My interest in the Oscars has waned over the last few years but if the movies nominated one of the few that caught my eye was Minari, so when I saw that Southland Beer Co. was selling a unique witbier honoring that movie, I picked it up along with another beer from this unique brewery, Dokkaebier.
Not their Kimchi sour though.
Let’s start with the Grand Quimen Pilsner which starts off well but the crispness slides into a more silky mouthfeel. I get a weird tannic but smooth note. I would hazard a guess that I would not like this tea straight. The tea does come through which is what you want but this just doesn’t quite reach the mark for me.
On to the water celery! And Citrus Witbier. This pours a dark amber. Not what I was expecting. The aroma is straight up celery. A little more expected. There is a big malty note sitting under the celery taste but the citrus is missing. And to me, this isn’t a wit really. I would need to get some spice and any citrus (lemon, lime, traditional orange).
Of the two, I would go with the tea pilsner even though the tea was not to my liking, it was in balance with the beer where the celery was not.
Author Jeremy Banas dives into the three iterations of the Celis Witbier in his book about Pierre Celis and his journey from Belgium to Texas and back and, at least to me, it reads as a cautionary tale about the business of beer.
Twice, Pierre Celis ran into financial roadblocks and twice he sold. Once to the predecessor of SABInBev and once to Miller to keep his brewery afloat. Both times the beer was quickly changed to cheaper ingredients and Pierre would find himself persona non grata at the office.
Granted the first sale of the Belgian brewery was precipitated by a destructive fire but to then head to Austin and get figuratively burnt again after the Michael Jackson tells you that selling would be a bad plan seems like a person who needs a financial guru in their corner so that Pierre could focus on being a brand ambassador and brewer.
The third attempt led by Pierre’s daughter Christine has also ran into financial issues as well as having to fight to regain the Celis name and to weather a pandemic.
Throughout it all the Hoegarden nee Celis White stands the test of time when it comes to the witbier style. And I certainly hope that, this time, if the brewery falls that the recipe or “name” not be sold again.
Once you get past the undercapitalized portion of this story, you see the drive to keep a beer style alive and the pure love of beer that Pierre had and with each page turn, I wanted to visit Belgian breweries more so in that respect Banas succeeded in his tale.
Back at the start of craft, you had a fairly rigid selection. A pale, a red, an amber and a stout. Nowadays when a brewery opens, you will almost always see a few IPA’s, something dark and a Witbier. That the style still exists has been attributed to Pierre Celis. His beer journey which has extended to his family is the subject of a new beer book by Jeremy Banas simply titled Celis Beer.
It has been a scorching few days here in Glendale, thankfully our local brewery, Brewyard Beer Co. has a refreshing Wit being canned in a limited run this weekend. Now I just need to set up the camera just right to get me sippin from the can just like the classy gent on the label.
Ommegang (much like their NE brethren, Allagash) continue to expand upon their strengths. This time Ommegang is combining Brettanomyces with fruit, hops on top of their witbier.
The beer is called, Fruittanomyces (try to spell check that) and it “is brewed with malted and unmalted wheat and oat flakes and is spiced with sweet orange peel and coriander. The beer is fermented with mango, kiwi, and passion fruit juices and dry-hopped with Citra and Cascade hops before aging in the bottle with Brettanomyces.”
The second and final video review for October is the Eureka Wit from Angel City Brewing here in Los Angeles. A great style that is a bit overlooked by today’s hop heads. Let’s see how the bottled version compares to my remembrance of the tap version…..
I am constantly surprised at the collaborations that happen in the craft beer world but this one even took me aback. I wonder if the San Diego Comic-Con will have a beer with Ballast Point or Societe?
“The Caped Brewsader is a Belgian Witbier (wheat beer) brewed with an ancient citron plant fruit called Buddha’s Hand. This tropical fruit is segmented into finger-like sections, resembling the hand of Buddha. The result is a slightly hazy, crisp and refreshing ale that has a subtle citrus flavor perfect for summer enjoyment. Approximately 40 pounds of Buddha’s Hand was added to the 100-barrel batch of beer.
“Our Comic Con friends wanted a well-crafted, summer drinking beer, and they wanted to get a little crazy with it,” recalls Breckenridge Brewery brewer John Jordan. “The idea of adding fruit surfaced. This is where the light bulb immediately sparked with me. I had started developing a recipe some years back using this crazy looking citrus fruit – it looks like something right out of a sci-fi movie! It was a perfect fit!”
On the day of the brew, the Denver Comic Con team came to Breckenridge Brewery to assist with the brew. They were able to mill in malt, cut up, prepare and add the fresh Buddha’s Hand and hops.
The beer’s name, “The Caped Brewsader,” was selected from more than 300 entries in a Denver Comic Con online naming contest. More than 15,000 voters helped select the beer’s winning identity.”