Witty Blonde began as a home-brew experiment. I always enjoy a good wheat beer during the summer months, but this year I decided I wanted to try something different to have at home. I had seen heather tips on sale at home-brew stores in the past, but I hadn't thought much about them. After reading about their history in the making of beer, and the floral qualities they can lend to a beer it sounded like it might be the perfect compliment for a Belgian styled wit. Since I was unsure of how the beer would turn out I decided to make a batch of a more traditional wit that would derive its bittering from traditional German hops. The beers were made over the course of a weekend and allowed to ferment at the same temperature for the same duration. I really wanted the heather tips to become the distinguishing character between the two beers. It was amazing how soft, and mellow of a beer the one done with the heather was. I was impressed by its strong aromatic qualities as well as its subtle yet complex flavor profile. At first, when given to friends, people leaned towards the more traditional wit, but as more people began tasting it the preference began to turn towards the wit made with heather. After trying the beer with Chris and discussing it we decided the heather tips were the way to go - not just because of the more complex beer they created, but also because the use of them was more unique in todays brewing scene.
The Brewer's Choice for August, Witty Blonde, is a Belgian styled Wit beer with a light color and a refreshing taste that is perfect for hot summer days. The beer is spiced with generous helpings of coriander and bitter orange peel. It also eschews the use of bittering hops - the beer is instead bittered with heather tips. Heather tips were used in many Scottish beers prior to the wide spread adoption of hops in beers. The bitterness they give the beer is very subtle and well rounded. It compliments the soft malty notes generated by a large portion of wheat used in the making of the beer. The delicate spicy character of the late hop addition helps accentuate the natural spiciness created by the Belgian yeast during fermentation. There is an almost juicy finish to the beer that leaves you in anticipation of your next sip!
Witty Blonde goes on tap this Thursday at Rogues Harbor. This is a beer you won't want to miss out on so make sure to stop by Rogues Harbor and check out our latest Brewer's Choice!