Posts tagged Brewmaster
Beers by Bill: LEM
Switchback Brewing Company Extra Pale Ale

LEM (affectionately named after its striking resemblance to the Lunar Excursion Module) gives us incredible flexibility in how we utilize hops. It is built for both whole cone or pelletized hops. We have been currently working with whole cone hops in our Extra Pale Ale. We devised a system of using hops in their natural whole cone form so that we could extract an obscene amount of aroma and flavor without the huge bitterness that would normally accompany them if using pellets. With the XPA being a sessionable 4.8% alcohol beer, the huge bitterness would overwhelm the lighter malt body. Our use of whole cone hops allows us to “steep” the hops for just a moment before separating them from the wort. This pulls only the volatile flavors and aromas out, because the bitter compounds take extended contact. LEM is a device we concocted that gives us the ability for an ultra-late hopping, whereby we pass the hot wort through the whole cone hops on its way to the cooling unit. This means the glorious, but volatile, aromas and flavors are captured because the wort is cooled within seconds of passing through the hops.

As if that’s not enough, LEM also allows us to dry hop with pelletized hops. Through a reversed flow system, LEM will swirl and hydrate the hops so they can be recirculated into the finished beer. At Switchback our beer is naturally carbonated by the yeast. As a result, all of our beer is under pressure, which means we cannot just open a port and pour dry hops in. With LEM we recirculate the hop slurry into the tank while under pressure. The recirculation is highly efficient at maximizing hop/beer contact for exceptional dry hop character. Being able to do this under pressure means we can continue to carbonate our beer completely naturally.

Citra-Pils' New Label: Citra vs. Citrus

We are proud to announce that as of 2017, Citra-Pils Keller Bier and Switchback Ale officially stand side by side as the brewery’s only full-time offerings.

While many may incorrectly call it ‘Citrus-Pils’ there are absolutely zero fruit or citrus flavors added. The citrusy notes are 100% derived from the Citra hop variety used during the brewing process. And it’s not a coincidence that the name ‘Citra’ is so close to ‘citrus,’ as it is known for imparting light and bright citrusy notes such as lemon, grapefruit, and tropical fruit into beer.

So, how do we unlock these flavors and aromas? Through our own unique dry-hopping process, that allows us to pull the citrus notes out of the hops without any overwhelming bitterness. The result is our special twist on this classic pilsener lager. We even designed our new bottle label to highlight these flavors, decorating it with tiny hops alongside citrus slices.

We hope you enjoy drinking Citra-Pils Keller Bier as much as we enjoy making it! Since the very beginning, we have been dedicated to providing you the most authentic and innovative taste experience possible with each glass of Switchback beer. Our first and last thought with every brew is the quality of the product going to our customers.

Look for Citra-Pils Keller Bier on draught, in 22oz and 12oz stubbies at all your favorite bars and restaurants.

What is a Keller Bier?

We are proud to announce that in 2017, Citra-Pils Keller Bier and Switchback Ale will stand side by side as the brewery’s only full-time offerings. Born as a classic pilsner lager, we brew Citra-Pils Keller Bier in the most traditional way, using only Light Pils malt and Saaz hops in the boil. We then dry hop with more Saaz and also Citra hops to create a special “twist” on the classic pilsner style, giving it its bright lemony citrus notes.

But what is a Keller Bier exactly? Keller Biers, typically lagers, are always unfiltered and unpasteurized. In its most literal sense, Keller Bier translates to ‘Cellar Beer,’ a reference to drinking the beer straight from the brewery’s lagering tank. But in a beer world where filtered and force carbonated brews reign supreme, ‘Keller Bier’ stands for so much more. A Keller Bier is truly a Brewmaster’s beer. Fresh from the aging tank. Straight from the fermenter to the glass. Many of you may know that all of our beers, including Citra-Pils, are left unfiltered and are 100% naturally carbonated by the yeast itself, requiring absolutely no force carbonation. We simply move the finished beer from the fermenter to the bright beer tank before packaging, making Switchback Citra-Pils an authentic (or, as our German friends would say, “authentisch”) Keller Bier.

So why should I care? In today’s beer culture, IPA’s and self-proclaimed ‘hop bombs’ are a hot topic and options are plentiful.  Classically brewed lagers on the other hand, not so much, and there is good reason for this. Making a great lager is extremely difficult and demands all the skills of an experienced Brewmaster. It is an unforgiving style in which each and every defect and off-flavor has a crisp and clean stage to present itself. The advantage we have here at our brewery, is the experience, skill and equipment to do this highly respected style justice.

We hope you appreciate our dedication to providing you the most authentic and innovative taste experience possible with each glass of Switchback beer. Our first and last thought with every brew is the quality of the product going to our customers.

Look for Citra-Pils Keller Bier on draught, in 22oz and 12oz stubbies come January at all your favorite bars and restaurants.