Well, that was a good time.
Last night, Ft. Lauderdale’s hot new brewery LauderAle threw an inventive tasting titled Project Yeast 001. Basically, the event started with a barrel of English Bitter (4.3% to 5.3% ABV, 26 IBU) brewed with Maris Otter & Crystal 60 malts and Magnum & East Kent Goldings hops.
And that, dear readers, is where the similarities end. That barrel of Bitter was divided into 8 equal pieces and pitched with a different yeast. Each of the now-distinct bitters was conditioned for 45 days.
Last night was the big tasting event. $10 got you two 4-glass sample flight comprising the entire 8-batch experiment and an ultra-detailed information packet with a lot of information about the recipes, yeasts, and tasting notes. People at the event were also given detailed tasting sheets to write what they thought about each of the beers.
The entire thing was incredibly interesting and very informative. It was nice to see how jsut the yeast can so radically change the entire profile of a beer.
So, what yeasts did they use? Well, let’s start with Round 1:
Nottingham – There was a nice nose of cocoa in this beer. That followed through a little bit in the slightly spiky and floral taste. A good beer to start on.
American Farmhouse (WLP670) – I know the tasting note packet said this yeast is closer to a sour of Belgian-farmhouse beer, but I got hefeweizen from this one. By a lot. It had big fruit on the nose and a strong banana-esque flavor. Excellent beer, but not what I had expected.
Edinburgh (WLP028) – Giant caramel flavor. GIANT giant caramel flavor. Bit and malty and sweet and I loved it. My favorite of the entire event, actually. And I let Kyle know that this would be great with a little lactose to sweeten it and smooth it out.
Belgian (WLP570) – It’s interesting that with other yeasts, the beer takes on unique, interesting properties. With the Belgian yeast, the beer tasted very much like a standard Belgian. A Belgian that isn’t quite so strong, but it had all the good bubblegum and wet sock sweetness and bready maltiness of a good Belgian.
Quick breather, then a reload for Round 2:
San Diego Super Yeast (WLP090) – This yeast produced a good, clean blend between the hops and malts. Of the beers tonight, I think I was able to taste the light frutiness of the hops the most in this beer.
US05 and Brettanomyces (WLP645) blend – Brett is everywhere. And I mean everywhere. It’s about as ubiquitous in the craft beer world as Maroon 5 is on the radio. The strain of Brett LauderAle used for tonight’s event, however, was a milder strain. It’s now quite the mouth-puckering sour it could be, and that mildness was cut by using a traditional ale yeast in the US05. If you want the big power sour, it’s coming…
Dusseldorf (WLP036) – This was beer. Good, solid, standard beer. Clean, no frills beer. I actually think I would have liked to have this one first. It was so simplistically standard that it would have given a good jumping off point for the other beers.
Berliner Weiss (WLP630) – This is what I expected the Brett beer to be like. It had a big, tart, and fruity taste to it.It’s perfect for the sour/gose/weisse-loving tendencies that South Florida is starting to cultivate. Perfectly fruity and tart. My favorite of Round 2.
The Berliner Weiss and Edinburgh beers perfectly captured why I loved this event so much; it’s remarkable how different the beers can change by changing just one ingredient. And there were a few beers that were quite enjoyable and I would like to see on LauderAle’s regular tap rotation. It looks like Kyle and the LauderAle team will be doing a similar event soon; make sure to hit them up on social media for more info.
Drink Florida Craft,