We tasted the first batch of our new lager recipe at Two Roads Brewery on Saturday. Back when I started at Yonkers, after tasting our lager that had undergone many iterations, I knew I wanted to focus on a more authentic Veinna style lager.
Vienna lagers are deeply malty without delving into the flavors of highly roasted malt. The balance of the beer is towards the sweet and features subtle hints of toasty, nutty, and chewy malt flavors. The trick with a beer like this is building a full spectrum malt experience without being overwhelming.
We ran a number of trials at the pub, tweaking the recipe and process each time, until we found one that was a true representation of both the style and Yonkers Brewing Company. The final product brings a beautiful rounded maltiness, restrained bitterness, and just a touch of hop flavor and aroma.
We have been sampling this beer at beer bars throughout Westchester County, as well as in our own pub, and the response has been great. We felt ready to take the next step and brew for distribution.
We have been working with Two Roads in Stafford, CT. They’ve been a terrific partner. Scaling up from 3 barrels to 300 barrels (9300 gallons) is a tricky process, even for a brewing veteran like myself. Based on the profile we were looking for, I worked with their brewhouse team, cellar time, and quality team to insure each phase of the process was what we were looking aiming for.
Finally, the beer was ready to package and we were able to taste the product. The moment of truth: will this 300 barrels of beer meet our approval and be canned? We were to taste two samples, our new IPA and the lager. When we walked to the tank and their brewer on duty pulled the sample, it was completely the wrong color for an IPA! This caused an immediate panic. Their brewer left to check what was going on as myself and Nick tasted the sample. By the time their brewer returned, we already knew, this was our lager… and delicious.
We also sampled the IPA as it was coming off the centrifuge. It, too, was wonderful. Nick describes it as very flavorable and easy to drink. The citra, simco, and centennial really shown through at 6.4% ABV it’s really drinkable. The lager is 5.3% ABV.
The beers were canned over the weekend and sent to our distributors on Monday. Looks for these two in our new cans in stores soon!