A Year of Beer 2009 #15 - Brooklyner-Schneider Hopfen-Weisse
Another part of our (hopefully) year-long video project, A Year of Beer. looking at the idea of beer and seasonality - how different styles of beer are more appropriate to different seasons, weathers, festivals and so on. There will also be a bit of beer and food matching thrown in because, hell, we love to eat as much as we love to drink.
This week: Brooklyner-Schneider Hopfen-Weisse with pork belly
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Are you alert and paying attention? Not had too many beers? Excellent, because I'm going to run through the fine details fairly quickly, and they might outwit the dim and the dulled.
Brooklyner-Schneider Hopfen-Weisse and Schneider-Brooklyner Hopfen-Weisse are two sides of the same bottle cap. Garrett Oliver, brewmaster of the Brooklyn Brewery (as eny fule kno) and Hans-Peter Drexler of Schneider & Son both brewed broadly similar weissebocks at their respective breweries. These beers were then hopped with metric shedloads of location-specific hops. So the Brooklyn-brewed version is redolent with juicy Amarillo and Palisade, whereas the Kelheim-crafted Crossover-Weisse (hey, that's exactly what it says on the back label) has the prickly snap of Saphir and Hallertau running through it.
As you might imagine, there is an awful lot going on in a glass of the Brooklyn-Schneider version (the Schneider-Brooklyner version is no slouch either) - lots of banana and spice weissebier esters, with a thick layer of juicy, fruity citrus sitting atop it. On the palate, more of the same, with banana, pear, bubblegum and bitter orange all fighting for space on the palate. It sounds like a bit of a mess, but it just about works.
As I mention in the video, I visited the brewery in 2007 and was shown around by Garrett himself. The first batch of this beer was just done, and straight from the conditioning tank, with a gentle natural carbonation, it was one of the best beers I've ever tasted. You can read about what a gibbering fool it turned me into in this extended essay on my visit. The bottled version sadly isn't as good as this, but it's still pretty damn fine
As you can see, this beer was destined to be eaten with a slab of slow-roasted pork belly with crispy crackling, new potatoes and salad. Unfortunately, due to the ruinously drinkable nature of the beer and a long phone call to a friend who currently only has one functioning hip joint (get well soon, Dave), the bottle was finished before the pork hit the table. Fortunately, a bottle of Achouffe Dobbelen Tripel IPA was on hand to help out, the pale sappy bitterness working as a good foil to the rich belly pork.
Oh, and after that crunchy crackling, my jaw hurt like hell for two days.