As the spirit of reconciliation and good will hovers in the news, it is a good time to review a beer born of collaborative efforts. When two different brewers/breweries come together to create a unified beer, the result is usually fantastic; interesting at worst. Collaboration forces unique beers as signature styles and ingredients from two different entities merge to form something new. While we have reviewed several collaborative brews before (i.e. Collaboration Not Litigation, Pop Skull), for this article one of my favorite Bavarian breweries enters the spotlight, Schneider Weisse.
The historic brewery demonstrates exemplary beers (Aventinus) and quirky humor (secret recipe link on their website). What happens when old world German meets new school American, in this case the highly respectable Brooklyn Brewery? A beautiful collaboration, of course.
Apparently, Garrett Oliver and Hans-Peter Drexler of the respective breweries have long admired each others’ work and fostered a friendship over the years. They decided to meld the hop heavy Brooklyn IPA style with the soft wheat Schneider style. Two different brews were collaborated, one brewed in Brooklyn, Brooklyn-Schneider Hopfen-Weisse, and the other in Germany, Schneider-Brooklyn Hopfen Weisse. Both brews are very similar, using the same signature yeast, but utilizing respectively national hop varieties.
And here I must pause and day dream. What could be more fun than going on a business trip to Bavaria to brew beer with the brew master of a 130 year old Bavarian brewery??? On to the beer.
I was surprised at how economical this beer was. A beer boasting an ABV of 8.2%, 500ML in size, under $3.00, and it’s not Baltika? This is a no brainer, and don’t expect Baltika quality.
This beer really delivers. One might expect that the combination of spicey yeast flavors, mild wheat, and citrusy hops would produce one ugly flavor, but in fact, the beer is light, crisp, and refreshing. Up front their are aromas and flavors that immediately remind one of peaches and tangerines. It is sweet and balanced. The hop flavor, while reminiscent of an India Pale Ale, is hardly acidic in nature, and entirely smooth, while the surprising sweetness is thin and enjoyable. Every percent of the 8.2% ABV is masked by the flavor–be careful!
While this child of brotherly love is classified as a weizenbock, and retains the qualities as such, it is in reality un-categorical, yet another quality to love. Seeing as this is a limited release, I will be heading back to buy more! This beer was a pleasant detour in the craft beer road, and once again affirms my faith in collaborative efforts between brewers, as well as bolstering my respect in both parties involved in this creation!
Among other Weizenbocks:
Among other Collaborations: