Eagle Eagle is the latest beer release on the ZB calendar. Making its debut in May 2018 we talk to brewers Chris Barber and Ben Osborne that made it happen.
Welcome Eagle Eagle; what is it?
CB – We don’t get out much so we rely on people coming through the brewery for news of the outside world. Over summer we get loads of Germans that are travelling around NZ; we kept hearing from them about the rise and rise of small breweries in Germany. To differentiate themselves from the big corporate guys they are producing pale ales. I found this interesting for a couple of reasons. Firstly, not for the first time ‘the land of beer’ is responding to consumer demand for a foreign beer style. And in a way, I guess Eagle Eagle relates to one of our core range Jerry Rig, just like Helles was a German response to the rise of ‘That Foreign Pilsner’.
I then started to wonder how a German might interpret a pale ale recipe. This played on my mind and after discussing it at the brewery we decided to dive straight in and produce a batch. So, in a nutshell, Eagle Eagle is a German Pale Ale. While many breweries are influenced by what happens in America I thought that this beer was a perfect fit for our European leaning range.
Sounds interesting. So, what makes this pale ale different from other pale ales from NZ and the US?
CB – That was the challenge, how to make this so it doesn’t taste like just another pale ale. This is a very new style so there are no rules that apply. We wanted to make it more than a just a beer that tasted like an APA. Like the label says, ‘it tastes like neither and both at the same time.” Hahaha.
Once we got our heads around this we looked into what ingredients were available to us. We started thinking along the lines of pilsner, Munich and wheat malts and German ale yeast (Wyeast 2565) which is the same yeast we use for our kölsch Köbe. When it came to hops we selected modern German varieties such as Hallertau Blanc which provide a nice citrus and melon flavour profile. So, Eagle Eagle was born, and the name reflects the proud eagles that both countries use to demonstrate power. I guess the way we manipulated the ingredients it could be loosely described as Oktoberfest meets Kolsch meets APA.
At the time of writing this, the beer is yet to be released so what can we expect from Eagle Eagle once poured into the glass?
BO – This beer pours pale in colour with a nice head of foam from the generous wheat contribution. The aroma will get you thinking; fruity esters are tucked in behind the dry hopping. Finally, flavour, the grain bill delivers a nice light toasted bread crust flavour and silky mouthfeel. Something worth appreciating! Prost!
Eagle Eagle will be released on the 18th of May at a great brewery event called Flying High with Eagle Eagle. Come down and taste New Zealand’s first German pale ale.