Everybody’s Brewing in White Salmon, WA has created a unique collaboration with Lanikai Brewing from Kailua, Hawai’i. The beer is called Everybody’s HI and it required the cooperation of two yeast labs (Sleight Labs in Seattle and Imperial Yeast in Portland) to propagate and collaborate to make this 4-way masterpiece a reality.
Kveik: The beer as fun to say as it is to drink!
For starters, lets get some things straight: Kveik is not actually the style of beer, but rather the yeast strain used by Norwegian brewers to ferment their farmhouse ales. Secondly, it’s pronounced Ka Veek, a word that comes from a specific Norwegian dialect and in English translates to “yeast.” It’s pretty fun to say. Give it a try!
By The Powers Of Kviek
Most modern breweries typically use a single yeast stain, controlled and propagated in a lab to make consistent tasting beer over time. Back in the day though, cavemen were too busy fighting dinosaurs and shopping the latest loincloth trends to spend much time in the lab. Instead, they used and reused the same yeast, which often contained many different strains. In Norway, these strains were stored by drying them out using a circular, wooden rack. They passed down these strains from one family brewer to the next. These strains were brought back to life from their dried state when added to the next wort.
This stuff is unique and incredible. It differs from other strains in lots of ways: It works at much higher temperatures, ferments quickly, and gives off incredibly fruity esters. It also tends to fall out of suspension quickly, and most notably, it can be dried and reused.
Making this beer was not light duty. These strains are not easy to come by. Everybody’s Brewing was able to obtain some from Sean Sleight at Sleight Labs in Seattle. In fact, he gave them three Kveik strains. More than one is needed to mimic this ancient style. Sleight Labs sent the strains to Imperial Yeast in Portland where they helped propagate the Kviek to a suitable volume. A few weeks later, there was enough Kveik to make this beer a reality.
Steve Haumschild of Lanikai Brewing on brew day at Everybody’s Brewing in White Salmon, WA.
Aloha from Lanikai
When friend and owner of Lanikai brewing, Steve Haumschild, asked Everybody’s to collaborate on a beer, it was a quick decision. Lanikai makes quality, innovative, Hawaiian inspired beers and Everybody’s own Doug and Christine Ellenberger are no strangers to the Hawaiian Islands. Everybody’s and Lanikai latched on to the idea of a Norwegian Farmhouse, and Haumschild offered a twist… His idea was to bring a Lactobacilis bacteria strain naturally harvested from his farm in Hawaii and use it to sour the beer. A tart Farmhouse-style ale was born.
There are lots of Lacto strains in the world, so the Washington-based team at Everybody’s sent the Hawaiian-born bacteria back to Imperial Labs. Imperial isolated it and identified it as Lactobacilis fermentum – yeast nerds will know this a more rare find and big win for the developing collaboration.
Everybody’s HI is a tart and fruity Norweigen Farmhouse-style ale collaboration with Lanikai Brewing, Sleight Labs and Imperial Yeast.
The Final Product
Together, Everybody’s and Lanikai wrote a grain bill that had Two-row malt, wheat, and some flaked corn. The wheat gives it a light haze, and helps soften and balance the body. They soured the farmhouse ale with the Hawaiian Lacto for a full three days, at 105 degrees. It dropped from a pH of 5.2 down to 3.3. The team then fermented it with the Kviek yeast blend at 90 degrees (25 degrees hotter than Everybody’s typically ferments their house ale strain at) for only four days. Normally fermenting at a temperature this high would result in a pretty terrible beer. But with this Kviek blend, the beer was quickly developing with big-time fruity, pineapple notes – just as expected! It’s got a slight farmhouse funk, and is nice and tart.
What’s Next for Kveik?
After the brew, Everybody’s Brewing had some fun harvesting and drying the yeast in the tradition of the Norwegian farmhouse brewing style. They plan to run some experimental ferments at the brewery to see how well this storage process works. With any luck, they’ll have even more new, exciting farmhouse ales on tap soon.
I get by with a little help from my friends. This article was a collaborative effort written and edited by Pat Velten of Everybody’s Brewing and me, Michael Perozzo of The New School and ZZoom Media.