Gris Revolutionary Ale

Gris Revolutionary Ale

Gris Revolutionary Ale
1 draught pint, $5.00?, ?% ABV

Purchased at The Griswold Inn, Essex

Grrr… iswold Inn! My anger is not directed at this fine establishment but at myself – for taking a picture of the Inn’s taproom description of their Revolutionary Ale and then deleting it for some dumb reason. As a result, I have no “official” description of this uniquely branded beer.

As CTMQ has expanded over the years from just museums to pretty much everything else under the Nutmeg Sun, the venerable Gris now has 3 separate and distinct pages here. That must be a record for a restaurant:

1. The oldest continuously operating inn in America
2. The Gris’s incredible art collection as museum
3. And this page, hidden away at the bottom of the Connecticut Beer Reviews…

Almost everyone in the state is familiar with the Gris. It’s one of our “must-see” places in one of our “must-see” towns. I love Essex (who doesn’t); sort of hidden away tucked up against the lower Connecticut River with a very weird and important history. It’s beautiful and quaint and hardy are arty and tough.

History, beauty, hardiness and artiness all come together at the Gris like nowhere else. (Man, I should have used those transition sentences on a more important page than this one about their private label beer. Damnit.) But seriously, it’s true. I urge you to click on over to both the linked pages above to learn more. This place rules.

But we’re here to talk about the Gris Revolutionary Ale. When I first had it, a few years ago during one of my annual “full day adventures,” I happened to snap a picture of it. It was good, but I was curious. Back then I didn’t know much about the whole murky beer provenance world and I innocently asked my waitress where it was brewed.

I assumed the answer would be Cottrell, which isn’t too far away and does several contract beers – and at the time, I think they were brewing the house-branded ale at Mohegan Sun. I was surprised when she told me that it was brewed by (at the time) Anheiser-Busch. I don’t know if she was supposed to tell me that, but she did.

If the light is hitting them right, my piercing yellow/blue eyes force you to tell the truth. Devastating.

Just devastating.

Now it’s 3 years later and there is absolutely zero information online about the Revolutionary Ale. When I was last there I didn’t have a chance to ask anyone where it was from – even though I spent a good 20 minutes with the owner – friend of CTMQ Geoffrey Paul. Oh well… I think I can assume it’s still an AB-InBev beer.

Since I don’t have the official description of the beer, here’s a bit about the incredible Tap Room…

Named one of the TOP 100 BARS IN AMERICA – Esquire

Our Tap Room, originally built in 1735 as a schoolhouse, was attached to The Gris in 1801 by a team of oxen, rolling it on logs down Main Street. It has been called the most handsome barroom in America, the best-looking drinking room in America, and variations on this sentiment expressed by many. Certainly it is an original. We are open seven days a week and entertain every night with live music and a spirited atmosphere.

The beer is good. It’s accessible, but does impart enough hoppy and floral flavor to certainly separate it from the masses. Cynically, I have this thought I can’t shake of AB-InBev making this same exact ale for 100 different establishments around the country. Does that make me a bad person or a realistic one?

But again, it’s not a bad beer at all. It has a bite but is rather sessionable and has a rather smooth and pleasant finish.

When I think about it, the fact that the Gris Revolutionary Ale is good is simply a huge bonus – because even if it sucked, drinking and dining at the Gris’s tap room is a singular experience that nothing can really ruin.

Not even a creepy guy who thinks he can stare the truth out of you with his mutant eyes.

Overall Rating: B
Rating vs. Similar style: B

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