When we decide to brew a beer for a particular beer week, we put our heads together to
come up with a good name. Most often we try to find something that relates to the city, something unique, distinctive or historic, and we like names that have double meanings. “440” is the pitch standard for tuning many musical instruments and also happens to be a major highway in the Nashville area.
This will be known as a “Special Ale,” and for 2014 we brewed a Roggenbier. This is a Germanic style Rye beer fermented with Weizen yeast. You’ll notice it pours with a hazy appearance, coppery brown in color with a thick rocky off-white head. Hold the glass under your nose to sense the fruity, banana and citrus aromas. Medium body, tart spicy finish, high carbonation are all characteristic of the Roggenbier style. Distinctive clove phenols and fruity banana esters accentuate the spicy character of the rye malts; hints of chocolate in the finish all add to a very complex and rich tasting experience.
Low in alcohol for one of our beers at 4.9%, and also very low bitterness (22 IBU) with a 21.8°L color.
We asked Joe Reynolds, head of R&D and brewer of this beer for his thoughts on Nashville 440. In terms of volume, this is a seldom brewed style, even in Germany. He used 4 types of rye malt: pale, crystal, chocolate and flaked, saying “This complex malt backing melds well with the spicy, fruity yeast character.”
“The hops are a bit non-traditional. I used Pacific Jade, which is a southern hemisphere hop known for its citrus and black pepper notes. The hop’s aroma blends almost seamlessly with both the esters from the yeast and the spicy character of the rye malts.” We wondered about the cloudy appearance, asking if that was intentional. Joe replied, ”Yes. I know it’s cloudy. That is Weizen yeast, still in suspension. They are notoriously non-flocculent and will add a tart and slightly bitter character to the finish. Overall, I am rather pleased with this brew. It’s low in alcohol but high in flavor. A Southern Tier translation of a great Germanic style.”