Bitburger Brauerei (with Sierra Nevada Brewing Company) - Triple Hop'd Lager
Serving Temperature:45-50° F
Suggested Glassware:Tulip, Pint Glass, IPA Glass
Hops:Centennial, Chinook, German Cascade, Bitburger Siegelhopfen
Stylistically, we think the best category for this one is India Pale Lager, as it has far more hop and even malt character than a typical American-style lager. The biggest focus here are the American hop varieties, Centennial, Chinook, and Cascade – the latter grown in Germany's Eifel region, but Bitburger's signature Siegelhopfen blend plays a notable role, too. On the pour, this lager presents a golden-copper hue, capped by a fluffy head of off-white foam. We found the aroma quite interesting, with floral citrus notes predominating with touches of herbal pine, backed up by a certain earthy and spicy noble hop impression which adds a subtler dimension, all while a dash of caramelized malt lurks below. The story continues in much the same way on the palate where bright American hops offer their herbal, citric, floral notes which meld into subtler earthy, hay-like secondary tones. Hop bitterness comes through medium-firm and is supported well by the malt backbone offering touches of light caramel, mild breadiness, and a hint of residual sweetness. But, the hops are the stars of this Triple Hop'd Lager, drying things out nicely and lingering in the finish with a bit of herbal acidity. For pairing options, pungent or earthy cheeses are a good call, in addition to burgers, spicy pizzas, grilled chicken or pork, or well-spiced fish or shellfish dishes. Prost!
Collaborations in the craft brewing world are nothing new, but international collaborations spanning an ocean are far less common and, dare we say, often more interesting. Sierra Nevada is no stranger to the idea, though; for several years, Sierra Nevada has partnered with a German brewery to create an authentic Oktoberfest-style Festbier for sale in the U.S. during the Oktoberfest period. What better way to deliver an authentic experience than to work directly with the Germans themselves?
For 2019, Sierra Nevada partnered with Bitburger (founded in 1817, and still family-owned) to craft that year's Oktoberfest. In May of that year, Bitburger brewmasters Stefan Meyna and Stefan Hanke accompanied the brewery's co-owner Jan Niewodniczanski (representing the 7th generation of family ownership) to Sierra Nevada's Mills River, NC brewery to meet up with owners Ken and Brian Grossman, and brewmaster Scott Jennings. The end result was a festbier crafted with Bitburg's quite sensitive house lager yeast strain, which they call "Diva", and signature hop blend, "Siegelhopfen".
But the story doesn't end there. The transatlantic brewing team decided to collaborate on an entirely new beer – this time brewed in Germany. Scott Jennings and Brian Grossman flew to Bitburg to join the Bitburger team on their home court. The resulting one-time limited offering, Triple Hop'd Lager, features Bitburg's Siegelhopfen hop blend from a local farm, as well as German-grown Cascade hops, also from the same farm, in addition to Centennial and Chinook from the U.S. We hope you enjoy this special international collaboration as much as we did, and we look forward to what these two dynamic breweries come up with next.
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