Thursday, August 19, 2010

Who knew yard work could be so tasty!

I spent some time (and money) last night at my second favorite beer drinking establishment the Flying Saucer downtown.  They were tapping a keg of Weedwacker the first of St Arnold’s Moveable Yeast series of beers. 

After a bit of a wait to snag a table as is unfortunately typical for the Saucer in the evenings, we were able to order a half pint of Lawnmower side by side with a half pint of Weedwacker.

The concept of the Moveable Yeast series of brews is to take one of the brewery’s well know beers and brew them in exactly the same fashion as normal with the exception of using a different yeast.  Everyone knows that grains will affect the Color, flavor, body and mouthfeel of a beer; that hops will affect the flavor and aroma; and that the specific processes used can definitely impact the resulting beers.  However, many people don’t realize as readily how much of an impact the specific strain of yeast used can have on the beer. The Moveable Yeast series is an attempt to improve on this situation. Weedwacker specifically is made from the same wort as Lawnmower (hence the yard work related name) which uses a Kolsh yeast for it’s distinctive cool, clean and refreshing flavors and substitutes a Bavarian Hefeweisen yeast. 

Weedwacker is an extremely satisfying beer.  Immediately you notice that it is cloudy (mostly due to lack of filtration) which I suspect is as much a chill haze as it is residual yeast and a protein haze. The bright white head has quite a bit of staying power and is very tight and fluffy. As you lift the glass you quickly smell cloves in the nose, this is the single most prominent aroma to the beer (Lawnmower is very lightly hopped as it is) and indicates that the beer was fermented on the cold end of the spectrum for the yeast (warmer temps would have produced a banana aroma). The first taste of it is almost tart but more accurately described as bright with a slight tart bite to it.  The beer is very light bodied and lacks the biscuit and grainy flavors from it’s brother, Lawnmower. I was very pleased with this as those are the flavors I enjoy least about Lawnmower. The beer finishes very clean, crisp and refreshing.

TL;DR:  WOW, this is a really great beer.  I wish it were a standard because it could easily be a gateway beer for all those YFB (Yellow Fizzy Beer) drinkers.