Bohemian Brewery Hans Gruber Export Lager and Templin Family Ethereal Leichte Weisse | Drink | Salt Lake City Weekly

Bohemian Brewery Hans Gruber Export Lager and Templin Family Ethereal Leichte Weisse 

A little German fun in the Wasatch

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  • Mike Riedel

Bohemian - Hans Gruber: Every year, Bohemian Brewery and Salt City Brew Supply hold one of the nation's few lagers-only homebrew competitions. The "Best in Show" beer's creator is given the honor of returning the following year to recreate the winning lager at Bohemian Brewery in Midvale, Utah. Last year's winning lager was called "Hans Gruber Export Lager," a brilliant beer brewed by the talented and accomplished homebrewer Ron Barnes of Kansas City.

This style is often referred to as a "Dortmunder export," and the European-style lager features the malt-forward flavor and sweetness of a German-style Helles, but the bitter base of a German-style pilsner. The lager is named for the villain in the classic action thriller Die Hard—and it definitely earns a "Yippee-ki-ay"!

This lager was poured via draft, and has a very clear copper-gold color, with two fingers of soapy white head that slowly fades to a thin cap. The nose is gentle, but very well-balanced; I'm picking up on aromas of biscuit, earthy hops, black tea, black pepper, light toffee, light honey and other grains.

And it's very similar in taste, but that's fine by me. On the front end, I'm getting bready malt, black tea and herbal hops. Behind that herbal flavor, there is little in the way of bittering at the front—a bit sweet initially—and it remains smooth through the middle, with a tanginess from the hops showing itself. The hoppy tang dries things out a bit by the finish. The aftertaste is bready, with a nice mouth-coating feel. The finish is sufficiently dryish so as to demand the next swig. I really like the bready aftertaste. A medium 5.0 percent body pairs with gentle carbonation, resulting in a smooth and crisp beer that finishes mostly dry with a firm bitterness.

Verdict: This is damn solid. I haven't had a Dortmunder in a while, so I'm glad to have had this one to get me out of my rut.

Templin Family - Ethereal Leichte Weisse: Owner/Head Brewer Kevin Templin loves doing things the Old-World way, looking to improve his beers by chasing the tried-and-true historic methods. This is Templin's second batch of Leichte Weisse that utilizes his koelschip. Originally used to cool down wort before fermenting, koelschips are now mostly used for the large surface area they offer for spontaneous beers and open fermentation. This helps to bring out esters in the aromas from the yeast, and allows the beer to take on a unique character. This beer is not a spontaneous fermented beer, just open-air fermented.

This is incredibly fresh both in aroma and in taste. This weissbier has more life than many you'll come across domestically, and rather than only contributing ester notes and a light body, this open-fermented beer is truly yeast-driven, adding notes of raw dough, white grape, lemon and hints of cloves. The wheat is rich in this 5.0 percent beer, but stays brilliantly dry and silky in the mouth. To have a refined, historical-tasting beer like this, you'd think that they could only come from Germany. The problem with that is, they're rarely fresh by the time they make it to Utah. However, here at TF Brewing, they've provided both the technique and the freshness in the same beer.

Verdict: Every component of this beer, from the wheat to yeast, is active at all times—not in just one dimension, but all aspects, with each one always present. It makes for a fantastische Leichte Weisse.

I'd recommend snagging Ethereal Leichte Weisse on draft, though you can find it in cans widely around the Wasatch Front. The Hans Gruber Export Lager is also widely available in cans and on draft for a limited time. As always, cheers!

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About The Author

Mike Riedel

Mike Riedel

Local boy and pilot of City Weekly’s best gig, The Beer Nerd column since 2017. Current photojournalist at KSTU TV (Fox 13) and host of the Utah Beer Blog and Beer Nerd Radio on KUAA 99.9 FM radio.

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