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Beer of Wit's style was first produced in the eastern provinces of Belgium over 500 years ago. At that time, before the universal usage of hops in brewing, local brewers employed a wide variety of ingredients to soften the bitter sourness that characterized their primitive beer, which was primarily made with wheat and thus called "witbier". The Flemish trade routes brought home oranges from Spain and exotic spices from the East Indies. Some brave brewer one day played with the odd mix of orange peel and coriander. The witbier that resulted must have been very pleasing to the pallet. Before long brewers all over Belgium were producing this new style. WIT Belgian White Ale is brewed in the traditional style from wheat and two-row pale barley malt and it is spiced with orange peel and coriander. Tettnanger and Cluster hops are used for flavor and primarily aroma. A lager yeast strain is used in this ale.
Immediately not a pleasant fruity citrus nose with a spiciness lingering in the background. Look for good head retention in this medium-bodied, unfiltered ale. The body is very smooth with the key flavor elements being again fruity, citrus, and spicy notes. We found the beer to be very refreshing, very well conditioned and possessing a nice dry, clean finish. Overall, a very unusual beer. Complex and very enjoyable.
While Belgium has long been recognized as home to some of the world's highest quality and most colorful specialty beers, American microbrewers have largely ignored Belgian recipe beers in favor of traditional German and British styles. To reverse this trend, in 1993 Harvard Law School graduate Andrew Klein founded Spring Street Brewing Company with one goal in mind: to offer American beer enthusiasts hand-crafted Belgian recipe beers. The microbrewery currently produces three ales: WIT White Ale, WIT Amber Ale and new WIT Black Ale. For centuries Belgians have produced particularly delicious and thirst quenching wheat ales by using special yeasts and a careful balance of bitter hops and other aromatics. The Wit beers are microbrewed in this rich tradition. Plans to launch additional Belgian recipe beers are also brewing at Spring Street and include an abbey style ale, a peach wheat ale and a lemongrass-mint ale.For more information about the brewery and scheduled tours, call (212) 228-5787 or check out their web site at www.witbeer.com.
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