Posts tagged LEM
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.

2017 Year-Round Release: Citra-Pils Keller Bier

Switchback Brewing Company announces the year-round release of Citra-Pils Keller Bier


BURLINGTON, VT—Switchback Brewing Company is excited to announce the year-round release of Citra-Pils Keller Bier. In the brewery’s 14 year history, Citra-Pils is only the second beer to be produced, bottled, and distributed year-round. The brewery was founded in 2002 around the idea of creating a unique and distinct flavor with the company’s flagship brew, Switchback Ale. The practice of defying style guidelines continues with a long-aged unfiltered lager.

“Citra-Pils hits all of our favorite points,” says Brewmaster Bill Cherry. “We wanted to add depth to the beer market. Citra-Pils adds new dimensions and flavor profiles in the underrepresented category of craft lager beers.”

Citra-Pils was created on a whim in 2014 while maintaining the lager yeast used in the brewery’s Märzen Fest Bier. The lager is brewed in the most traditional way, using only light pils malt and Saaz hops. After a six-week lagering process, the beer is then dry-hopped with a blend that includes Citra hops along with Saaz. The brewers worked with Paul Mueller Company to design a custom hop-handling device, enabling the beer to be dry-hopped without sacrificing Switchback’s signature 100% natural carbonation.

The result is a delightfully refreshing pilsener with a decidedly nontraditional twist. The bright lemony citrus notes of the Citra complement the noble Saaz character perfectly. Like all Switchback beers, Citra-Pils is left unfiltered for the fullest flavor possible.

Bill Cherry reflected on the beer’s taste, “The crispness and clean flavors of a lager combined with a tasteful addition of the Citra hop, normally used in IPAs, creates an unusual and fun combination of flavors.”

Citra-Pils Keller Bier will be distributed in VT, NH, MA, ME, and NY, available on draught as well as in 12oz stubby bottles and 22oz bottles, year-round starting in 2017, with new packaging different than that of Switchback’s Rotating Specials.