This beer really does push the boundaries for traditional German wheat beers, and that was the intention. It was a transatlantic collaboration between Schneider head brewer Hans-Peter Drexler and Garrett Oliver from Brooklyn Brewery.
Of course this beer still satisfies the strictures of the Reinheitsgebot, made only of the four core beer ingredients of malt, hops, water and yeast. And at its base, it is traditionally German in style – a wheat beer, unfiltered and unpasteurised.
But this beer is something different. Bittered with Hallertauer Tradition hops, it is also dry-hopped with Hallertauer Saphir, in the form of a big Dopplebock.
It pours this quite heavy looking hazy golden orange, with a nice foamy cap. Aroma is of wheat, flowery hops and of course the banana from the yeast.
The flavour is at once intriguing. It is full of bready malt, with a citrus and grassy hop note. The flavours of the wheat beer yeast are also there, but very much playing second fiddle to that grassy and earthy hop character.
The ABV is covered really well, and I don’t think you’d pick this as being 8.2%, having good carbonation which lifts that big dopplebock body. You really want to dive in for another taste as you try and work out what is going on with this beer.