Lager has brought us (all?) here, but with the love for ale the respect for lager often dwindles. In fact, most super mainstream mass-produced beers are lager. But Craft wouldn’t be Craft if there weren’t brewers brewing excellent and quaffable lager beers. Two years ago our journey began to brew a great lager.
A few years ago, we thought about brewing a lager beer that even the most militant anti-lager drinker likes – as impossible as that may be, considering the anti-lager camp is arguing with religious zeal. Craft Lager weren’t a big topic back then, even if there was Pivo Pils by Firestone Walker, Tipopils by Birrificio Italiano or Jack’s Abbey. That nowadays every decent brewery wants to brew a lager, that lager can suddenly be called India Pale Lager or that lager will probably be the next hype after the New England Style IPAs, nobody thought about that two and a half years ago.
Frisian and down-to-earth
Jan de Ruijter, formerly at Bierzunft Wehntal and meanwhile El Caballero Brewing, had already made a name for himself with clean and solid lager beers. So we pitched him our idea and he immediately agreed to brew a lager with us, which avoids tastes (the cereal and sweetness) but also provides taste (elegant bitterness and above all a lot of taste).
We brewed in spring 2016. The recipe was based on Jever and for the hop selection we boiled eight different hop varieties as tea and dissolved one pellet each in Jever. Among the selection were new hop varieties like Azacca or Southern Cross. In the end, however, we all liked the Palisade hops, which is a rather down-to-earth variety.
The beer became ” Herr Schneider bitte ins Postlager, Herr Schneider “. Mr. Schneider, or Thomas Schneider is the legendary Swiss beer hunter. Already since the 80’s, he visits breweries and notes down all the beers he drinks, so he does what today is referred to as beer ticking. He joined us for the brewday, which then inspired us to dedicate the beer to him.
And how was the beer received: “Too good for a lager” or “Too much taste for a lager”. So: goal achieved. The Palisade Hopfen goes very well with the dryness, the beer was very palatable, but without being watery.
Herr Schneider makes it big
For the new edition, we teamed up with Kouros from La Nébuleuse. But brewing a beer on a two-hundred-litre system is completely different to brewing it on a 1500-litre system. To have it contract brewed was out of the question for us. All the happier we were that Kouros enthusiastically embraced the Collabo idea. And because the name was a mouthful, we shortened it to Herr Schneider.
Mr Schneider is a legend. And the beer Herr Schneider has what it takes to become a legend as well. This beer reminds us of the very first beers we liked, without having to make concessions to plenty of taste. Whether it’s a Craft Lager or a Hoppy Lager or an India Pale Lager, it doesn’t really matter: It tastes good to us and hopefully to you as well.