Adnams’ respected head brewer Fergus Fitzgerald recently joined Bohem Brewery for the day to create a hoppy wheat beer collaboration packed with mandarins and US hop Sabro.
Although original discussions were around a creation along the lines of Schneider Weisse renowned Tap 5 Hopfen-Weisse beer the commitment to lager production by Bohem dictated that a lager yeast be used thereby reducing the clove and banana characteristic in the beer.
To overcome this missing aspect the brew was given a unique character through the use of Sabro hops – that have a Sorachi Ace dill-like flavour along with mango fruit character. This was complemented by the addition of 50kg of fresh mandarins into the kettle.
Fitzgerald says the appeal of brewing a collab with Bohem was the use of its Czech Republic-built decoction kit: “It’s an unusual way of production and until I’d actually brewed on it then I didn’t know it’s impact on a beer. It will give some spiciness and body to this wheat beer even though we are using lager yeast [on a mix of two-thirds wheat and one-third barley in the grist].”
It represents the first time Bohem has used wheat or fruit in any of its beers so the ultimate outcome will certainly interest Bohem head brewer Petr Skocek. For Fitzgerald fruit has played a part in a number of Adnams beers including one brew with juice from the peel of oranges that took two weeks to extract the required level of zest. “We did not do it again!” he says.
The collab beer – named Mandarinka – will spend a total of five weeks in tank at the Bohem Brewery and be released as a quaffable 4-4.4% zesty brew that will be available in keg at select bars.
Glynn Davis, editor, Beer Insider