Dallas Craft Beer Examiner
This past summer, Houston’s Saint Arnold Brewing announced one of the boldest experimental commercial brewing ventures ever heard of in Texas beer history.
They named this undertaking the Moveable Yeast series. Under development for a couple of years, the plan is to take four of their ordinary production beers and brew each with a contrasting strain of yeast that is atypical for the given style. The results? Risky, if you don’t know what you’re doing.
￼The first of the series was released just recently, named Weedwacker. This beer has the base malt and hops recipe of their Fancy Lawnmower—which technically is a koelsch style—but fermented using a Bavarian hefeweizen yeast. A select few (such as this sample from the Meddlesome Moth in Dallas) were also dry-hopped with just a touch of Amarillo hops.
The result is equally bold and style-defying. It is light yellow and hazy served from a cask, with a heavy fresh yeast taste that lends a lot of lemony citrus. It has the slightly sweet malt flavor of the Lawnmower but with a grassy, almost fresh funky hay element. Although it has Czech and German roots, this beer may be able to pass for an authentic light Belgian farmhouse style.
If you can, sample this one with the regular Fancy Lawnmower side by side. I would call this first installment of the Moveable Yeast a success, and look forward to the others yet to come. And props to the Saint Arnold brewers for being willing to experiment.
Availability: Draft only, and released in very limited quantities, so it will disappear quickly. Found at the usual beer-heavy spots like Flying Saucer, Ginger Man and a few others. The dry-hopped versions were apparently distributed randomly, so ask which version they have.
Originally published August 28, 2010, at Examiner.com