Zauber Brewing held a soft opening last week at the Jury Room, giving customers a first taste of Z Beers with ‘Vertigo,’ a German-style hefeweizen.
Vertigo is 5.4% ABV with 12 IBUs (for the beer nerds out there, it’s a perfect fit for BJCP category 15A). It’s pale yellow in color and quite cloudy due to the wheat malt. There’s an intense banana ester aroma, and a strong but less intense clove phenolic smell. There’s also a spicy, grassy noble hop aroma in the background. The flavor begins with sweet banana, transitioning to German pilsner grain and ending with a medium dry, mineral-laden finish. The same clove phenols present in the smell come through to the taste and are unfortunately a bit sharp on the palate. I believe this could be corrected by toning down the phenols, but the beer also needs a bit more body and sweetness, and a lot more carbonation. This would offset the phenols, enhance out the banana flavor, and make a much better beer. It’s a good first effort, but needs tweaked.
The rest of the Z Beers lineup – ‘Myopic Red’ (German Red Alt), ‘Stodgy Brown’ (German Alt), ‘Buxom Blonde’ (Belgian Blonde), and ‘Magnum Opus’ (Belgian Copper Ale) – will be released March 25th through the first half of April. Different bars will carry different beers, to be announced on the Zauber Brewing Co Facebook page (Village Idiot and Woodlands are confirmed locations). Customers can try the beers in the form of a “tour,” validating a tasting card for each new beer they try. Those who manage to complete the card by trying all five beers will receive a Zauber tap handle and T-shirt, and be entered into a drawing for a free sixth barrel keg.
UPDATE: Full details on the tour are posted to Zauber’s blog