BrewProf: Hofbrauhaus gets a little bit American with Hallodri

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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.

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