Monks began brewing at Weihenstephan in 1040, and at nearly 1,000 years old, the German brewery is the world’s oldest. Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. is a wee bit younger. The brewery was founded in Chico, California back in 1980, and its importance to the American craft beer renaissance can’t be overstated.
And now these two brewing icons will be collaboratively crafting a Hefeweizen. The ale will stay true to Bavarian purity laws while taking on the American characteristic of being decidedly hoppy. The wheat ale, named Braupakt, is expected to be available in the United States this April.
Marcus Englet, export sales director at Weihenstephan, explained: “This is not only a meeting of old and new worlds it’s a meeting of two foundation stones of brewing.”
Braupakt, or “Brewery Pact” will use German Hallertauer hops along with American west coast varietals Amarillo and Chinook. The yeast strain is the same as used in Weihenstephan’s flagship Hefeweizen and lends flavors of banana and apricot.
“It’s a great honor and a great opportunity to partner with one of the most famous breweries in the world,” said Scott Jennings, brewmaster at Sierra Nevada’s Asheville production facility.
Weihenstephan once teamed up with Samuel Adams eight years ago but this is the first time that Weihenstephan has collaborated with another brewery at its location outside of Munich.
And the two breweries will partner again this summer. Sierra Nevada collaborates with a different German brewery each year to make their Oktoberfest lager and this year they’ll be working with Weihenstephan. But this time, Weihenstephan will be traveling to the United States; sending brewmaster Tobias Zollo to Asheville, North Carolina, to partner with Scott Jennings.