This is the collaboration between Hans-Peter Dresler of Schneider Brewery, and Garrett Oliver of Brooklyn Brewery. They have made a weissebock but have added American hops, namely Amarillo, Cascade, Palisades, and Willamette. This brew was one of Draft’s Best Beers of the Year.
Hopfenwiesse pours a burnished yet hazy gold, darker than straw and maybe with a hint of orange like a setting sun. The clarity is actually pretty good, but without the bottom of the glass and the yeast flocculation.
A high white head sits atop the beer, collapsing to a fine layer, but leaving behind some dense lacing.
The nose has the expected banana aroma, but it is fainter than you might think. There are richer, earthier smells in there, too. There is vanilla, and even a bit of stone fruit like over-ripe peaches. This is probably the citrus and pine hops mingling with the bubblegum and coriander of the wheat beer.
The mouthfeel is excellent, full but not overly creamy; clean, but not thin. Initially, you get some hops, rising very quickly as wintergreen, but giving way even faster to a coriander vapor, and a slightly sweet, very rich twang that hints at those stone fruits. The finish is less hoppy than you might expect, though it nicely tempers the fruity chewiness that hits the sides of your tongue.
Overall, you know this beer packs a punch – you can taste it in the trippel-like quality of the swallow. This is one to sample if you can get your hands on it – it can appeal to the beer snob, the wheat beer fan, and fans of Belgian beers (even though it’s a “Bavarian” brew). It won’t satisfy hopheads looking for a dose of Brooklyn’s medicine, but they should appreciate it’s bold mastery of the secret of steel.