Monday, October 22, 2012

Behind the Beers: Namaste Pilsner

I’ve been pretty lame when it has been to blogging lately and want to give more information besides what beers I’m releasing.  In attempt to blog more, I thought I’d start a short series of posts that talk about our flagship beers and how they came to exist and why they are still on tap.

I’ll have to apologize that I may not know all the origins of these beers, but will at least give you it the story from my perspective. 

Namaste” roughly translates to “I bow to you” and is a traditional Indian/Nepalese greeting and parting gesture.  It is usually accompanied with hands pressed together and a bow, of course.  Chris Kennedy was my predecessor and I’m presuming he named this beer.  If I remember correctly, he started making this beer as a lager but at one point it changed to a Kolsch-style Ale.  It was a Kolsch when I came on board but the name was still Namaste Pilsner.

I had recently just graduated from the World Brewing Academy where I spent 5 weeks in Germany and was highly affectionate with classic German Lagers.  I had drank plenty of authentic pilsners during this time and longed for fresh examples in America.   So my dilemma was: (a) change the name to Namaste Kolsch and keep Chris’ recipe, or (b) do I keep the name, ditch the recipe completely, develop a Pilsner recipe and source a lager yeast?

Ultimately, I chose to keep the name and change the recipe to a Northern German-style pilsner with 100% Weyermann Pilsner malt and about 35IBU’s of Tettnager hops.  The yeast I sourced from Del Norte Brewing.  You may be telling me that DNB makes nothing but Mexican lagers and not German lagers.   All Mexican lagers are decedents of German lagers, where else did the yeast come from?   I like this yeast strain, it produces slightly more sulfur than other yeast strains and thus gives the lager more of bite/edge and accentuates the hops/bitterness.

The first batch which was made was submitted to the 2011 Colorado State Fair competition where it won a 3rd place medal in the Pilsner category.

The Namaste Pilsner remains the 2nd or 3rd best selling beer for us in the summer months.  If you haven’t had a pint for awhile, check it out and maybe you’ll appreciate the beer a little more knowing what’s Behind the Beer.


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