Smokestack Lightning: A Collaborative Smoked Hefeweizen with Anspach & Hobday

Words & Photos - Matthew Curtis

Few breweries have turned things around like Anspach & Hobday. Over the past couple of years they’ve transformed from brewing enthusiasts into seasoned pros. Some of their latest releases such as a delicate and fruity patersbier, along with a sharp and downright delicious dry-hopped sour are just two examples of how this young brewery is steadily mastering its art.

Myself, along with the guys at The Duke’s Head in Highgate and Caps and Taps in Kentish Town were pretty stoked when we were given the opportunity to collaborate on a brew with them. We settled on brewing a smoked hefeweizen – our riff on a traditional hefe, fermented with the classic Weihenstephan weizen yeast. Our twist was the addition of a little oak-smoked malt, with the hope that the smoke brings out the sweeter notes of the beer. The idea being that it should pair beautifully with smoked meats.

Last month I headed down to the brewery in Bermondsey with Tom, Charlie and Marcella from The Duke’s Head, along with Steph from Caps and Taps, to brew the beer. Paul Anspach and his team put in most of the hard work, while A&H Sales Manager Patrick Tuck and our team played a few rounds of darts in the taproom. We got stuck in where required though: weighing out hops and grain, even helping with a bottling run – the A&H guys not wasting the gift of extra hands in the brewery. It’s always a pleasure making a beer with a brewery I’m a fan of so thanks to the guys at Anspach & Hobday for letting us play on their kit.

Short notice – mostly due to me being the US for the last two weeks – but we’re launching the beer this Wednesday evening at our Bottle Club at The Duke’s Head. We wanted to do a full food and beer pairing experience but with all the beer events going on in London lately and many of you flying out to Copenhagen for the Mikkeller Beer Celebration we understand feet are thin on the ground. With this in mind we’re now just doing our regular £10 tickets with lots of beer from Caps and Taps – usually we try and spread our budget evenly but as there’ll be some draught pouring we might go all in on fewer bottles of some really special stuff. This month’s menu from BBQ Dreamz is killer by the way, and the kitchen stays open until 10pm.

The crew from Anspach & Hobday will be joining us for the duration – so soon after our Cloudwater event this is another of our ‘meet the brewer with a difference’ evenings. They’ll be here to chat and answer your questions all night.

Grab a ticket here and join us 7pm this Wednesday evening. Your money gets you a third of The Smoked Hefe on both Keg AND Cask, plus A&H are taking over three taps and three pumps on the evening (the cask patersbier is all mine though). Rest assured the bottles we’re bringing will be full whale – expect nothing less.