Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Awesome Beer of the Week: Brooklyner-Schneider Hopfen-Weisse

There's a heartwarming story behind this Awesome Beer of the Week. As the back of the bottles read,

This brew is the result of the long friendship of Brooklyn brewmaster Garrett Oliver and Schneider brewmaster Hans-Peter Drexler. Garrett had always admired the delicate balance of flavors in Schneider Weisse, while Hans-Peter had long enjoyed the effusive hop character of Brooklyn East India Pale Ale and BLAST! Garrett’s concept for the collaboration was that each brewmaster would brew essentially the same pale, hoppy weissbock in the other’s brewery, but with different hopping to reflect the local hop flavor.

There are, therefore, two versions of this beer. I like the Brooklyn better than the Schneider, though it's impossible to tell whether that's because of the American-style hopping or the German sense of balance – perhaps both. Either way, it's a magnificent beverage, delicious from the first taste and with a particularly long and shifting development of flavors.

At around 8% alcohol, it's too strong to drink carelessly. But the higher alcohol isn't something that you normally see in Hefeweizen-derived beers and the extra kick is a great twist. While beers that are as refreshing as this one tend to make better summer beverages, the sheer tastiness and higher alcohol make it suitable for year-round consumption.

Here's what the Schneider version looks like:

And here's the "Brooklyner:"

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