Style: Rye Helles
Grain: Pils, Munich, Rye
Extras: orange peel
Fermented with German lager yeast
Tasting notes: bright orange zest up front, followed by mellow grainy rye
Pair with: steak fritters, goat farm
Rye as an ingredient can be divisive. Many claim it brings a "spicy" flavor, which I've never understood. Maybe they're thinking of rye bread or rye whisky. I get an earthy grainy character - evoking the aroma of standing in a wheat or barley field at harvest. It also brings this soft round mouthfeel. The German Helles style is all about malt expression with a soft mouthfeel, so a Rye Helles just makes sense to me.
I added a significant amount of orange peel and zest to this as a sort of throwback to craft summer ales and lagers, stopping just short of adding peppercorn or some exotic sounding spice as some people claim they get plenty of spice from rye anyway. It turns out this is an excellent counterpoint to the earthy grain on my palate.