Native Tastes I & II
As a company we have always admire German Brewing tradition. The Germans take their beer very seriously. In the UK, anyone with some grain, hops, yeast and a bucket can call themselves a brewer, however in Germany the title is equivalent to calling yourself a Doctor or a lawyer, you have to have gone to university and received the correct qualification first!
Although, in recent times, the Germans as a brewing nation have not kept up with the pace of innovation seen in say, the US or UK they are historically one of the best brewing nations in the world and they were championing pure unadulterated brewing a long time before anywhere else.
The Reinheitsgebot purity law of 1516 is known the world over and, although no longer a legally binding law, it is a flag for good beer that many German breweries still choose to march under.
This admiration for the German approach to brewing is shown within Mad Squirrel by the fact that throughout our existence we have always had at least one native German in our brewing team. These days we currently have 3 German brewers, including our Director of Brewing Matthias, lead brewer Toby and our current brewing intern Verena, between them they make up 50% of our brewing team. They have all studied (or in Verena’s case is still studying) at one of Germany’s top brewing institutions and this shows in their methodical approach and consistent results.
Despite this half-German make up of our brewing team, we do not necessarily brew classic German style beers very often, and earlier this year we decided to change that. Introducing Native Tastes.
The concept behind Native Tastes is that it is a new occasional series of limited-edition beers where we brew our own takes on classic German styles. The first two releases under the Native Tastes banner are being released in keg and can this weekend.
For Native Tastes I we have gone completely classic. It is a Munich style Helles lager. It is 5.0% and has been brewed in the classic way including a light grain bill, decoction mashing, a low fermentation temperature, krausening and a long period of lagering in tank before packaging, in this case 70 days. The finished result is an authentic, balanced and refined lager beer with light cereal notes, delicate hop profile and an incredibly moreish character.
Native Tastes II is an altogether different beast. We decided to brew another classic German lager style, this time a bock. Bocks are a stronger variant of lager that can range from light in colour through to near black, within the bock family there are various substyles such as Maibock, Helles Bock, DoppelBock and Eisbock. For Native Tastes II we brewed a Rye Bock; that is a bock with a generous helping of rye in the grain bill. This beer comes in at 6.2% and is a mid-brown colour with a slightly off-white head. Again, this has been brewed to true German techniques including our longest ever lagering period, a whopping 91 days! The final beer has a toasty autumnal flavour with notes of dried fruits, caramel and toffee with a slightly herbal hop bite and a final dry, peppery finish.
We feel that both these beers are fantastic examples of their respective styles and having them both on tap at the same time, alongside our core range pils Flying Squirrel, really shows the variety between different lager styles.
Get yourself down to one of our Tap & Bottle Shops in the next few days to try Native Tastes I & II. All our sites will have them both on tap and available in 440ml cans. If you can’t get to one of our Taps cans can also be purchased on our web shop, alternatively get in touch with your local independent beer stockist and see if they can get them in for you.
Native Tastes will return in 2019 with editions III & IV, guess we better start thinking about what styles they will be.
Maybe a Dortmunder and a Schwarzbier? Or a Doppelbock and an Alt? or a Weizen and a Roggenbier? Or a Dunkel and a Kolsch? Or a Marzen and a Weizenbock? Or a...