In my article about the Freigeist Geisterzug Rhubarb Gose I’ve written a few words about Freigeist Bierkultur by Sebastian Sauer from the German city of Aachen, who has aroused some attention in the craft beer community. In cooperation with various breweries traditional and innovative styles of beer are brewed which are especially high rated and demanded in the craft beer community in the United States. The name Freigeist Bierkultur is in fact perhaps the best known flagship of German craft beer in the USA.
In cooperation with Hennes’ Finest, a pepper and spice importer relying on Fairtrade and high quality spices founded by young entrepreneurs Sebastian Brimmers, Martin Gompelmann and Bastian Stollwerk, Freigeist Bierkultur created a very interesting beer. In Hagen Dahl in North Rhine Westphalia the brew with the name “Original Pfefferkörner White” (Original Peppercorn White) is made. Older batches of this product were sold under the name Freigeist Bierkultur Kampot White. Since this beer is made with 1% pepper decoction it is not allowed to be sold as a beer in Germany according to law regulations. So while 99% of the beer (top-fermented wheat beer) are corresponding with the Reinheitsgebot (Purity Law), this 1% lead to the product being officially labeled as “Biermischgetränk” (official German word for a shandy).
The Original Pfefferkörner White develops a quite voluminous foam when pouring it into the glass, but when it has come to rest, it convinces with really interesting flavors. A beer which I can imagine very well with seafood or a hearty cheese platter.
On the nose there’s a mixture of yeasty and delicate, lemonlike hop tones with a hint of white pepper. The taste is actually surprisingly delicious: Significant pepper with subtle hop aroma, yeast and a little bit of citrus, surrounded by typical wheat beer characteristics. If you’re not a friend of pepper you should probably avoid this beer; it might be a little too challenging.
Buying sources: in specialized stores or online. The Original Pfefferkörner White comes with 5.3% vol. and costs about 3,50€ for a 0,33 bottle.