Wednesday, 19 August 2015

Dutch Beer of the Week

Oldskool Brewery Simcoe Hopfen Weisse

After last week's look at a rather old school beer here's a beer from Oldskool Brewery. It's a hopfen weiss which is to say a south German-style wheat beer loaded with hops. That might be something of a generalisation but you get the picture.  Now I'm not a huge fan of the usual Bavarian weissbier - I really don't get along too well with the banana-clove-bubblegum stuff. Give me a dunkel or a helles any day of the week. However a hopfen weiss is a rather different animal. That big hit of hops really does it for me. I first encountered the style at a Schneider night at Common Bar in Manchester and was pretty much blown away. More recently Manchester's Cloudwater Brewery has produced some pretty stunning examples.

Oldskool Brewery is another Dutch "brouwerij huurder" - a brewer without a brewery. Nothing wrong with that - some of the best beers in the Netherlands have (and do) come from brewers who don't have their own kit.  Oldskool is based in Eindhoven (the home of Philips) and is the project of Dennis Kort who develops his beers at home and then gets them made at a commercial brewery. He's been doing this since 2013 and has had his beer made at Rodenburg, Maximus and, mostly, De Hemel in Nijmegen, which is where this one comes from.

There have been a number of "single hop" hopfen weissen from Oldskool and I tried the Mosaic version after the beer festival in Delft. In fact this isn't "single hop" as the grist includes Spalt Select and Hersbrucker alongside the Simcoe, which of course plays the starring role. It's 8.2% and a copper-amber colour - a bit bock like in fact. This is an initial impression that doesn't go away as you drink.  There's some sweetness and while the hops don't dominate they certainly add to the overall balance with a hint of tropical fruit and a decent bitterness at the end. It's quite full bodied too.  So, while there wasn't the huge hop hit I was half expecting it was overall a satisfying and enjoyable beer. I'll certainly be trying more of these.

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