Thursday, January 31, 2019

The Helles at Fox River

If you’re a lover of lager, here’s a beer to check out…

The Beer
H-E Double Hockey Sticks recently went on tap at Fox River Brewing. This is a German-style Helles, the Bavarian answer to Pilsener, but with less hop bite and more malt presence. In this case, that malt brings subtle notes of biscuit and honey. The understated hop flavor adds just enough spice to keep things in balance. This is a companion beer, easy drinking and flavorful. It's one of the better examples of the style I've tasted from a Wisconsin brewery.

The Backstory
H-E Double Hockey Sticks is the work of Fox River assistant brewer Dylan Jones. This is the first time Jones has had one of his beers in the Fox River pipeline.

Jones began working up this recipe on a homebrew system in the fall of 2017. For the Fox River iteration, he went authentic using all German malts and a traditional, German hopping technique known as first-wort hopping, wherein hops are added to the wort as it is being collected prior to boiling.

“Hallertau (a German hop) was added at first wort to give a more balanced bitterness that wouldn't cut into the malt character,” Jones says. “The thing that I've liked most about the different Helles I've had was that malt backbone that wasn't as apparent in other light lagers.”

Jones is happy with the results. "It turned out better than I'd hoped," he says. "And all the attention just makes me feel a little more confident in my choice to continue brewing as a career and a hobby. Hopefully, my next creation turns out just as well."

H-E Double Hockey Sticks is 5.3% ABV available now on draft at the Fox River Brewing Company Taproom in Oshkosh.

Fox River's Dylan Jones in a filed of hops.

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