The Grimm future looks bright!
“We consider brewing to be a living tradition and our goal is to honor the rich body of knowledge that has come down to us over the generations while also making our own contributions for the future,” states Joe Grimm, Co-Founder and Owner. “Grimm grows out of a shared passion for fermentation between my wife, Lauren, and me. We met in 2005 and home brewed together for eight years, before going pro in 2013. It’s wild to say that we’ve been brewing now for 18 years, and professionally for 10!”
The Grimm’s have put that decade to good use—establishing themselves in the brewing industry for their innovative approach to beer styles and also keeping the palates of beer lovers coming back for more. “We were named New York State Brewery of the Year for the past two years running based on our performance in blind tasting competition. I’m proud of that because it means that what’s in the glass is actually good; it’s not just memes or hype.”
Located in Brooklyn, the Grimm taproom is situated inside the production brewery and has a bright and modern artistic vibe. With twenty draft lines pouring, beer lovers will have a hard time choosing between the wide array of Grimm creations—from their acclaimed NEIPAs to traditional lagers to barrel-aged sours and stouts.
With so many beers to choose from, we asked Joe which one he tends to reach for the most. His answer: “My favorite style to drink is whatever style I am trying to improve at the time. I love to drink our own beers and find fault with them, I love to imagine how they could be different and better. So I go through phases. In 2022, I drank tons of spontaneous ale, and this year so far I’m focusing on single IPA as we tweak some of our hot and cold side brewing practices seeking more aroma, more visual beauty in the glass, and ultra-clean fermentation character.”
“Right now, the Indie Hops breeding program is at the forefront of hop development in terms of flavor and aroma. Hands down the best new IPA hops to emerge in the past couple of years are Strata and Luminosa. There is no question about that. We have also found Lórien to be very useful in lager and saison, bringing a unique cinnamon-like spice.”
JOE GRIMM, CO-FOUNDER & BREWMASTER @ GRIMM ARTISANAL ALES
One that we’re super excited about at Indie Hops is Grimm’s Nothing But Strata IPA. We’re also excited that Joe and his crew had a chance to try out our newest hop variety, Luminosa. “Jim was kind enough to send us a cut of Luminosa along with our Strata selection cuts,” recalls Joe. “Right there on the table it just blew our socks off. So much zippy citrus and tropical character. This is going to sound silly but it reminds me of ‘pink lemonade.’ I immediately contracted as much Luminosa as Indie Hops could spare.”
In his former, pre-brewing life, Joe was an indie/experimental musician, so we asked him to put his experience with Luminosa in musical terms. “Luminosa has a lot of treble. It’s bright and clear. It pairs well with the clean and unmuddled sound of a synth. “Specific Gravity of Smile” by Edgar Froese would go well with a Luminosa beer. Compared to other big punchy IPA hops, it has less bass, less dank hop funk characteristics. Since we like a full-spectrum hop character we’re going to be experimenting more with pairing it with other varietals that do bring that bass: Strata, Nelson, Columbus, etc.”
We also asked Joe what he feels is at the heart and soul of the craft beer movement. “I think it’s about the kinds of creativity and passionate investment that are possible when people are working at a relatively smaller scale,” states Joe. “When a company is large, it’s very difficult to be creative and experimental because the cost of any potential failure is too high. If you aren’t occasionally failing then you aren’t taking enough risks in order to find new areas for improvement. Fail again, fail better.”
Given the combined depth of knowledge, passion and creative energy that the Grimm’s bring to the table, it’s no surprise that more great things are on the horizon. Set to open this year is their rooftop restaurant and bar called Lala’s that will feature plenty of artisan libations—Grimm beer, wine from sister winery Physica Wines, and curated cocktails—and house New Haven apizza that is uniquely charred “thin crust made from our house-milled malted wheat, fermented with our own house sourdough culture, and baked in our new wood-fired oven.” Is anyone else drooling??