Last week I finally got my hands on some of the beer that I helped brew during Good Beer Week. It’s the collaboration brew between Mountain Goat and Brooklyn Brewery, the Cross Breed Hopfweizenbock. Sure, there were 14 other people that also helped, and our involvement was minimal (lest we stuff things up completely), but I’m still counting this as my first foray into the brewing game. The brewery held an open night for the crew that helped a few weeks back, so that they could sample their handiwork before the public did. However being in Brisbane I had to wait until the bottles made their way up north, and then had to buy my own!! But the wait, and the price, were totally worth it.
What’s on the bottle?
Let’s break the Hopfweizenbock name down – ‘Hop’ represents the hops, ‘weizen’ is German for wheat, and ‘bock’ is a strong German beer. Therefore Hopfweizenbock is a strong hoppy wheat beer.
Yes, the ‘Hop’ stands for the hops, and ‘weizen’ is German for wheat. But ‘bock’ is actually German for goat! I kid you not, check Google Translate for yourself – BOCK is German for ‘he-goat’ amongst other things. So Hopfweizenbock actually means hoppy wheat goat.
The label itself is the standard Rare Breed/Cross Breed layout, looking something like a turn-of-the-century newspaper. But the colour they’ve chosen for this one – BOOM! The whole label is coloured the same green colour found in the Brooklyn Brewery logo, and it looks awesome.
What’s in the bottle?
It pours a dark amber-orange with a thick off-white head, just like a good wheat beer should. Galaxy hops are king in the initial aroma, but as it warms the German yeast pushes through some banana to create a tropical fruit salad worthy of any Queensland Christmas lunch. Then you’ve got the taste – bubblegum early on which is joined by toffee and caramel later on – it’s a dead set candy shop worth of flavour. It finishes with some bready notes, then a dryness that seems to come from both the wheat and from the surprisingly assertive hop bitterness. Actually, the bitterness isn’t that surprising – it is part goat after all!
Ok, I know there’s a potential for me to have a biased opinion here…but this truly is the greatest beer that has ever been brewed in the history of brewing! The hero of this epic wheat beer is definitely the rice husk – whoever added that to the brew is nothing short of a brewing genius. If this person doesn’t already work for a brewery, then someone should hire him ASAP!
But seriously, this really is a tasty merger of two great styles of beer, brewed by two great breweries – the respected traditional stylings of Brooklyn Brewery and the hopped-up Aussie goodness that is Mountain Goat. The result is a beer that not only crosses breeds, but also crosses generations and crosses continents. Hunt some down while it you can.
Fact from the book…
This beer isn’t from the book, but the spiritual ancestor of this beer is! The Brooklyner-Schneider Hopfen-Weisse is a collaboration brew between Brooklyn and the Schneider Weisse brewery in Germany. It’s the exact same beer as the Hopfweizenbock except for the hops, using Amarillo and Palisades instead of the Galaxy. I’ll need to hunt it down.