Beer Deconstructed: Witbier
Water, malted barley, hops and yeast these are the classic building blocks of beer. As brewers continue to manipulate and supplement this treasured combination, the breadth of their labors is both beautiful and daunting. Rest assured were here to help you make sense of it all. Ever wonder why a certain beer tastes the way it does? Recognize a familiar flavor but cant quite put your finger on it? This week we take a closer look at Witbier.
For hundreds of years the small Belgian village of Hoegaarden was known for its hazy wheat beer; but in 1957 the Tomsin Brewery closed its doors and with it the style vanished from the earth. Thankfully a milkman by the name of Pierre Celis who once worked at Tomsin pieced together a small brewery in his hayloft. He named his witbier Hoegaarden in honor of his hometown, and his recipe evolved into the most globally recognizable example of the style.
Building Your Beer PalateDuring fermentation, yeast produces fruity and spicy flavor compounds called esters. Brewers often supplement and amplify these flavors with adjuncts. From spices to fruits - coffee to chocolate, the skys the limit. Belgian Witbiers incorporate coriander and orange peel for an additional touch of fruit and spice. Witbier or white beer takes its name from it hazy unfiltered appearance. This haze is primarily a mixture of yeast and proteins derived from a mixture of malted barley and unmalted wheat. Brewing with unmalted wheat is a demanding, but crucial step in producing the creamy dryness of a classic Witbier. Here are three excellent Belgian-style Witbiers that are not to be missed! Beer Buzz for updates on new beer, tastings, sales and more!