Saturday, January 2, 2010

186. Heinzelmännchen Hoppy Gnome

Heinzelmännchen Brewery is in Sylva, NC; described as “Your Gnometown brewery,” Heinzelmännchen has been in business since 2004. We’ve been checking this place out for a couple of years now on our trips down to Franklin; Brewmaster Dieter Kuhn is friendly, approachable, and very enthusiastic—during our last visit he remembered us from our previous trip through the brewery, and insisted on making sure we tried all of the new beers, including a couple he had back in the cooler. They added growlers last year, which meant that we got to take some of this with us when we rolled out of town. Color me awesome.

Hoppy Gnome had a citrus and grapefruit hop nose with a small amount of hop resin aroma as well. The beer pours a hazy tan with gold highlights and a soft white head. Hoppy Gnome has a dry malt front, moving quickly into hop flavors in the middle: a zesty lemon citrus and some spicy resin flavors. It ends dry and pretty clean; some of the citrus hoppiness does hang around on the palate, creating an enjoyable lingering flavor. Light to medium bodied, Hoppy Gnome has medium carbonation and is very drinkable. The bitterness levels are very low, but it has solid hop flavor and aroma. Smooth, clean, and very drinkable. As well, since we picked it up at the brewery, it had that incredible fresh beer taste—it was smooth and tight across the palate, well-balanced, and refreshing. And as you might well guess, with a name like Heinzelmännchen, and with the Brewmaster being named Dieter Kuhn, this brewery was very German, so it was nice to see them produce a beer that pushed the German envelope and attempted to accommodate American standards—the balance between German beer brewing and American hop flavor and aroma created an enjoyable and interesting beer. We do look forward to trying it again. Go Dieter!

From the Heinzelmännchen website: “Hoppy Gnome Pilsner Style Ale – This creamy ale has a mild bitterness and hoppy bouquet finish that is subtle yet noticeable and light.”

What’s a Heinzelmännchen?: “Heinzelmännchen are gnome-like creatures found in the Black Forest of Germany. They are rarely seen, however always helpful to creatures and people alike. According to German folklore, the Heinzelmännchen visit proprietors during the night to assist with chores, so when the proprietor awakes he has more time to give back to his community. They have been celebrated in poem and song for their cheerful and helpful attitude. At the Brewery, they keep a watchful eye on the beer at night and take care of any unfinished jobs so Dieter and Sheryl can concentrate on brewing the best beer, keeping their customers happy, and helping their neighbors.”

We also had the Terrapin Wake ’N’ Bake Coffee Oatmeal Imperial Stout on tap at Soul Infusion Cafe, which is also in Sylva, NC. Damn, that was a tasty beer.

ABV: 8.6%
IBU: 50
O.G.: 20.8° P
Malt: 2-row Pale Malt, Flaked Oats, Flaked Barley, Chocolate Malt, Black Malt, & Roasted Barley
Hops: Chinook, Northern Brewer


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