Sunday, June 29, 2014

August Schell North Country Brunette

This is a 5.4% ABV Berliner Weisse style beer made in the marzen style is from the August Schell Brewing Company of New Ulm, Minnesota.  Schell's was established in 1860 and I believe they are the second oldest family owned brewery in the United States, behind Yuengeling. 

This beer is the third release in their Noble Star Collection of Berliner weisse style beers that they are making. The first release was Star of the North (unfortunately I missed that one), and the second was the Framboise du Nord made with raspberries.   These releases are made in the brewery's original 1936 cypress wood lagering tanks. The bottles are hand filled and bottle-conditioned. The bottle said to use a pokal glass. I have a number of beer glasses, but I admit I had to look that one up, and I used the one I had that most approximated the style.

The beer pours a cloudy medium brown with an orange tint. There is a tall head of very light tan fizzy foam that dissipates fairly quickly. The aroma is tart, toasty wheat, roasted malt, nutty, some caramel, tangy dark fruits not yet ripe. The taste occurs on two separate planes; there is an intense, face-crinkling, lip-puckering, sour tartness, and then there is a toasted, roasted, nutty, toasted wheat germ, touch of sweetness maltiness. The two tastes remain separate, but connected, swirling around each other like strands of DNA. The carbonation is both light, yet intense, subtle, yet tingling, finer even than most bottle-conditioned carbonation, akin to champagne. And to think the craft brewer's association only recently called Schell’s craft, when they are making masterpieces like this!

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