Wednesday, February 11, 2009


(Photo courtesy Jesse @ Beer & Nosh)

I’ve read two really good articles – well, as good as an article about BEER can be – about brewing “collaborations” recently. One was in the revamped ALL ABOUT BEER last month, the other in THE CELEBRATOR, I believe. In any event, it’s all the rage. Take one superstar brewer, team him/her with another superstar brewer, drop the egos, and see what happens. Usually this collaboration spurs inventiveness and experimentation, and wow, some of the results have been fantastic. Think DE PROEF & ALLAGASH’sLes Deux Brasseurs”. Think AVERY & RUSSIAN RIVER’sCollaboration, Not Litigation”. There are many more out there now, with more appearing every day. It’s the big wave that the heavyweights are all trying, and money in my wallet permitting, it’s a great trend. I wanna try them all.

One I went for the other day is a collaboration between BROOKLYN BREWING in the US and SCHNEIDER BREWERY in Germany. It’s called HOPFEN-WEISSE. Here’s what I know about it, stolen entirely from the web using my computer’s “cut and paste” functionality:

This brew is the result of the long friendship of Brooklyn brewmaster Garrett Oliver and Schneider brewmaster Hans-Peter Drexler. Garrett had always admired the delicate balance of flavors in Schneider Weisse, while Hans-Peter had long enjoyed the effusive hop character of Brooklyn East India Pale Ale and BLAST! Garrett’s concept for the collaboration was that each brewmaster would brew essentially the same pale, hoppy weissbock in the other’s brewery, but with different hopping to reflect the local hop flavor.

What’s cool about it is that there are two versions – the US/Brooklyn version in its own bottle, and the German version is a totally different bottle. Obviously they have different hops as well, “to reflect the local hop flavor”, as it were. Cool. I had the German versionTHE TORONADO in San Francisco was selling them “to-go”, and I brought one home and drank it the next night. It’s great. Very clove-heavy, and quite “imperial” in many areas, including the 8.2% alcohol. It tastes like a hefeweizen, but one with a thick mouthfeel and more lemon than banana. Exceptionally crisp, effervescent, zesty and hoppy. It really tastes great, and impressed the non-beer dork friend with whom I shared it just as much as it did me. Another excellent collaboration, and well worth seeking out. 8/10.

No comments: