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Pilsner with Brettanomyces – New from Allagash

an Allagash employee holding a beer

The name explains the beer, but only a taste will tell you everything about it. And if you’re in one of our areas of distribution, you’ll get a chance to try it. Pilsner with Brettanomyces is releasing on draft to our entire distribution footprint in a limited release.

So what is this beer? Let’s start with the pilsner part. Pilsners, as brewed in their native town of Pilsen, are pale golden lagers with a near-perfect balance of aromatic hops, light malt, and cold-fermented lager yeast.

Then we have Brettanomyces. Brett—as it’s known for short—is a yeast strain popularized in Belgium that’s starting to gain momentum in the American craft beer scene. (Sidenote: we’ve been passionate about using this yeast strain for about 14 years at this point.) Brettanomyces is known by brewers as being hungry, unpredictable, and excellent at creating vast depth of flavor and aroma that ranges from tropical fruit, to hay, to light funkiness. So, you ask, how can it be a pilsner if you ferment it with a completely different yeast?

Therein lies the beauty. We’re a Belgian-style brewery, and Belgians are known for throwing convention out the window (sometimes). We dual ferment Pilsner with Brettanomyces with our house Brettanomyces yeast strain, as well as a Bohemian lager strain.

brewer in the Allagash brewhouse

This is Patrick, the brewer behind Pilsner with Brettanomyces.

The two yeast strains work together to create a flavorful and balanced profile that blends tropical funk and light tartness with a pilsner’s signature lagered flavor.

Normally, we ferment our beers at around 65-70 degrees. For this beer, we ferment between 50-55, and then “lager” it after that. The lagering process involves gradually bringing the fermenting beer’s temperature down to around 34 degrees, and then letting it sit there for around three-to-four weeks. The lower fermentation temp changes the profile of the flavors and aromas yeast will create. So our Brettanomyces, used to dining at higher temperatures, adds a mellower fruit character to the already smooth lager flavor in the beer.

Again, while this beer will only be appearing on draft for now, you’ll be able to find it at select locations across our entire brewery’s distribution footprint. You can keep an eye out for it with our beer locator (www.allagash.com/locator). 

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