Lilja’s Heifer Weizen
Hop Variety: Czech Saaz
Degrees Plato: 13
International Bittering Units (IBUs): 19
Yeast Strain: Wyeast 1214 (Belgian Ale)
Dry Hopped: no
Calories per 12/oz. bottle: 176
Awards: Best-Of-The-Fest, 2008 Sheboygan Brewfest
Gastronomical historians tell us that a long long time ago in a land far far away, beer was born. In the Fertile Crescent some 6,000 years ago the ancient cultures of pre-Mesopotamia probably discovered the magical process of fermentation by accident. A haggard yet humble herdsman may have left a sack of barley or wheat in the rain. When the seed germinated in the warm sunshine a few days later, the humble shepherd would have found the malty grain subtly sweet and malleable when used for cooking or baking. If the malted grains were placed in a clay jar and steeped in water, it wouldn’t have been long before a wild yeast transformed the malty mixture into a bibulous, bubbling beverage. When the shepherd and his mates imbibed the drink, it somehow muddled their minds yet lifted their spirits. “Eureka,” shouted the shepherd in what was probably a local Samarran dialect. So, with the enchanted blessing of John Barleycorn, perhaps even Homer Simpson, and by utter fortune several millennia ago beside a small riparian hovel on the Tigris, and in a region now known as the Middle East, HAPPY HOUR WAS BORN.
Lilja’s Heifer Weizen, a farmhouse wheat beer, is brewed as a celebration of our great state of Wisconsin - America’s Dairyland. The Heifer is brewed with 40% malted wheat and 60% Pilsner malt. 19 International Bittering Units (IBUs) of Saaz hops are added at the beginning of the kettle boil. However, the flavor profile of the Heifer isn’t primarily derived from the malted wheat or hops, but from the special strain of yeast employed during fermentation. Fermented at a temperature of 66-68 degrees Fahrenheit, the Belgian Ale yeast produces a dry, multi-dimensional, mildly fruity flavor profile that is as refreshing as it is complex.
Some scholars have suggested that agriculture, the domestication of animals, the written word, and even political and religious systems owe their existence to beer. These anthropologists have put forth the theory that hunting and gathering groups of the late Neolithic period, 4,000 to 6,000 B.C., may have formed settled agricultural communities for the primary purpose of cultivating cereal grains to be used for brewing and baking. These small villages later developed into towns and cities, eventually becoming the great learning centers of the ancient world. Now here’s a frightening question to ponder while visiting your corner tavern: Is all human civilization and achievement precariously balanced on an almost-empty keg of beer? The controversial Mayan Calendar doesn’t really say, though we do know that early South American Indian cultures fermented cocoa beans into a beer-like drink called ‘chicha’. Anyway, while we don’t know the name of the person who brewed and drank the first six-pack some 6,000 years ago, we probably owe him or her a toast: So, here’s to you, whoever you were. CHEERS... TO THE INVENTOR OF BEER!
Brewed By Cheeseheads Behind The Cheddar Curtain....Ya Betcha
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