By: Liz Melby, Director of Communications Published:
When Anders Kissmeyer of Kissmeyer Beer & Brewing asked us to join his Saison experiment – brewing the same recipe at select craft breweries – Harpoon’s Jaime Schier jumped at the chance. Together with longtime friend Will Meyers of Cambridge Brewing Company, the three fashioned the Harpoon 100 Barrel Series #54 – Nordic Saison. We got a chance to catch up with Anders about his Nordic Saison experiment, his passion for beer, and what’s he’s learned so far.
- How did you become interested in brewing and what is your background in beer?
AK: I have been brewing professionally for more than 30 years with a background as a Diploma Master Brewer (M Sc.) from the Scandinavian School of Brewing and before that a M Sc. in chemical engineering. This first leg of my education was actually inspired by my decision to try to pursue a career in brewing taken at age 18 – i. e. over 40 years ago… (!). My work career started at Carlsberg in 1985, continued with me establishing one of the first Danish craft breweries, Nørrebro Bryghus, in 2003, before I established my ‘one-man-company’, ‘Kissmeyer Beer & Brewing’ in 2010. So I’ve tried both the big and the small.
- Can you tell us about your Nordic Saison experiment?
AK: My Nordic Saison experiment - or ’Nordic Saison goes global’ – as I, tongue in cheek, like to call it, has been going on for about a year now and is the culmination and essence of the core element of my brand philosophy for ‘Kissmeyer Beer’: The beers - even while maintaining their original names – shall evolve, develop and, hopefully, improve under the influence of both my own inspiration and wishes, as well as the ideas, creativity and philosophy (or the soul, if you will) of the brewers who brew them with or for me, inspiring an organic and interesting multitude within a single brand. No less!!
So the ’Nordic Saison goes global’ project has been aimed at exploring the amazing and fascinating differences in the character of the beers arising from ’replanting’ the same base-recipe in different breweries, while also using some typical local flavorings and then letting the ’fingerprint’ of the brewery, in the form of the karma of the brewers, their equipment and methodology, be expressed.
This may sound very academic and outlandish, but I have to say the ’Nordic Saison’ versions brewed hitherto have excited me immensely – each of them are as excellent as they are different! And I admit that this makes me rather proud.
- What is a Nordic Saison and why do you love it?
AK: In short, a ‘Nordic Saison’ is a beer brewed according to my base-recipe – in essence, a very basic saison recipe with additions of a total of 6 typically Nordic flavorings - honey, heather flowers, yarrow, rose hips, rhubarb and sea buckthorn – which are then either supplemented by or substituted (max 2 or 3) with local flavorings.
And why I love it? Well, it’s such a beautiful combination of my favorite beer styles - ´Nordic´ and ´Saison´…´Nordic´ because it has been my passion for the past couple of years to partake in the development of entirely new array of beer styles that express our indigenous terroir and thereby our innermost souls as brewers.
Saison is not so much a style but more a philosophy of brewing based on what we think they were brewing in the springtime and drinking at harvest time in Belgium some hundreds of years ago. They give you the maximum freedom within the ´style´ to express your own preferences, fancies, obsessions and talents as a brewer. Let me taste your saison and I´ll tell how good a brewer you are…
- What other brewers have you brewed your Nordic Saison with?
AK: The list of breweries taking part in the ’Nordic Saison goes global’ project looks like this:
- Hill Farmstead Brewery, Vermont, USA
- Beau’s All Natural Brewing Co., Ontario, Canada
- ?Enlightenment Ales, Boston, USA
- Harpoon Brewery, Boston, USA
- Ebeltoft Gårdbryggeri, Denmark
- Elliott Bay Brewing Co., Seattle, USA
- Crux Fermentation Project, Oregon, USA
- Brasserie Dunham, Quebec, Canada
- Anchorage Brewing Co., Alaska, USA
- What have you learned about beer and brewing after brewing with so many different brewers around the world?
