Tuesday, August 8th, 2017

Craft Beer Crosscut 8.8.17: A Flight of Tettnang

Ron Swarner


Peaks-and-Pints-Tacoma-Beer-FlightTettnang, a noble hop, is known for its all-purpose hop versatility, great for its aromatic and bittering properties. Grown in the Tettnanger region in Bavaria, near Bodensee, near the southern border of Germany, as a land-race hop, it is prized in the German-style lager and pilsner tradition. It is also grown in the US, and Swiss where controversy brews about the legitimacy of their Tettnang hops. Many believe they are spawned from Fuggle hops since “Tettnanger” cultivation is traditional in Switzerland, it is most likely that the Swiss Tettnangers were never Tettnang Tettnanger’s to start with. US growers, in recent years, have tried to grow true Tettnanger hops, but because of the confusion in names it has become a hard task discerning the authentic Tettnanger. This noble, all-purpose hop, can be used for its bittering, aromatic and finishing additions. Especially known for adding aroma and flavor it brings mild pleasant, floral and slightly spicy notes to any brew. It’s ideal for Craft Beer Crosscut 8.8.17: A Flight of Tettnang — Peaks and Pints craft beer flight of the day.

pFriem-Kettle-Soured-Mango-Berliner-Weisse-TacomaKettle Soured Mango Berliner Weisse

3.5% ABV, 6 IBU

Kettle souring involves cooking the grist, but then allowing it to cool in the brew kettle where lactobacillus, a bacteria found in foods like yogurt, cheese and sauerkraut, is introduced. After one to two days, the mash becomes sour and then the brewing process is restarted with enough heat to kill the bacteria, but leave a distinctive acidic tartness. As with traditional Berliner weisse beers, pFriem Family Brewers’ Kettle Soured Mango Berliner Weissr is made with raw wheat, Weyerman Wheat Malt, and a very light amount of German noble hops, Tettnang. pFriem chose an American ale yeast for fermentation, which makes this beer very clean, and with low fruitness and mild ester production. Then the Hood River brewery adds tons of fresh mango for a fruity, prickly and very quaffable Berliner weisse.

North-Coast-Scrimshaw-Pilsner-TacomaNorth Coast Scrimshaw Pilsner Style Beer

4.7% ABV, 22 IBU

Named for the delicate engravings popularized by 19th century seafarers, North Coast Brewing’s Scrimshaw is a fresh tasting pilsner brewed in the finest European tradition using Munich malt and Hallertauer and Tettnang hops. It pours a honey gold with a frothy, white head. Grains and soft hop notes abound in the aroma. The swallow is closer to a pale ale, starting with ample two-row malt sweetness, followed by lemony, zesty hop tastes. The perfect carbonation and light body create a smooth, creamy mouthfeel with a crisp, dry finish and mild fruity aftertaste. It’s not trying to do anything fancy — it’s just a very well-balanced pilsner. It’s not a hop bomb, or a malt showcase. It’s just clean, thirst-quenching lager.

pFriem-Kumquat-Farmhouse-Ale-TacomapFriem Kumquat Farmhouse Ale

4.9% ABV, 24 IBU

pFriem’s Family Brewers added German Tettnang, Huell Melon and Motueka hops to Gambrinus Pilsner malt, spelt and raw wheat, then poured puréed .5 pounds per gallon of fresh kumquats into the beer’s post fermentation. Lastly, Brett Trois was added with the sweet and sour fresh fruit for the secondary fermentation process. The result is its Kumquat Farmhouse Ale with aromas of fresh kumquats and creamy papaya that will get you started, but the tangy flavors of pineapple and orange juice will propel you to its spritzy, refreshing finish.

Deschutes-Black-Butte-Porter-TacomaDeschutes Black Butte Porter

5.2% ABV, 30 IBU

Deschutes named its porter after a stratovolcano in the Deschutes National Forest near its brewery in Bend, Oregon. While there, grab a fresh pint of one of the loveliest porters in the country brewed with Tettnang, Cascade and Bravo hops. The aroma bears a hint of nuttiness, followed by the unmistakable smells of rich yet soft milk chocolate. Black Butte Porter is slightly bitter in the first sip, but mellows out with a chocolate and roasted finish. As creamy and chocolaty as it should be, this is the porter all other porters strive to be.

Firestone-Walker-Bravo-Brown-TacomaFirestone Walker Bravo Brown

13.2% ABV, 44 IBU

Bravo was the first beer matured in retired spirits barrels by Firestone Walker’s Brewmaster Matt Brynildson in 2004, during the experimental stages of what would become the California brewery’s inaugural Anniversary Ale. Balancing rich toasty and chocolate malt flavors with a gentle balance of Tettnanger hops, Bravo is brewed to showcase barrel flavors with massive bourbon barrel notes that morph as the beer warms in the glass. A lean, simple brown brewed to showcase barrel flavors — caramel, cocoa, bourbon, wood, vanilla and toffee — with some light earthy notes. One of the driest beers in the Vintage Reserve series, it’s also a crucial component in the annual blending of Firestone Walker’s Anniversary Ale and helps balance out some of the sticky sweet components.