort (unfermented beer) to the open air, allowing wild yeast and bacteria to enter the mix.

You would not need a wort chiller, as the wort is placed in wooden barrels or stainless steel tanks and allowed to ferment for several months. During this time, the beer will develop a sour and funky flavor that is characteristic of spontaneous fermentation. After fermenting, the beer is aged for at least one year before it is ready to drink.

The flavors are constantly changing during the fermentation and aging process, so each batch of grand cru will be slightly different from the last and the next. This makes drinking grand cru a truly unique experience, as you never know exactly what you will get.

Hoegaarden Grand Cru at a grocery store shelf

What Are the Different Styles of Grand Cru?

There are many different styles of Grand Cru, from the light and refreshing to the rich and full-bodied. The following are some of the most common:

  • Belgian blonde ale: This style of Grand Cru is light in color and body, with a refreshingly crisp flavor. Belgian Blondes are typically well-balanced, with a slight sweetness and a moderate bitterness.
  • Belgian dubbel: Dubbels are medium to full-bodied with a deep amber or copper color. They are typically well-balanced, with a slight sweetness and a moderate to high bitterness.
  • Belgian tripel: Tripels are light to medium-bodied with a pale yellow to golden color. They are highly carbonated, with a strong flavor and a high alcohol content.
  • Belgian quadruple: Quadruples are full-bodied with a deep brown or black color. They are typically very sweet, with high alcohol content and a strong flavor.

Related Questions

What Flavor Is Grand Cru?

Generally, Grand cru has soft and mellow chocolate with a toasty finish. The taste and flavor can also vary depending on the beer style, with Belgian Blondes being light and refreshing while Belgian Quadruples being full-bodied and sweet.

How Much Alcohol Is in Grand Cru?

Grand Cru typically has an alcohol content of 6-10%. This can vary depending on the beer style, with Belgian Blondes on the lower end and Belgian Quadruples on the higher end.


Grand Cru is an exception among beer styles and is a beer that is both complex and well-balanced. It is perfect for those who enjoy a good, strong beer with various flavors. If you are looking for a unique and delicious beer, then a Grand Cru is a perfect choice.