I recently wrote an article about yeast, for The Brewclub and described the difference between top fermenting yeast (Saccharomyces Cerevisiae) as used in ales, and bottom fermenting – (Saccharomyces pastonrianus – formerly known as Saccaromyces carlsbergensis) as used in lagers. Well clearly there are different varieties of yeasts within those two main headings, because this weekend I tried a lager brewed with champagne yeast! Keep this beer in mind for your next New Year’s Eve celebration!
Kasteel Cru is said lager, brewed in Alsace using spring water, champagne yeast and hallertau hops. I suspect that the brewers would have us believe that the hops were hand picked by virgins, under a full moon, such is the premium they’re trying to attach to this 5.3% lager.
Understandably so, this is a bustling sector of the market, and it takes something really special to differentiate a real premium lager. It seems to be working as it got a mention in British GQ Magazine’s “100 Best Things” . It’s got its own special glass too, as you’ll see from the picture… very classy.
Despite the hyperbole, this is actually a very fine lager.
A very pale amber colour and a full, fizzing head. A fine hoppy nose that is refreshing before you even taste the drink that’s probably the influence of that Champagne yeast.
The drink itself is, as you would expect, really light and refreshing, and ever so slightly sweet.
It’s an excellent, well balanced flavour, somebody’s really done their homework on this one.
I’d give this four stars. It might have been higher, but it’s so premium, at the equivalent of nearly four dollars a 330ml bottle it’s a bit pricey for day to day drinking. But then I guess that’s their intention.
Interested in Home Beer Brewing?