Saggy Stone has recently started breaking new beer ground with the introduction of their small batch series of beer. The first, an Irish extra stout with coconut flakes was released a few months back, and this week saw the introduction of the second in the series, a Weizenbock. An interesting style to choose that most local beer drinkers probably wouldn’t have tried as there aren’t too many around. So why this traditional German style? According to Liam Mcelhinney of Saggy Stone: “Matt (Bradley, the brewer) has always wanted to make a Weiss beer since he got back from finishing his brewing course in Munich, but we wanted to do a slightly different take on a Weiss and introduce craft beer drinkers to something that’s not readily available in the local market. Matt and his class mates would reward themselves every day after class with a Weizenbock, so that became their favourite style. Coming out of the winter months, a Pale Version of a Weizenbock sounded very appealing, with the days being not too hot, not too cold, so this felt like the perfect time to get this beer out there.”
As is required of German Weissbier tradition, the beer has 50% Wheat malt, the rest of the malt profile comes from some Caramunich, regular Munich and Pilsner. Hops were kept very low, and trusted hops were used to manage the aroma profile, namely Cascade and Summit. Also very important to this beer was how they treated the malt in the mashing process. “Mashing was everything to make this beer. We used a 5 step mash, starting really low to produce more glucose. This helps stress the yeast to produce more isomyl acetate (banana esters). In adition to this, we used small, very hot sparges to lauter properly. With so much wheat in the bill, we were always afraid of a stuck sparge!” says Liam.
During fermentation, they started at low temperatures, which stresses the yeast straight away in order for it to produce more banana esters and let it rise naturally to about 23c during the fermentation process, but didn’t let it go over that to keep the esters clean that come through with German yeast.
For the first small brewer’s batch, they only produced 500 cans. For this round, there are 800 cans, so there is a bit more in the market but I would go to the stockists below sooner rather than later to avoid missing out. Click here for my thoughts on the beer.
Roeland liquors (Cape Town)
Biggest little beer shop (Cape Town)
Liquorcity Claremont (Cape Town)
Tops Rosmead (Cape Town)
Bottle Shop Online store