Style: Weissbier / Hefeweizen
Grain: Pilsner, Wheat, Carafoam, Carahell
Fermented with a German Weizen yeast
Tasting notes: fresh white bread, slight lemon and pepper
Pair with: Summer Salad, BTYF Pretzel, Beer Mussels, Margarita Flatbread
Freshness matters in beer. It is a food product after all. Yet, we tend to forget that and drink beer well past its prime. Often times, we can't help it due to the lack of any kind of logical date on the bottle or can, or the beer was abused in its journey from the brewery, to the distributor, to the store or bar, to our home. In these cases, you're not getting the beer the brewer intended you to get. This is no truer in any style than Hefeweizen. You simply cannot get good, authentic German Hefeweizen outside of Germany.
Before I get into the details on Cloudbridge, I'd like to tell a quick story. A few years into homebrewing, my wife and I visited Germany. We landed in Munich and started visiting different beer gardens and pubs. I was excited to finally try some of my favorite styles fresh. I expected the Pilsner and Helles beers to taste the most different – their malt and hops are so subtle there had to be a difference in them fresh, but really, they tasted the same as they did back home. It wasn't until I stole a taste of my wife's beer, a Weissbier, that it clicked. Instant fireworks. That beer was incredible.
I started seeking out other Weiss and Dunklesweiss beers. They all exploded with flavor compared to the examples I'd had back home. I'd had an epiphany – German wheat beers are big, chewy, filling beers but they're also light, airy, fragile, ephemeral. There's no way all of that can survive a Transatlantic journey.
So I have replicated that here. I found a mineral profile one of the biggest Weizen brewers use and replicated that in our brewing water. I used all German malt and wheat. I brewed it with a step mash, like the brewers in Germany have used throughout generations. I employed some of their alleged tricks in fermentation to get the right balance of banana esters and clove phenols. And best of all, the beer doesn't have to travel thousands of miles to get to you – really just a few feet from where it was made. Prost!
This one actually came off our suggestion board and I thought would be an easy win. Weizens already have some dessert-like characteristics afterall. Getting the cheesecakey richness was easy enough with a healthy addition of lactose. I just used my own Pylon blend for the crust flavor. But getting the blueberry flavor... there are a lot of blueberries in here.
I'm pretty thrilled we were able to repurpose an existing beer into something completely new. I hope you all enjoy it and that you keep the ideas for future brews coming!