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Weihenstephaner Braupakt – A pact of Bavarian-Californian brewing expertise

f.l. Technical Manager Mario Schäfer, Head Brewmaster Tobias Zollo (both Bavarian State Brewery) and Bill Manley, Produktmanager Sierrra Nevada.

Two countries, separated by a distance of around 10,000 kilometres – and united by a common passion for brewing beer. The traditional Bavarian State Brewery Weihenstephan and the US craft beer pioneers Sierra Nevada now announce their joint venture, “Braupakt”. The beer to be produced under this “brewing pact” is a fruity, hoppy Hefeweissbier based on the venerable Hallertauer Tradition hop strain and given a sophisticated twist with the addition of US Amarillo and Chinook hops.

Developing the formula took almost one year of teamwork. Last week the first joint tasting session was held with Bill Manley, New Product Development Manager from Sierra Nevada, who travelled from California to Freising for the momentous event. Manley pronounced himself delighted with the result of the “brewing pact”, explaining, “In the USA’s craft beer movement, the trend is slowly moving away from ultra-bitter beers and embracing aromatic, hoppy brews instead. The fruity, super-aromatic hop varieties and fine banana notes of our ‘Braupact’ really hit the spot.” Weihenstephan Brewery’s master brewer, Tobias Zollo, is likewise well satisfied with the project’s enormous success. “As experts in Hefeweissbier, we’ve joined forces with Sierra Nevada, which is world-famous for its Pale Ale and globally regarded as setting the benchmark for this beer type. By combining our core areas of expertise, we’ve created a very special beer that has won us over completely!” For Zollo, the basis of trust and collaboration in the partnership with his US colleagues was a fascinating experience: “We brewers are always interested in exploring the differences in beer culture between the two countries. Unfortunately, Germany is often dominated by rivalry, while the USA instead focuses on exchanging ideas and finding mutual areas of inspiration. The mindset of this new approach was a very positive experience for us.”

Weihenstephaner Braupakt will be brewed in January 2018 as a limited edition, and will be available from March 2018 in Germany and worldwide.

Tasting details: This naturally cloudy amber Hefeweissbier has a firm, creamy head and reveals fragrances of peach, apricot and citrus on the nose. The initial impression on the palate is of a bouquet of aromas, including subtle touches of banana plus refreshing grapefruit from the American Chinook hops. The fruity peach and apricot notes from the Amarillo hops are balanced by the gentle sweetness of the caramel malt. The beer has a delicate tartness that melds into a harmonious mouthfeel on the finish.

Analysis (approximate):

•      Original gravity 14.5%

•      ABV ~ 6.0%

•      Malt: wheat malt, light and dark barley malt, caramel malt

•      Hops: ~ 21 IBU

Excellent when paired with exotic and spicy-hot fish, meat and seafood dishes.

About Bavarian State Brewery Weihenstephan: Founded in 1040 as the brewery of a Benedictine monastery, the Bavarian State Brewery Weihenstephan is today a state-owned company operated using private-sector methods. The brewery’s venerable premises house state-of-the art technology based on the latest scientific findings in beverage technology. Using traditional brewing methods backed by almost 1000 years of experience, Bavarian State Brewery Weihenstephan produces premium beers of the finest quality that regularly win the most coveted awards at international beer competitions.

About Sierra Nevada: Sierra Nevada Brewing Co., based in Chico, California, and Mills River, North Carolina was founded in 1980 by Ken Grossman as the USA’s 42nd brewery (today there are 5,300). Among the foremost pioneers of craft beer brewing in the USA, Sierra Nevada played a key role in driving and shaping the present-day beer scene across the country. In only a few years, this brewery and its roster of innovative, high-quality craft beers has developed into one of the biggest and best-known breweries in the USA. Learn more at www.sierranevada.com.