We like projects, or even projekts; they glue together a series of beers with a tenuous link and make it look as if we know what's going on with brewing and in the wider beer world. Yeah, that's right, of course we know what's going on...
Anyhow, fresh on the heels of the "Whole Pack Project" - in which silly amounts of dry-hopping (5kg per 650 litres) is added to the conditioning tanks to infuse the brew with massive amounts of hop aroma - comes our latest endeavour, the "Deutsch Projekt". Now the more multilingual amongst you - or, to be fair, anyone with a modicum of common sense, seeing as a hell of a lot of English comes from German - will have realised that this is our "German Project", but what could that be?
Well, it probably won't surprise you to learn that it's about hops. When you think about German hops you'd probably imagine the classic Magnum, one of the world's finest bittering hops, but it's hardly a sublimely luscious "hollywood" hop as is Citra or Centennial, for example. You may think of Brewer's Gold which is, admittedly, a pretty damn good flavour and aroma hop although it's still quite European in it's restrained, leafy way, or maybe one of the many "noble" lager hops such as Tettnang or Spalt which have, for years, ruled lager production. So, you may rightly ask, why the hell are we making beer with these kinds of hops?
We're not. Well, actually, we are using Magnum, but only because it's a fantastic bittering hop and Gazza loves it, but the main thrust of the project - sorry, projekt - is the new German "wunderhops" which have recently been released and, presumably, are supposed to transform the German hop industry, already a world leader, into a world leader with some new-world style hops; we've had a quick dabble in the past with Hallertauer Blanc and weren't that impressed but this time we've got enough hops to do it justice - hopefully!
So, the project - or projekt - will encompass three of the new German varieties (we're not using Polaris as it tastes like cactus in a not very nice way) and also the one that started it all, Cascade, but these particular cones were grown in Germany! Hopefully we'll do all the individual hops justice - principally by adding loads of them as dry hops - so look out for the beers in the coming months and, as is usual, we always enjoy feedback both good and bad!