BrewProf: Hofbrauhaus gets a little bit American with Hallodri

Hofbrauhaus Newport recently strayed from their classic German beer styles when they brewed a new pale lager generously hopped with Amarillo. Hallodri (pronounced Ha-loy-dree; it apparently loosely translates to ‘playboy’) is the first time the 400+ year old brewery has steered away from their trademark German lagers and hefeweizens.

These beers tend to focus on pronounced malt bills and flavors with hops taking more of a back seat to provide a little bit of balance. It seems those crazy American beer geeks have finally pushed them into testing the waters of the hoppy beer craze.

The beer itself resembles a style that has become more popular in recent years, India Pale Lagers. While not an official style, it is essentially an American IPA brewed with basic malts, bold American hops, and lager yeast to create a crisp and refreshing finish. Hallodri itself is 6.7% ABV and about 50 IBUs which puts it very much in the traditional American IPA ballpark.

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It is bittered with Magnum hops and then generously loaded up with Amarillo hop late additions. The result, as described by brewer Evan Rouse, is, “a nice lingering bitterness with over the top citrus/floral/tropical fruit notes in the flavor and aroma.”

Beyond the heavy dose of hops, this beer also strays from Hofbrauhaus’ usual process of heavy filtering.  This will prevent the great hop flavor and aroma from being stripped out the beer.  Expect it to be clear, but perhaps not as crystal as their traditional lagers.

Hallodri will initially be offered as a seasonal release with the first batch produced ringing in at about 18 barrels (or 558 gallons).  This is a relatively small batch so make plans now to attend the ceremonial tapping on Wednesday, March 26 at 6:30 p.m .

The Struggle

Getting approval for to brew this beer was a bit of a coup for the local brewery as Hofbrau is still very much involved in all recipe formulation and brewing activities.  Rouse worked for years to persuade the chain of command to allow him to try something that might appeal more to the American palate.

After much badgering, an IPA recipe was submitted to the Technical Director and he received approval for brewing, with a few caveats.

First, it had to use pilsner malt rather than pale malt.  This means the malt profile is more simple and lacks some of the bready/biscuity characteristics found in typical IPAs.  Second, the beer had to use a lager yeast rather than an ale yeast.

Fortunately, free reign was given over the hop selection and Rouse was able to secure some Amarillo.  For those not familiar with this specific hop, Amarillo features very strong citrus and floral aromas and flavors.  It’s a winner for sure and can be difficult to secure due to its popularity.

Make sure you get there early to show your support and, who knows, maybe this beer will be become a regular.

Click here for more local craft beer news and updates from the BrewProf.


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