I’m sure most of our [domestic] followers are no doubt all over it with the various Cross Breeds and Rare Breeds coming out of Mountain Goat. But just in case: they’re a series of collaboration brews and seasonals respectively.
Their Hopfweizenbock is a Cross Breed brew with Brooklyn Brewery in the United States. You may remember Hopfweizenbock as the beer that the former OzBeerBaron helped create during Good Beer Week. His post and the notes on the label explain the beer’s concept much better than I can (and also, I’m lazy):
This beer is… a merging of two styles… A Weizenbock is a strong German beer which is made with a solid dose of wheat malt. We then ferment it using the yeast strain that Brooklyn used in their very first Brooklyn-brewed-beer, Brooklyner Weiss. And we finish up by hopping it like an Australian Pale Ale using loads of Tasmanian Galaxy Hops.
Just like the next craft beer enthusiast, you’ve got me intrigued at this “Biermischung” [my attempt at coining words in German; fail]. And so it didn’t take much more to twist my arm in the bottle-o. It’s cold from the fridge and only a few minutes walk home so it’ll be at prime drinking temperature when I get there: Perfect!
Without much further ado, I’m home and it’s uncapped before you can say “hopfweizenbock”. The aroma is one of robust, overripe bananas, and similarly strong on the cloves and citrus. In colour, it’s a very dark golden, lightly ambered hue and semi-cloudy.
On the pour there’s plenty of carbonation and a nice big, fluffy head – as you’d get from a hefeweizen. Once the head recedes and I swish the amber fluid around my glass, it’s decided: it’s a head of champions and is attaching itself diligently to my Spiegelau.
To taste it’s quite sweet with substantial toffee qualities about the flavour with some mildly grassy undertones. There’s a light and lingering, grassy bitterness on the end with a slight hamminess (am I the only one getting bacon? must be hungry from my walk). The cloves are there in spades as the aroma suggested and they’re bite-y but not in a bad way – in the spiciness kick of a hef way. And, might I add, whoever thought to throw in those rice husks: you bloody legend!
There’s significant layering in the flavour – it’s sweet, then you get the spices, and then the bittering kicks in. Like a beer that’s confused about its style there’s bits and pieces of everything.
Overall, it’s substantially like a wheat beer with added hops and sweetness. I can’t really fault it on it’s technical merits because bloody hell I’ve never had anything like it. My only critique would be that the flavour of the beer in general is not particularly moreish or enviable. In fact, it’s minus points in that respect. I just don’t know that they’ve tied together the flavours too well.
Nevertheless, not bad in every other respect and from their above quote it would seem that they have nailed most elements that they set out.
- Genre: Germano
- Regionality: Richmond, VIC / Bookrlyn, USA
- Strength: 6.5%
- Rating: 1 / 3 taste + 2 / 2 ancillaries = 3 / 5
- Plus: Capturing of the essence of two styles
- Minus: The different flavours don’t interact well and are like separate, disparate entities.