Beer #162 - The Herbalist / Nettle & Bilberry Lager

Beer #162 - W/C 2 April 2018


BREWERY // Husband and wife team Grant McKain & Rebecca Stenbeck make the perfect partnership and have worked hard to develop their range of unique beers. Rebecca really knows her herbs. As a naturopath and medical herbalist, she has long been interested in the millennia-spanning history of tonics made by women from medicinal herbs and other locally found produce. She started experimentally brewing with different herbs and plants more than five years ago. As the home brewers among us know- the road to delicious, well balanced beer when using unusual ingredients is rarely a smooth one. Fortunately for us, Rebecca & Grant spend a lot of time trialling different combinations in their test brewery to perfect flavour combinations.

BEER // Lager is a style that doesn't get a lot of love from us craft beer enthusiasts. But, as anyone who has visited the Lager Meccas of Bavaria and the Czech Republic know, a well made lager is a truly beautiful thing. The name comes from the German word 'lagern' meaning 'to store' and lagered beers are brewed at a cooler temperature to other styles using bottom fermenting yeast rather than the more common top fermenting varieties. There is a whole family of lagered beers including Bock, Pilsner, Dunkel, Helles, Oktoberfestbier and others but that's a story for another day. The Herbalist Lager is made with nettle leaves, bilberries, angelica, fennel seeds, liquorice root and bush honey. While that sounds like a mouthful - it is first and foremost an easy-to-drink, refreshing and well made lager. The additional ingredients make for a big, unique earthy, hoppy and distinctly herbal aroma. The herbal bitterness pairs perfectly with the hops before a slightly sweet finish from the honey and bilberries. There are lots of health benefits to nettles and some people believe there are health benefits to bilberries too. RAF pilots are said to have eaten bilberry jam during World War II to improve their night vision. This is a smooth, summery, effervescent lager which pairs beautifully with food and is rather more-ish. We'd have sent you a half dozen if there was room in the box.

BREWERY // The Herbalist
BEER // Nettle & Bilberry Lager
STYLE // Lager
ORIGIN // Auckland
ABV // 6.1%
TEMPERATURE // Cool - 7-11C
FOOD MATCH // Roast Salmon with Lemon. Summer Berry Salad. Fancy Macaroni Cheese. Berry Pavlova
GLASS // Lager or Pilsner Glass