Hawaii 5 – Oh
Brewed for our friends, THE Friends of Ham in Leeds 5th Birthday. Inspired by their specialty in, and love for great beer and the best charcuterie, we decided to brew a beer very literally inspired by ham. When we started thinking about what beer styles we could brew that would taste like ham, we thought of the unusual, and less-brewed Grodziskie, a style originating in Poland in the 14th Century. This beer style is characterised by the use of a very particular grain; oak-smoked wheat, which was used in up to 100% of the grist by some brewers at the time. We decided to go for a more manageable amount of 40% oak smoked wheat, topped up with some extra pale malt. For hops, we were blessed by an old acquaintance of the brewery who works in the hop industry in Poland and hand delivered the Polish varieties – Magnat (derived from Magnum), Sybilla, and Marynka – by hand, on his way from Poland via Stansted airport, just as we were approaching the boil. The beer was fermented cool with a clean German ale yeast to produce a light, smokey, crisp beer. So far, so traditional, right? Then we decided to add a bunch of pineapple puree, and dry hop with some Azacca and Hallertau Blanc to hammer home those pineapple aromas. Well, it’s a 5th Birthday party right? And no 5th Birthday Party is complete without some Ham and Pineapple pizzas, straight from the oven. Happy Birthday Friends of Ham!
Pours hazy straw coloured, with a pillow-y white head. On the nose, the first thing that hits you is the smell of light smoke, like charcuterie, or smoked bacon. Beneath that are the tropical fruit aromas from the light dry hopping from Azacca and Hallertau Blanc, and of course the pineapple addition. On tasting, the smoke is much less punchy than expected from the nose. Instead there is a gentle acidity and juicy character from the pineapple, soft bitterness from the traditional Polish hops in the boil, all leading to a bone-dry finish that makes you immediately reach for another sip.