While Singapore’s APB-owned microbrewery Archipelago Brewery‘s regular range of craft beers – such as the Belgian Wit and Summer Ale – tend towards the easy-drinking crowd, it’s with their limited edition that the microbrewery tries to be more experimental. It’s also that range with which it collaborates with other brands, such as the Archipresso (a coffee-based schwarzbier it did together with Third Wave coffee cafe Forty Hands), and even a Hickory Smoked IPA in conjunction with American barbeque joint Smokey’s BBQ. Its most recent limited edition was the rich Caramel Apple Ale.
This time Archipelago has launched a new limited edition seasonal beer called the Yuzucha, a tea-infused beer made in collaboration with the Gryphon Tea Company that uses a blend of the tea company’s Japanese Kukicha Green Tea and Kochi Yuzu teas. Based off the traditional Kölsch – a pale German ale originating from Cologne that is warm fermented and aged at cold temperatures – the subtle gold-hued Yuzucha exhibits a distinct Kukicha tea aroma, low hop flavours with slight citrusy notes that ends with a distinct yet subtle tea finish.
Archipelago master brewer Robert Beck explains that it had been an interesting challenge creating the beer trying to incorporate the tea into the beer. “A special yeast was flown in from America, and to add a more Asian twist, we sourced hops from Japan,” Beck shares. “The tea and the Yuzu were added in ‘teabag’ style at the conditioning part of the process.” The team from Archipelago and Gryphon had to undergo various tasting sessions to create the ideal beer they were looking for.
The subtle gold-hued Yuzucha exhibits a distinct Kukicha tea aroma, low hop flavours with slight citrusy notes that ends with a distinct yet subtle tea finish
For food pairings, Beck recommends pairing the 4.7% ABV beer with citrusy or lemony flavours and slightly richer food as this Kolsch style beer can help cleanse the palate. Recommended dishes include fish and chips, grilled seafood like clams, shrimp and lobster and German sausages or pork knuckles.
The limited edition Yuzucha Beer is currently available at Archipelago concept outlets and will also be featured during Beerfest Asia 2014 from 12 to 15 June 2014.