Our Blanche is based primarily on a German-style Hefeweizen wheat beer, with a hint of spices inspired by the Belgian tradition. Hints of cardamom, clove and banana contribute to a mild and refreshing taste experience.
From 1516 to 1987, German brewers were bound by a purity law known as Reinheitsgebot. There are differing accounts as to the origins of this law. Some say the desire to promote all-barley brewing was merely to reserve wheat for bread-making during times of famine. Other texts mention a desire to promote the use of local hops by forcing brewers into making a single-herb beer. Up until this point, beers were flavoured with a mixture of herbs and spices and were known as “gruit” (or sometimes grub or gruut ). The recipe for gruit varied depending on who produced the beverage, and could include anything from three to more than a dozen different ingredients. Produced mainly by religious communities, the product was then sold directly to brewers. This was indeed an ingenious way to levy “religious” taxes.
Why was there gruit use? Well, we only began to understand the function of yeast in the fermentation process with the work of Louis Pasteur. Before that, we really didn’t know what caused fermentation. We merely mimicked the actions of past brewers who had been successful and tried to improve the process. At its worst, the beer was undrinkable. At its best, the beer had a bitter, acidic taste, a direct effect of wild yeast that had inocculated the wort. It was common practice to flavor beer with a blend of herbs and spices to improve the taste: gruit. Many of the modern-day breweries in Belgium are still inspired by this tradition andslightly spice some of their beers. Since the 12th century, hops have been known for its aromatic and asptic properties and, over the centuries emerged as the main herbal component in beers.
We ferment our Blanche with a yeast that creates fruity, spicy aromas to lend some typical German hefeweizen character to the nose. The addition of cardamom, camomile flowers, coriander and bitter orange peel provides a unique flavour that results in a mild and refreshing taste experience.
Both the case and label of our Blanche showcase Berlin`s “Angel of Peace” ( Freidenengel , in German) .