AK: The comprehensive answer to this question would take a few volumes of an encyclopedia to answer, so the way to short version of the answer is that my learnings from the ’Nordic Saison goes global’ project apply in general: The quality and character of a beer is much more the result of the passion, philosophy and methodology of the brewer behind it than of science, technology, hardware or geography. And – not to forget – none of us get rich from being craft brewers, but we have much more fun and get much more personal and professional satisfaction than people in 99% of the other professions out there!
- What local ingredients did you use for the version you brewed with Jaime from Harpoon and Will from CBC?
AK: The CBC/Harpoon/Kissmeyer Nordic Saison got its unique Massachusetts character from the addition of local honey and cranberries.
- How is this beer different from the other Nordic Saisons you’ve brewed?
AK: Comparing the CBC/Harpoon/Kissmeyer Nordic Saison with the other 6 that I’ve tasted is difficult for the reasons mentioned above – they’re all as different as they are great! But if we attach a few words to the Harpoon version, those would be:
Light golden straw colour, slightly opaque appearance. A light body with high carbonation impact, dry for style, medium tartness with balanced, medium bitterness. The aroma is fruity, quite spicy with a subtle Citra hop note. Crisp, floral and spicy flavor with a medium Citra hop impact and a very subtle malty backbone. The taste is mostly dry, crisp, noticeably tart, smoothly bitter with a slight residual sweetness, balancing the tartness and the bitterness. A short, crisp aftertaste with medium perceived bitterness, yeast spiciness, fruity complexity, and a touch of Citra tangerine/grapefruit.
This makes the beer very Harpoon’ish: Very accessible and drinkable but still with a subtle depth of complexity that keeps you coming back for more! Less tart than some other versions, more tart than yet others – clean and crisp in contrast to those that have the added character of Brettanomyces and barrel aging, etc…
- What would be the perfect meal to pair with this beer?
AK: The CBC/Harpoon/Kissmeyer Nordic Saison is extremely ´food versatile´ meaning that it will go very well with almost any seafood dish imaginable, with most of the salads and sandwiches (burgers excluded, though!) I know of, traditional chicken dishes, most Thai dishes, pizza, all pale and/or vegetable based soups, most cheeses (apart from very strong or blue ones…).
Find 100 Barrel Series #54 at a bar or store near you with our Beer Finder!
By: Julia Falk, Digital Marketing Published:
In honor of our #UFOWhite Adventure Sweepstakes, we’ll be featuring recipes that incorporate UFO White all month long to help you take an adventure away from everyday cooking and backing!
In this week’s recipe, UFO White helps take average shrimp on the barbie up a notch. The orange and coriander in UFO White plays nicely with the heat from the cayenne pepper. You can throw this marinade together quickly so you can get back to what’s important, like keeping your cooler full of beer for instance. This recipe isn't for the faint of heart so be sure to have a cold one near by!
Spicy UFO White Beer Shrimp
Recipe adapted from The Beeroness.
- 2 tsp smoked paprika
- 5 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tsp cayenne
- 1 tsp chili powder
- 1 tsp red chili flake
- 3 tbs tomato paste
- 1/3 cup UFO White
- 4 tbs butter, cut into cubes
- 1 tbs honey
- ½ tsp black pepper
- pinch salt
- 1 lb raw shrimp, peeled and deveined
- In a saucepan, stir together the smoked paprika, garlic, cayenne, chili powder, red chili flake, tomato paste, beer, honey, pepper and salt.
- Add the butter and bring to a simmer, stirring frequently until the mixture thickens. This should take about 5 minutes. Let cool for 5.
- Reserve a small amount for basting/dipping later. Pour remaining marinade into a large resealable plastic bag with shrimp. Seal, and marinate in the refrigerator for 2 hours (or less).
- Skew the shrimp and add to the grill. Cook shrimp for 5 minutes per side, or until opaque, basting frequently with reserved marinade.
- Open a couple UFO White’s and enjoy!