Dr. Josef Schradler, managing director of Germany’s Weihenstephan Brewery, and Jim Koch, brewer and founder of Samuel Adams, announced their partnership and plans to unveil a new style of collaboratively brewed beer next spring. Weihenstephan is the world’s oldest brewery, founded by Benedictine monks in 1040. The brewery is the guardian of a centuries-old beer purity law called the Reinheitsgebot and it has brewed according to this law since its beginning. Every batch of Weihenstephan’s beer is evaluated by a panel of experts for color, aroma, froth consistency and flavor. Founded in 1984, Samuel Adams is an American craft beer pioneer. The brewery’s original style, Samuel Adams Boston Lager®, helped spark the American Craft Beer Revolution by leading a return to flavorful beer brewed in small batches. While keeping an eye on tradition, the Samuel Adams brewers continue to innovate and explore boundary-pushing beer styles and brewing techniques. Both breweries share great passion for the art and science of brewing and pride themselves on using only the highest quality ingredients to produce award-winning, world-class beers.
“The Weihenstephan Brewery is a mecca for brewers and people around the world who are passionate about beer and brewing. No brewer can stand at the site of this brewery without feeling a sense of reverence for what has been done here,” said Jim Koch, founder and brewer of Samuel Adams® beers. “It is a great honor to work together on this mission to explore the limits of the Reinheitsgebot and to brew a beer that represents the platinum standard in the art of brewing.”
“This journey we’ve embarked on with Samuel Adams is unprecedented in the beer world,” says Dr. Josef Schradler, managing director, Weihenstephan. “We are making history with Jim and his team of brewers; turning our traditional brewing techniques on their head will result in an innovative beer that is ground breaking, delicious and unique.”
Working in tandem for almost two years, the brewers from Samuel Adams and Weihenstephan are perfecting an innovative beer style that explores new brewing techniques within the boundaries of beer law. Their yet-to-be-named crisp, pale brew is slated to debut in the United States and Germany next spring in cork-finished bottles. This effervescent, Champagne-like beer will weigh in at more than 10 percent alcohol by volume, yet remain very dry and crisp, shattering the preconceived notions of what can be done following the Reinheitsgebot Law.
The Weihenstephan/Samuel Adams beer marries new thinking from the world of American “extreme beer” with tradition and respect for the Reinheitsgebot, a German beer purity law that dates back to 1516 and states that all beer must be brewed using only the four ingredients: malt, hops, water, and yeast. By tapping 1000 years of brewing knowledge and coupling it with American innovation, the brewers at Samuel Adams and Weihenstephan will brew a complex, higher alcohol beer of distinction with only the four classic ingredients. This new beer will be ready to share with beer aficionados throughout the world in the spring of 2010.