August Schell Brewing Company - LoCal Twist
Int’l Bittering Units (IBUs):10
Serving Temperature:40-45º F
Suggested Glassware:Flute, Pint Glass
Malts:2-Row Pale, Wheat, Munich, Dextrose
This citrus wheat ale pours a lightly hazed bright golden straw color with an energetic head of foam. Schell’s uses natural grapefruit and orange in this brew, and those additions are super bright and bold in the aroma. The use of citrus fruits is common with wheat beers, such as the use of orange peel in Belgian witbiers or the preference many have for a lemon wedge in their hefeweizen, and it’s working nicely here too. On the palate, the malt core offers crackery pale malt notes and some tangy wheat, forming a pleasant, clean stage for those big citrus notes. As the beer is quite dry as-is, the brewers have kept the hop bitterness low, but the Calypso and Cascade hops augment the actual citrus additions with touches of lemon and lime, tropical and stone fruits, and a wisp of mint. For a super-sessionable sub-4% ABV beer, we usually have to look to certain English pub favorites, but some American wheat ales like this one from Schell’s fit the bill, as well, particularly in the warmer months. Enjoy one (or two, or three...) of these with an Asian salad with mandarins and ginger dressing, or grilled chicken, fish, or shrimp with a citrus spritz or glaze. Cheers!
August Schell was born in Germany’s Black Forest region in 1828. After studying to be a machinist, he immigrated to the U.S. in 1848—traveling to New Orleans by a steamer ship before stopping in Cincinnati. In 1856, he and his young family joined a group which traveled west, ultimately founding New Ulm in 1857. In 1860, August partnered up with Jacob Bernhardt, who had served as brewmaster at Benzberg Brewery (later to become Minnesota Brewing Company…), and the two built a small brewery nearby right along the Cottonwood River, producing about 200 barrels of beer annually. The new brewery grew steadily over the years, and the Schells would build a mansion on the brewery grounds in 1885, complete with elaborate gardens and a deer park—all currently still around and listed in the National Register of Historic Sites. After August passed away in 1891, his son Otto led the brewery forward.
Over the years, the brewery expanded, survived Prohibition, endured a glut of new breweries in the 1970s and financial struggles in their myriad forms—but they remained aloft and were the first brewery in Minnesota to produce craft beers in the 1980s, with German-style craft lagers and a wheat beer. By 1990 there were 38 different beers being produced by the brewery. A new state-of-the-art brewhouse was added in 1999, the classic Grain Belt brand was purchased and kept alive in 2002 (after Minnesota Brewing Co. went bankrupt), and a new gift shop and taproom were added in 2005. All throughout the years, the brewery continued to adapt to the changing beer scene.
Previously, we’ve had the pleasure of featuring releases from August Schell’s Noble Star Collection in our Rare Beer Club, including a dry-hopped Berliner Weisse called Basin of Attraction, as well as the Flanders-red-inspired Solar Evolution. This month, we’re happy to bring their tasty beers to the rest of our club members. For those looking for a bit more history, learn more about this 150+-year-old brewery at www.schellsbrewery.com.
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