Chameleon: Hallertau Blanc

Written by critterwill on February 18, 2017

Toward the end of last year, we introduced the ‘Chameleon’ to our lineup of regular beers, a 5.5% pale beer that changes the hop variety used. So far we’ve done Mosaic and Simcoe versions, which are both relatively new American hop varieties, which have gone down really well and we’ve had to do multiple brews of both over the last few months, but we decided it was time to throw another into the mix!

We opted to try out a new variety from… Germany! Most German varieties have subtle characteristics; soft herbal, earthy, and floral flavours are common and are perfect for classic Germanic styles like Helles lager, Hefeweizen and Pilsner which only require a delicate and precise addition of hops. However, a new variety on the market ‘Hallertau Blanc’ has been released in recent years, claiming to be more assertive and reminiscent of Nelson Sauvin, one of the most destinguishable hops from New Zealand, so we thought we better try it!

From opening the bag, we were greeted with citrusy and spicey notes at a much higher intensity than we’d ever experienced from a German hop and were excited to see how it turned out in the final beer. We brewed it with the same, simple malt recipe as our other Chameleon beers which just include low colour Maris Otter malt, and some malted wheat, which really lets the hops standout when combined with our clean and reliable English yeast strain.

In the final beer we have aroma and flavour of lemony citrus, gooseberry, elderflower, white grapes, light bready notes with a dry and refreshing finish. We’re happy with it, and how much it contrasts to the two previously used American varieties; it definitely has similarities to Nelson Sauvin, if a little less pungent.

Hallertau is a famous growing region in Bavaria and produces 80% of the hops grown in Germany, and especially known for the production of Hallertauer Mittelfrüh, a noble variety of hop grown for over a hundred years that’s commonly used in German Pilsner thanks to it’s mild herbal, pleasant spicy notes. Other varieties grown there include Magnum, Northern Brewer, and Hersbruker, with Blanc being released in 2012.

We hope you enjoy the beer, and look forward to hearing what you think of it! Our next blog will be about the collaboration brew we’re doing with Sheffield beer week, HopJacker (Dronfield), and The White Lion (Heeley).