“Brewers’ beer” is a term often used in breweries which obviously describes the drink of choice of a brewer. Why is it that the majority of brewers in a particular brewery gravitate towards a select few beers? A brewers’ beer to me is exceptionally brewed, one which has all the intrinsic qualities one would look for in beer. Not ‘modern beer’, but just plain beer. The brewer working his magic simply; with water malt, hops and yeast. Our Lukas has definitely become a firm favourite amongst the brewing team. On a typical night out, the entire brewing team will stick to it for at least the first couple of rounds. It was therefore an easy decision to brew a strong lager and name it King Lukas. King Lukas is essentially a Maibock, but we know from experience calling a beer after a particular style isn’t always successful when it comes to sales, unless of course we are calling the beer a NEIPA.
Maibocks are strong, pale lagers, traditionally drunk in springtime, bridging the gap between the dark bocks of winter and the helles season of summer. It’s a behemoth of a beer, immensely satisfying but demanding of serious respect. However, there mustn’t be any hot alcohol flavours present. There’s also none of the roasty, caramelised flavours of a dark bock, but there is a honeyed character that only the high ABV and a touch of Munich malt can bring. We use only noble German hops in a considered quantity, just enough to balance the maltiness and add to the fruity aftertaste. It can only be made by paying due care and attention to every step of the brewing process, or you’re going to end up with a mess on your hands. No barrel ageing or dry hop addition is going to save a poor fermentation here.
We employed the same brewing techniques we use across the board with all our lagers. Quality raw ingredients, soft water, good separation throughout the entire process, cool fermentations, minimal DO2 and a long period of lagering. The thing you really notice about King Lukas is an orange blossom character, both in the taste and aroma. Needless to say, King Lukas is a Brewers’ Beer, we’re hugely proud of it and it’s one we’ve all been drinking wherever we’ve found it. That’s not to say we don’t enjoy making our more crowd-pleasing beers like the ice cream porters and the like; it’s just that after a long brewday, the thought of a glass of King Lukas is the kind of thing that gets you over the finish line.
We were also fortunate enough to have brewed a smoked bock recently. It’ll be out on keg before Christmas and even though it’s still lagering at the moment, quite frankly, it tastes divine. Again, simply calling this beer a ‘smoked bock’ might not be reflected in a rapid sales rate. I wonder if, instead of telling everyone we used only the finest beechwood smoked malt from Bamberg, we call it a ‘breakfast bock’ and pretend to throw smoked bacon in the mash tun. Perhaps it’ll gain a bit more traction?