SHOWCASING THE MAIN, YET OFTEN OVERLOOKED, INGREDIENT TO BEER.
As you can imagine, water makes up the largest component of beer and with our Water Profile exploration series we take this ingredient very seriously, while having a lot of fun with it.
Using our in-house reverse osmosis technology, we can strip our brewing water back to the pure H2O molecule. From there, we can build up the mineral and salt profile to replicate any water profile in the world to best suit our beer.
You may remember last summer our San Dropanino transporting us to Italy by matching the water profile to the pristine natural springs in Val Brembana in the San Pellegrino Terme area of the Italian Alps?
Well this year we are doing it again.
This summer we will transport ourselves to sunny Greece with a Hellenic Lager.
We spoke to head brewer Nick Calder-Scholes about this series and this brew.
What even is a Hellenic Lager?
Hellenic lager is a type of beer that is brewed in Greece. It is a light coloured lager with a crisp, refreshing taste and a moderate bitterness. Hellenic lager is usually served cold and is often paired with Mediterranean food or enjoyed on its own as a refreshing beverage. It is a popular choice in Greece, especially during the hot summer months and is perfect for this Australian summer before us.
What does the water profile change in the flavour of the beer?
Water is an essential ingredient in beer and can significantly impact the flavour profile. Think of it as the closest thing to terroir in the beer world. Differing levels of salts and minerals such as calcium, magnesium, chloride, sulphate, and sodium affect the overall makeup and taste of the beer. These minerals and ions present in water amplify or mute certain aspects of the grains and hops profile, mouthfeel, and drinkability.
What was the inspo for a Hellenic Lager?
Much like the San Dropanino Italian Pilsner of yesteryear, inspo hit on the spot. We were walking the streets on Attica and the water we were carrying around in our bottles was remarkably good – how did we know? We remarked on it. Multiple times. – after a sluggish hike up the Acropolis, and a refreshing chug of aqua under the forgiving shade of an olive tree, it was decided that “you could make great beer out of this”. A few bottles of cold Aλφα later, it was done.
How did this water profile differ from the last regionally inspired lager San Dropanino?
Our Hellenic Lager is almost the antithesis of our San Dropanino Italian pils. Let me explain, San Drop had a water profile bordering on “I can't brew with this’. Its very hard water (623mg/l), with massive levels of calcium (167mg/l) and sulphate (401mg/l) for a pilsner. These are high numbers that would make any lager brewer cringe. Whereas in our Hellenic Lager, not one of these attributes is over 40mg/l, and nothing else in the aqua is over 10mg/l. This means a very very soft, mineral-free water was used as the base to make this beer. This allows for a super crisp, unadulterated focus on drinkability and taste.
Try San Dropanino here