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Wednesday, March 28, 2018
Weihenstephaner Braupakt Hefeweissbier 6% abv, 35 IBU, 50cl bottle at Bradley’s of Cork*.
Those behind this collaboration between Weihenstephaner (the world’s oldest brewery, 1040) and Sierra Nevada (of much more recent vintage, 1979) have noted a trend away from ultra-bitter beers towards a more aromatic hoppy offering. Scott Jennings, head brewmaster at Sierra Nevada and Weihenstephan’s head brewmaster, Tobias Zollo, have produced this “perfect match” between the revered German hops and the newer American ones.
The name has nothing to do with the cool bear (I first thought it was a St Bernard!) on the front label. Braupakt (literally translated; Brewery Pact) merges “old world” purity standards and brewing methodologies with “new world” innovation and hop flavours. The collaborators say the name also plays on America’s “bro pact”.
This naturally cloudy amber Hefeweizen has a lasting foamy head. Peach, apricot and citrus on the nose, hints of clove too. The pleasant mix of aromas continue in the mouth, banana touches here too and a refreshing grapefruit from the American hops plus sweetish notes from the caramel malt. The beer is balanced and has a moderate tartness that melds into a harmonious mouthfeel on the finish. Very drinkable indeed.
They recommended pairing this wheat beer with exotic and spicy-hot fish, meat and seafood dishes.
The hops used are Hallertauer Tradition, Amarillo and Chinook. Hallertauer, often spelt without the final “r”, has a long history in German lagers. Malts: wheat malt, light and dark barley malt, caramel malt.
An interesting note on Sierra Nevada. When the brewery was founded in 1979 it was the 42nd in the USA. Today, there are close to five and a half thousand. Just shows how far craft beer has come in a relatively short time. Speaking of “short time” this is a limited edition! Well worth a try.
More Weihenstephaner stockists here
Wednesday, July 24, 2013
Drinking the World Beer Champions!
I was short a few beers for a barbecue last week, so called down to my local O’Donovan’s Off Licence. Was picking out a few of my usual until manager Steve guided me in the direction of his Weihenstephaner display. I knew the name of course, knew that it was a good one, so I said I’ll have one of each please.
A very good decision as it turned out. Didn’t know it at the time but it just so happened that I had a bunch of World and European Beer Award winners in my bag. Talking about the 2012 awards here as the 2013 beers are still being judged with the results expected in September.
The Weihenstephan brewery, the oldest in the world by the way, was officially founded in 1040. Practice, it seems, make perfect!
The Weihenstephaner Vitus was the strongest of my selection and that has a couple of titles to its credit. It is the World’s Best Wheat Beer and also the World’s Best Strong Wheat Beer.
Citation: Gentle spicy aroma with sweet fruits and vineous notes. Full, rich and tasty. Smooth citrus flavour. Subtle hop and honeyed notes, bubblegum and coriander. Cloves, spiced apple and sweet grain. Good warming alcohol, surprising balance for its strength (7.7%), smooth yet potent. Good, lingering finish.
The Weihenstephaner Kristal Weissbier was voted the World’s Best Bavarian Kristal 2012. Quite a thirst quencher, it has a 5.4% abv. If you haven’t tried wheat beer, this is a good one to start with.
Citation: Clean, clove aroma. Very bubblegummy. Warming alcohol, round fruity notes and citrus. Spiced apple and clove on the palate, good full mouthfeel. Complex long finish.
The cloudy Weihenstephaner Hefeweissbier is one of my favourite types of beer. This has an abv of 5.4% and was voted Europe's Best Bavarian Hefeweiss.
Citation: Phenols and cloves on a lavish aroma. Big palate, firm and well balanced. Sweet banana, spice, caramel and bubblegum. Crisp and clean, good clove and spiced notes. Refreshing and spicy finish.
Interestingly, the World’s World's Best Bavarian Hefeweiss came from Japan, the Fujikanko Heights Beer Fujizakura Weizen.
Weihenstephaner Hefeweissbier Dunkel also brought home world gold, coming out on top in the World's Best Dark Wheat Beer category. You are heading in the direction of stout with this one!
Citation: Woody aroma, with toffee and dark brown sugar. Sweet and slightly sour, good balance. Gentle smooth body, good bready notes. Chocolatey, nutty and creamy. Light toffee on a fruity dry finish.