From the Beer Writer: I spent my Election Night taking in a fundraiser for the Beer to the Rescue charity campaign at the Miramar tasting room operated by yeast-production company, White Labs. While the evening’s historic upset didn’t sit well with me, that evening provided me a great deal of positives I’ll remember far beyond a four-year stint, namely time with good friends and industry colleagues, awareness and funds raised for the Lupus Foundation of Southern California, and a really, really tasty beer. The White Labs brew-crew infused a version of their house wheat-ale fermented using hefeweizen yeast with blood orange and hibiscus and dubbed it “Bad Hombre” (a debate-debuted term from a future U.S. president that shares the same acronym as my name…it was funny at the time). With $2 from each pint sold, I subsisted on it until the keg blew, enjoying its strawberry-banana bouquet, light but satisfactory body and unsweetened Hawaiian Punch flavor-profile. I couldn’t wait to tell the world about it, until I learned the keg we consumed was the only one in existence. So I turned my attention to the base-beer, White Labs Hansen Hefeweizen (an in-depth description of which is provided below), and found that, while different, it provides a nice drinking experience and its own lovely virtues, namely those big banana aromatics and flavors mixed with a bit of lemon-like citrus flavor and a drying touch of earthy, coriander-like spice from the yeast, which was, of course, produced right on site. It’s a good beer to help on as they adjust to life under a new presidential administration and likely devoid of the San Diego Chargers.
From the Brewer: “White Labs Hansen Hefeweizen fermented with WLP300 Hefeweizen Ale Yeast is part of our flagship Hansen Wheat Ale flight, which we cleverly named after the yeast and fermentation scientist Emil Christian Hansen. The malt-bill is made up of 50% white wheat, 40% Pilsen malt and 10% flaked wheat, clocking in around 17 IBUs (international bittering units). Unlike many beers in San Diego, hops aren’t really stealing the show here, and the Hansen Wheat Ale flight makes up some of the lightest stuff we brew on our 20-barrel brewing system. The batch fermented with WLP300 Hefeweizen Ale Yeast showcases prevalent banana esters in the flavor and aroma, which is backed up by subtle clove and spice characteristics. In recent months, we started using this version as the base-beer for specialty releases. With a low bitterness and body, White Labs Hansen Hefeweizen really allows the qualities from unconventional ingredients to shine through. Just recently, our brewing team infused this recipe with blood orange and hibiscus, which was on tap in the tasting room for a recent Beer to the Rescue event. Since it was such a hit with everyone that attended, you can expect to see it show up again in our tasting room or at occasional beer festivals.”—Joe Kurowski, Brewing Manager, White Labs