A Lager for the Albion
Lager – the world’s most popular beer style and a favourite amongst brewers far and wide. Yet, Lager is one of the most misunderstood styles out there. A good Lager is a thing of beauty, perfection in simplicity, and all about balance and nuance – and it’s quite a feat to do it justice.
For us, brewing a lager has been on the cards for us for some time now, with a Helles being in a draft recipe format for years. Head Brewer and Founder, Jordan, has previously made award winning lagers for other breweries, including Chicago based Goose Islands Golden Goose and, as recently as last year, UnBarred’s own Kolsch (which is a hybrid of an ale and a lager). Our interpretation of the classic style born out of Koln in Germany, it’s a style entrenched in tradition. Customarily served in Koln by special waiters who will keep bringing you fresh 200ml glasses full, they tally your beer mat until you signal to them to stop by putting your beer mat on top of your glass. You’ll then get your bill based on the tally and off you go! For Kolsch, we used a combination of Hallertau Mittelfruh and Hallertau Blanc, 2 of the German Noble hops, for a super authentic true to style beer and we regularly get asked if it will be making a comeback!
It was only until recently, however, that we’ve had the equipment here at UnBarred that allows us to brew a classic Helles, with the commissioning of the centrifuge late last year. And, with Albion, we’ve looked at things a little differently. Albion, a word derived from Latin and used by the Romans in reference to the British Isles before the term Britain, is very much a lager of those isles. Starting off with the malts, sourced from Crisp Malt in Norfolk.
Crisp Malt have been around since 1870 and have been producing and supplying malt to brewers all over the UK, and the world. Using a mix of traditional and modern techniques they’re responsible for creating some of the best malt in the world, all from UK Barley growers. For Albion, a mix of German Pils, Chit, and Acidulated malts were combined to create a bouquet of bready aromas and grainy earthiness, while giving the beer a smooth body and creating good foam.
For the hops, we looked to Herefordshire, where UK hop producers Brook House Hops reside. A mixture of First Gold and UK grown Chinook offer a mix of citrus, grass, subtle spice and fruit, with a pleasing bitterness that replicate traditional Noble hops. Proud to be part of a movement towards sustainability in brewing, Brook House grow and supply UK Hops to local brewers, reducing the carbon footprint of the brewing process and supporting local agriculture at the same time. We spoke to Seb Nielsen, MD at Brook House about the Albion project. ‘When brewing a Helles, UK hops can offer a unique and delicious alternative to traditional noble hops. Our hops bring a new twist to this classic beer style, giving it a strong and robust flavour that sets it apart from traditional Helles.’ Seb says regarding our choice of hops. ‘We take pride in the role we play in promoting sustainability in brewing. By using local ingredients, brewers can create delicious and high-quality beer and do their part in supporting local communities and reducing their impact on the environment.’
Albion was a huge project for us, described by Jordan as a beer in the making since the breweries conception in 2014. Were very excited for you to try our first ever lager, our version built on years of knowledge from all over, a story in tradition, with sustainability at the very heart – that’s the UnBarred way.
Available from the Taproom to start, from draught and in pints – exactly as it should be.