The Reinheitsgebot (German Beer Purity Laws) originated in 1487, stating that the only ingredients allowed to be used in beer are water, malted barley and hops – yeast hadn’t been discovered yet. However, a constant search for innovation has led brewers to move away from these traditional ingredients to create beers that would, quite frankly offend the Germans of yesteryear.
Partizan, Lemon Thyme Saison
Saisons are a difficult style to pin down, but they are typically light on malt & hop character and often allow the more subtle yeast flavours to shine through. As a result they offer the perfect canvas upon which to layer other flavours. In this case, Partizan have added lemon juice & thyme to add a sharp citrus aroma, refreshing flavour & subtle spicy finish.
Weird Beard, You Taste Better When You’re Scared
Weird Beard added actual grapefruit juice to this collaboration brew as well as acidulated malt (that’s a type of malt that contains a small proportion of lactic acid in case you didn’t know!). This combination leaves this beer with a wonderful juxtaposition of refreshing tartness.
Buxton Brewery, BA Dragon Tips Stout
The huge malt backbone of imperial stouts means they can support some pretty intense flavours. Dragon Tips from Buxton takes on this challenge by adding bacon, chilli & maple syrup. Whilst the bacon gives this beer a woody, smoked aroma, the maple syrup prevents the finish from being too boozy, only for the the chilli to kick in at the end
Wild Beer, Ninkasi Premier Cru
Given it’s origins are rooted firmly in cider country, it’s entirely appropriate that the ‘illegal’ ingredient in this beer is Somerset apple juice. This Premier Cru version has then been aged in Cider Brandy barrels to add another dimension of flavour not expected in traditional beers.
Gosnells, London Mead
Let the mead floweth! I know what you’re thinking; we’ve been watching too much Wolf Hall and think we’re living in Tudor times packed with feasts of goose, venison & lashings of mead. But mead is making a comeback and is being produced right here in London – Peckham to be precise! Made with just honey & water, Gosnell’s London Mead is lighter, drier & bubblier than what Henry VIII would’ve drunk but it’s all the more refreshing for it. Most meads don’t use malts or hops prompting a debate over whether it is a beer or a wine or something altogether different. We haven’t a clue but we know it sure as hell wouldn’t pass the Reinheitsgebot test.