Hopfenmalz wha?

Posted on May 14, 2010 by

Schells Brewery has been around since 1860 and has a very interesting back story. I was lucky enough to spend a night with Schell’s President Ted Marti while we ate dinner and talked about beers. One of the beers he mentioned was their specialty 150th Anniversary beer, the “Hopfenmalz”. This beer was voted by 1,000′s of people to be the anniversary beer. From Schell’s website,

“It is a combination of our favorite beer styles featuring the elegant drinkablity of a Pilsner, the bready maltiness of a Vienna Lager, and the hopping of a Pale Ale.”

What makes this interesting to me is that it is a lager, fermented at ale temperature and somehow has a profile that could go either way in terms of lager and ale. It is a little head spinning to tell the truth. Regardless, it is an interesting beer that suites a tribute of 150 years. Cheers to Schell’s and what they have been able to accomplish.

Review of Schell's Hopfenmalz

Review of Schell’s Hopfenmalz

Packaging

A regular 12 oz bottle with some nice labeling. I like the reflective quality of the gold that borders the label. The big 150th Anniversary sticks out to me and makes me think this beer is special. The rest of the label is pretty bland though. There is no other information about the beer which I prefer. Plus, there is an animal on the front. I just don’t like animals on my beer bottles.

Appearance

Amber in color this brew has some little red highlights that come out in the sunlight. The head wasn’t very thick, nor did it last very long. I scrub and rinse all my glasses before doing a review so we can be sure the head isn’t all that thick. It does have some nice lacing though.

Smell

When the head was on the beer I got a very nice citrus hop aroma. Smelled like those cascade hops that I brew with once in a while. Not sure though as I’ve probably only worked with 7-10 different hop strains. Very little malt aroma, but it is present once the beer warms a little bit. There is just a hint of spiciness dancing around in my glass when I take a big whiff.

Taste

This being a lager it definitely has that lager crispy, sweetness to it. It also has a distinct hop taste that reminds me a little bit of my favorite Summit Pale Ale. I don’t get much of the malt or it is balanced really well. I has a nice dry finish that I appreciate. I love a dry finish.

Mouthfeel

Medium bodied. But the thing to notice is the little tingling on your lips and tongue. I don’t believe I’ve had something tingle on my lips.

Drinkability

Being a lager with a smooth, crisp taste with a very straight forward taste profile I believe this beer could be very drinkable. It reminds me of a pale ale mixed with an amber with a little twist of a lager profile in it. Again, smooth, crisp and hoppy.

Overall

As a 150th Anniversary beer, chosen by the people, I believe this beer should definitely be on your list to try. It may not be around very long. It has a complex origin which makes it fun to drink, but it also has a different flavor profile altogether. That said, its still drinkable and easy to experience.

Let me know if you try it, or if you have tried it. I’d love to hear your take on it.

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  • http://condobeacon.com gilbert

    I really want to try that!

  • mikebiewer

    I stumbled in this video though. The beer sent me on so many different paths, it was hard to decide if I liked it or was just impressed with the story behind it. I think its cool when something like a brewery is around for 150 years. I feel that anything they do is ok with me. Kind of like my grandma. If she farts, its ok and accepted because, heck, she is 90+ years old, who am I to judge?

    I get that same feeling with this beer. Its good, but it could be better, or more defined. I still recommend trying it though.

    Mike

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