Wednesday, June 3, 2015
August Schell’s Cypress Blanc
The August Schell Brewing Company of New Ulm, Minn. has been around since 1860. The beer we have here probably has old man Schell spinning in his grave.
The label tells us this is a “Dry hopped Berlin style American lager.” Like most things printed on beer labels, that is gibberish. What we actually have here starts as a standard American lager. It then gets dosed with lactobacillus and brettanomyces followed by seven months of aging in 80-year-old Cypress vats that were once used by the Schell brewery as lagering tanks. The beer is as complex as the process they went through to make it.
Cypress Blanc is straw-colored and hazy with a brittle white foam that exhausts itself in a blink. It’s a highly effervescent beer sending up fumes of pineapple and leathery, brett funk. Both come through in the taste along with notes of tart green apple and white grape. The tartness makes for a quenching beer that kept bringing me back to the glass. The thing was gone before I knew it. Light bodied, this still feels substantial, though you’d never guess that it’s 7.4% ABV. If you gravitate towards Berliner weisses or American wild ales, you’ll love this one.
Cypress Blanc is available in caged and corked 25 oz. bottles on the retail side at Gardina’s where it’s going for $13.99.