Hanabi Autumn 2021 Bere Helles Style Lager Beer (500ml)
Brewers Nick Gislason and Jennifer Angelosante, Napa California
Bere (pronounced like bear) is believed to be the oldest commercially grown variety of brewing barley in the world, having been cultivated for at least 5,000 years. Originally from the Northern Isles of Scotland, it was a favorite of the Vikings, and at one time was widely revered throughout Scandinavia and Britain as an important source of food, beer, and spirits. Today, Bere is nearly extinct, though small plantings (less than 40 acres) are grown in the Orkney Islands and also on Islay, notably for the Bruichladdich Distillery, who produces a varietally-labeled Scotch from Bere.
The Bere barley used for our Autumn 2021 lager was sourced from the Palouse Heritage Grain Project farm in eastern Washington State. Palouse Heritage champions wholesome, sustainably farmed, heirloom varieties of grain in a market dominated by large-scale industrial farming. Although yields are significantly smaller than with modern grains, Bere brings intense flavors of aromatic cereal grains, that are balanced by a pleasing delicacy. We are honored to be stewards of this ancient, rare, and very special grain.
The flavor of Bere reveals its origins as a semi-wild cereal grain with small, intensely flavored berries. We brewed a Helles style lager with it, to showcase the delicious and unique character of the grains themselves. Helles is a light, aromatic style of lager, very similar to pilsner, but less hoppy, and is infinitely drinkable.
Bere brings a substantial, round midpalate, and a balancing richness to this light and refreshing style of beer, along with a crisp, mineral finish. The aromatics are yellow-fruited and distinct; fresh sweet corn and cereal, vibrant, and lightly herbal, with subtle earthy elements reminiscent of conifer forest.'