Friday, May 11, 2012

Wisconsinite Summer Weiss – Lakefront Brewery

                We interrupt your scheduled blog post to discuss Lakefront Brewery’s newest beer, Wisconsinite.  Wisconsinite was recently released in Wisconsin with release parties happening last night in the Milwaukee area, so I knew that it was out.  What I was not aware of is that it was already stocked in stores as well.  So, I was pleasantly surprised to walk into my local liquor store and see a few 6-packs of Wisconsinite in the cooler case.  With Wisconsinite, Lakefront was on a mission to develop an entire beer from local Wisconsin ingredients.  Sure, they already have Local Acre, a beer that features organic Wisconsin 6-row, and local hops but the creative geniuses at Lakefront were not content with simply local grains and hops.

In Wisconsinite they have accomplished something that no other brewery can lay claim to, a completely native Wisconsin beer!  In order to create this new beer of epic proportions, Lakefront President Russ Klisch worked with Northern Brewer’s Jeremy King to develop and isolate a local yeast strain (fortunately they were kind enough to release the strain for home brewers exclusively through Northern Brewer).  Working towards the yeast’s natural flavor Lakefront developed their Summer Weiss with local malted barley (Malteroup from Milwaukee), local wheat (Chilton), local hops (Mazomanie), and of course local, Lake Michigan water.  Wisconsinite represents a move by professional breweries to not only move session beers, after the craft brewing scene was dominated by big, high gravity beers for the past decade.  A big beer is definitely warranted at times, but it is so much nicer to be able to have a few session beers instead of one 10-16% bomber.  I am excited about the move back to session beers and hope that it continues.

                As of this review there aren’t any ratings on either Beeradvocate (although there is one from Beer FM’s own Andy who is perhaps the only person to beat me to the punch on this one) or ratebeer, but perhaps that will change as more beer lovers in Wisconsin head out to try this wonderful local beer.

They say:

Wisconsinite: the most Wisconsin beer ever! Made with 100% Wisconsin-grown malted barley, wheat, and hops, including a unique, first-of-its-kind, never before fermented, indigenous Wisconsin yeast strain. It pours a hazy, unfiltered, straw color with a fine white head. The mild clove, banana, and citrus aromas from the Wisconsin yeast go well with the malty sweetness and fresh baked wheat bread flavors. With its light body, lively effervescence, and 4.2% ABV, Wisconsinite is a refreshing summer session beer.
The beer was created around a new native Wisconsin yeast strain envisioned by Lakefront President Russ Klisch and developed by Jeremy King of home brewing supplies distributor Northern Brewer. Their new strain is believed be to the only North American-grown yeast in commercial use today as well as the first native brewing yeast from Wisconsin. Yeast is just the tip of the local-sourcing iceberg, however. All products used in Wisconsinite hail from the state, including its water, malted barley, wheat and hops.

 Wisconsinite is great with lighter, summer fare: green salad, seafood salad, smoked salmon, lemon pepper chicken, and shrimp or fish tacos.

I say:

This pours a cloudy light golden color with an impressive white head.  It is most definitely not filtered, and is possibly the cloudiest wheat beer that I have ever seen.  The aroma is earthy with subtle clove and banana esters from the yeast combined with light wheat throughout and a slightly floral hop finish.  The flavor is a delicate balance of wheat and light malts, with a slight floral note from the local hops.  However this beer is really about the yeast, which brings a whole new level of complexity to the party.  The flavors from the yeast offer banana and clove notes, that in combination with the wheat and light malt make this eerily similar to a German Wiezen, which I suppose it is, but in the end it is that and so much more.  Wisconsinite is a medium to full bodied wheat beer that finishes slightly dry, but incredibly refreshing.

With most Americans looking for a refreshing summer beer as we head toward the summer months, this is definitely a beer that should be at the top of their list.  Russ Klisch is working towards developing a new recognized beer style, the “Wisconsin Weiss”.  Here’s to hoping that the style catches on in the industry and that there will be many future beers in the Wisconsin Weiss style.

Come back later in the weekend for the previously promised Boulevard Tank 7 Farmhouse Ale review.

                TGIF!!!  Happy Drinking!

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