Howling Wolf Weizenbock
Howling Wolf Weizenbock was brewed to showcase the role of yeast in creating the flavor of beer. It is modeled after a centuries-old Bavarian style and, like all of our 2009 Cellar Reserve beers, brewed in strict compliance with the Reinheitsgebot, or German Beer Purity Law.
The German “weizenbock” signifies a strong wheat beer, a fitting description for our Howling Wolf. Wheat has been used in brewing for millennia but is a difficult grain to work with and has largely been replaced in beer by its friendlier cousin, barley. In quantity, wheat contributes a pleasant, quenching citric acidity and delicacy on the palate, and its surfeit of protein is responsible for these beers’ massive, pillowy heads.
Howling Wolf Weizenbock was crafted with 40% wheat malt, including German Dark Wheat and Caramel Wheat malts, and minimally spiced with Liberty hops, an American version of the famous German Hallertau Mittelfruh.
Like all Bavarian weizen beers, the yeast is the star of this show. We used an authentic Bavarian top-fermenting ale yeast that naturally produces flavors of cloves, bananas, bubblegum, green apples, smoke, and even vanilla. When this yeast ferments a very strong beer, the resultant weizenbock is a wonderfully complex brew, hiding its 8% wallop under swirls of fruit and spice aroma—raisins, dates, prunes, bananas, cloves--and fruity, bready, chocolaty, caramel grain flavors.
Following in our Cellar Reserve tradition, Howling Wolf Weizenbock is bottle-conditioned to provide an almost explosive champagne-like sparkle. The yeast in the bottle provides earthy, nutty flavor and is rich in B vitamins. It can be swirled and poured into the glass, or the beer can be decanted carefully off the yeast, according to the drinker’s preference.
This is one of the world’s most versatile beers for pairing with food. It is flavorful enough to stand up to hearty meats like venison or lamb, particularly with sauced or stewed fruit. The chocolate and caramel undertones work well with almost any roasted or grilled meat or vegetables, even mushrooms. Still, it will not overwhelm fish, as the wheat’s acidity and the beer’s effervescence keep it light on the palate. Those same qualities allow the beer to cut through fatty or creamy dishes.
But don't stop at the entrée. Howling Wolf’s clovey fruitiness makes it perfect with apple pie or strudel, plum tarts or banana pudding. Chocolate and caramel notes pair impressively with chocolate cake and caramel flan.
2010 - Bronze Medal, Weizenbock (North American Brewers Awards)