Ode to Grolsch

Speak it aloud: "Grolsch." The name rises from the throat, purses the lips, and lingers on the upper palate--much the way a Grolsch premium lager tastes. Those who prefer American beer usually dislike "aftertaste," placing greater emphasis on the refreshing aspects of beer. An American lager is like a typically polite, relaxed conversationalist: a man that's easy to get along with, but just as easy to forget after parting. One had might as well drink water.

Now say "Heineken." Feel how the name bounces lightly in your mouth, like a ping-pong ball set free in an orbiting spacecraft. Whereas Heineken naturally flows rapidly, Grolsch ties itself up in the tongue, forcing us to pause and recognize its character. For many Americans, the reputation of Heineken sets the standard for European beer, but Grolsch is a more authentic libation.

The spirit of fermentation lingers after swallowing a Grolsch. This is the natural, primitive flavor of malt and hops. Grolsch is by no means a heavy-bodied beer, and can also be refreshing, but neither has its character been compromised by modern preconceptions. Three pistachios and a Venus on the half-shell for a true premium lager.

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