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Thursday, May 14, 2009

Cool Bits

I have noticed a few fragments of interesting news of late, and in case you missed any of it, I have collected it here for your reading convenience.

Berliner Weisse
John Foyston alerts us to a rather exotic brew over at the Pilsner Room: a Berliner Weisse. A style not much seen anywhere, but especially not in Beervana, this is a rare, rare sighting. It's one of my fave styles, but I can't recall ever having a domestic interpretation. Consider me much hyped. If you want to know more about the style or this beer, go read John's full post. Here's a key passage, though:
Full Sail Brewer Chris Haveman made the latest of the company's innovative Brewer's Share beers...

"When I found out that my beer was going to be brewed at the beginning of summer," said Haveman, " I immediately thought of the perfect style, a Berliner Weiss. This is an easy drinking unfiltered beer made with 50% wheat malt, a tiny amount of hersbrucker hops and a touch of lactic acid to give it a refreshing tartness."

Stone Beer

If you happen to be in Central Oregon, take the opportunity to hit Bend Brewing, where there are not one but two stone beers on tap. Jon has the story:
[T]hese were collaborative beers co-brewed by Tonya Cornett of BBC and Tomme Arthur of Lost Abbey. They brewed the first beer, Hot Rocks Lager, down at the San Marcos location of Lost Abbey, and the other, Rocksy, here in Bend. Since hearing about the collaboration, I’ve been dying to try the beers.

The gist of a “steinbier” is the brewing method: instead of bringing the wort (unfermented beer) to a boil by placing the kettle over a heat source (such as a flame), it is instead boiled by placing glowing-hot rocks directly into the wort. The super-heated rocks bring the wort to boil in a great sputtering, roiling, smoky spectacle that caramelizes the sugars and lends a unique smoky-like character to the finished beer.

The Great Midwest
Also, Angelo De Ieso is touring the Midwest, and has some great posts up. He was just in New Glarus, WI--just outside of Madison, and home of New Glarus Brewing. Watch Brewpublic for a future write-up of that stellar brewery.


  1. Jeff,

    The Bend version of the stein lager is on at Bailey's right now.

  2. Not long after opening the Gasthaus, Widmer Brothers poured a Berliner Weisse. One could order it with at least three different syrups including the traditional woodruff. It was my first experience with the style and I cannot say how close to a native version it was. But, I do recall it being light in alcohol, slightly tart and really refreshing. Probably never will be a big seller, but it is a welcome style. I'll have to find a way to detour to the Pilsner Room on the next bike ride.

  3. Mark, your description of Widmer's Berliner Weiss is pretty spot-on of Full Sail's - though I might say somewhat-more-than-slightly tart. They had two syrups, though I didn't try either - just the straight beer is exactly to my taste.

    Also, the Rocksy Lager is really tasty; akin to a Vienna, but richer and - yes - perhaps carmelized (not overly so, certainly not sweet), but I wouldn't say smoky. I'm eager to get a full pint of this one (I only did the sample tray).

    I can't recommend both enough…

  4. I recommend coming to Bend and trying both stein lagers side by side. I prefer the Rocksy (and I am not a hop head.) The Rocksy has a bit more of a hop characteristic. Tanya and Thomme did quite well on both beers. Plus if you come to Bend you can visit me at the Old St. Francis School. We will be releasing a firkin of Restitution English Brown ale in a couple of weeks. (My first brew at the OSF)

  5. Deep thought: someone from the Bend Chamber of Commerce needs to send bloggers on a junket to see breweries there, as the Astoria folks did.