With Some Tweaks & Modifications, Anderson Valley ​Unearths Past

A new “Historic Series” line of beers being created by Anderson Valley gives a rare chance for beer-lovers to taste a lineup of unique and hard-to-find beers that in some cases have never been brewed in the modern world.

Dutch-style Kuyt was popular in continental Europe for several hundred years​ and the California brewery released its version this month at its taproom​.

The distinctive character of this beer is derived from the use of 50% oats, at least 20% wheat malt.​ ​The uncommon boiling regime brings forward an unusual hop flavor, they said.

“The hopping for the Kuyt-style beer was similar to a regular beer but the boil time was extended to 2.5 hours as opposed to one hour,” longtime ​AVBC ​Brewmaster Fal Allen said. “That extra boil time changes the hop character quite a bit. The hop flavor is stronger and richer.”

​Another beer the brewery worked on is a German “Stein Bier​.​” Allen said it’s like no other beer in the world brewed in this manner.

​Allen said it was the one he ​was looking forward to creating the most, but had apprehension as well with the very odd technique.

The addition of superheated hot rocks results in the creation of caramelized sugars that bring toffee, smoke, and caramel flavors to the beer that would never be found in a normal boil. The aroma of dark caramel, chocolate, and toffee mingles with flavors — the robust dark lager are layered in deep richness.

The finish is mildly sweet with toffee and cocoa notes and finishes with a faint dryness.

Available as a draft option at the brewery’s taproom and select on-premise locations throughout Northern California,​ ​Allen was inspired to produce these rare beers after judging at the Great American Beer Festival.

READ MORE:​ ​Classic Styles a Good Challenge for Anderson Valley Brew Team

“I have tasted most of them before but not always in the manner or in the process that we are planning to brew them,” Allen told Brewer. “I believe the one exception to this would be the Steinbier. I don’t think I have ever tasted one of those — and if I have, I cannot remember it — but I have done a lot of research and talked to a lot of the few brewers that have made a Steinbier, so I am hopeful it will turn out as planned.”

These beer styles (Kuyt, Berliner-Style Weisse, “Stein Bier​,” Grodziskie, Finnish-style Sahti, and Bamberg-Style Rauchbier) are the least brewed of most of the beer styles known today.

Allen said there are a few rarer styles but often those are subsets of one of these or other styles.

“Modern brewing — the transition from farmhouse, home and small-scale brewing — and the explosion of acceptance for clear golden beer (through) the industrial revolution, commercialization, the consolidation of breweries, and profit margins is what drove these regional beer styles — and many others — almost completely out of modern existence,” Allen said

Although sourcing was not a challenge, for several of the beers Allen said they had to modify the raw material.

“For example, we will be smoking our own wheat malt for the Grodziskie,” he said.

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