No, the world right now probably doesn’t need another hazy IPA. But, when you drop loads of Idaho Gem and Strata on top of ancient Norwegian yeast to create one of the most exquisite tropical hops bombs we’ve ever made … can it really hurt? In this case, the yeast is the star, so let’s start there.
While modern brewers spend tons of time carefully isolating yeast strains for specific flavor profiles, old Norwegian brewers did it a little differently. For generations, they let thick lumps of yeast, usually containing multiple strains, dry onto whatever items were found nearby, such as wooden paddles, logs, or rings, and even on cloth and clothing. By dipping them into the wort, the kveik would rehydrate and come back to life to ferment, and once the beer was finished, the process of drying the remaining yeast would be repeated. Cultures between different towns could vary widely, and as a result, traditional kveik would likely contain a blend of strains sourced from many different brewers.
Most strains of yeast struggle to perform reliably during extreme temperature changes, but kveik thrives under stress. For peak ester production, we under pitch and allow the fermentation to free rise to heights we would normally freak out about. As a result, Norwazy throws tropical flavors and aroma of fresh pineapple, mango, passionfruit and tangerine. It’s a perfect way to celebrate the change to warmer days (even if a lot of those are spent in self-isolation). Cheers!