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Things to Know about Applefest Appleweizen

The locals enjoy it so much, they made it the official beer of Applefest!

Apple Festing

Every September for the last 70 years, everybody gets together for a big parade with dozens of floats and marching, baton-twirling kids who stomp down to Abnet field next to the La Crescent Middle/High School to kick off Applefest.

If you listen you can hear the Apple Annies singing acapella and when you see them, you might be lucky enough to have your cheek adorned with an apple sticker or your t-shirt with an Applefest button. There’s a carnival, a cornhole tourney, a 5K run/walk, there are orchard tours, apple pie, a coronation of the new Royal Family and a beer tent with non-stop activities. This is where the tapping of the infamous, “Red Apple Keg” takes place.

Collaboration Across Borders

Celebrating generations of apple-farming, we call this a beer without borders as it brings cross-river neighbors from two different states together for a little hootin’ and hollerin’.

Like a marriage made in heaven, the Applefest Appleweizen is a marriage of fresh, light Wisconsin wheat ale and local, fresh-squeezed Minnesota Apples!

La Crescent, MN is right across the Mighty Miss from our brewery and La Crescent is surrounded by family-operated apple orchards. That’s why it’s known as The Apple Capital of Minnesota!

The Apples

Of all the apple varieties grown around here, Brewmaster Joe chose Honeycrisp apples because they are so darn good. We also like the fact that they are a Minnesota native! Honeycrisps are one of nine apple cultivars initially cultivated by the University of Minnesota that have become commercial varieties.

Patented in 1988 and released to the public in 1991, this apple wasn’t bred to grow, store or ship well. It was bred for taste: crisp, with balanced sweetness and acidity. That’s why we love ‘em. Local Honeycrisp apples are hand-harvested each Fall from one of the orchards just a few miles from our brewery and pressed into the freshest, most delicious juice you’ve ever had.

The Beer

Wheat beer brewed with Wisconsin barley and wheat malts. Fermented with a specific yeast for a pronounced estery aroma often found in Bavarian wheat beers and LAB for a fresh tanginess.

Seasonal Fall Release – 5.5% ABV 6 IBUs

Cheers to 20 Years of Beers (Video)!

Cheers to 20 Years of Beers! Pearl Street Brewery in La Crosse, WI!

Patrons saluting 20 Years of Beers from Pearl Street Brewery in La Crosse, WI!

About Pearl Street Brewery

Pearl Street Brewery has been creating award-winning craft beers in La Crosse, WI for 20 years. Their beer can be found in restaurants, bars, and retailers all over Wisconsin, Iowa, and Minnesota. Brewery tours are available every Friday and Saturday and patrons can visit the Tasting Room Tuesday through Sunday. The brewery plays host to musical groups, yoga classes, fundraisers, and many community events.

Things to Know about Smokin’ Hemp Porter

Things to Know about Smokin’ Hemp Porter

Another Pearl Street original. This dark, smooth, and easy drinkin’ porter is made with cherry-wood smoked malt and toasted Canadian hemp seeds. When aged throughout the year, its flavor matures with time.

One of the First

Pearl Street Brewery is ahead of its time when it comes to releasing beer that actually contains hemp. Pearl Street Founder and Brewmaster, Joe Katchever has been brewing and serving Smokin’ Hemp Porter on draught since 2008.

Approval

Katchever says, “although I applied several times, I couldn’t get Federal label approval for this beer because it had the word ‘hemp’ on the label. I have many emails back and forth with the TTB (the Federal Agency that regulates alcohol product labels) explaining that the beer did not contain illegal substances and that hemp itself is not illegal.

Ingredients

First, barley malt is smoked over cherry wood to a sweet smokiness, then hemp seeds are toasted to a nutty brown. Then, they are mashed together with crystal and chocolate malts, to form the backbone of Smokin’ Hemp Porter. Lightly hopped with classic British hops and cold-conditioned.

Flavor

You’ll find Smokin’ Hemp Porter to have an inviting smokiness remnant of Highland scotch. The body is medium and doesn’t fill you up as much as a heavier stout or robust porter. There is a noticeable nutty earthiness from the toasted hemp seeds and it finishes with a dry, non-cloying sweetness. Usually drunk fresh, this beer is often cellared for extended periods of a few months to a year or more. Figs, dates and vanilla flavor notes develop over time but the finish stays bold and smokey.

Limited 4/20 Release – 5.5% ABV 18 IBUs

Pearl Street Brewery is hosting national touring Smells Like Nirvana

Pearl Street Brewery is hosting national touring Smells Like Nirvana

Pearl Street Brewery is hosting national touring Smells Like Nirvana, taking place Saturday June 15, 2019.  Smells Like Nirvana is composed of seasoned pros and die-hard-fans of Nirvana, fronted by Paul Wandtke (ex Trivium, Dead Original), Nick Shabatura on drums and Mike Petrasek (Bedlem).

Their live tribute to Nirvana is a haunting episode of grunge filled angst playing songs from Nirvana’s albums Bleach, Nevermind, In Utero and MTV Unplugged as well as rare b-sides and more; played without click tracks or backing tracks, a trait that is rare in today’s contemporary musical landscape, a trait and philosophy that Nirvana lived by.

Attendees can make a song request for this show via: www.smellslikenirvanatribute.com

What: Smells Like Nirvana

When: Saturday, June, 15 2019 | $12 / $15 Day of Show | 7pm | 21+  Purchase on the APP

Where: Pearl Street Brewery – 1401 St Andrew St La Crosse, WI 54603

Things to Know about 17-Up Lemon Lime Gose

Things to Know about 17-Up Lemon Lime Gose

Originally brewed to celebrate 17 years of The Pearl Street Brewery, this is a tangy and refreshing conundrum.

From Nature

This sour summer ale has undergone spontaneous primary fermentation with wild, native microbes found in the air in La Crosse, Wisconsin. This natural, terroir fermentation doesn’t just create an inviting sourness, but also connects this beer to our land and our community.

Essence

This particular Gose is flavored with natural lemon-lime essence for a mind-warping exbeerience.

History

17Up is one of our versions of an ancient ale originating on the banks of the Gose River in northern Germany hundreds of years ago. To create the authentic water profile, we use real sea minerals harvested from an ancient sea bed to treat the water we brew this beer with. This beer is “wild” because it’s spontaneously and naturally fermented with wild microbes like it was centuries ago.

What’s Next for this Gose

This Gose was the first one to inspire the other three Goses we brew year-round. Look for the others, Like Gosecopia, Pop Gose and Sour Winter Gose when in season and download a free, printable beer release calendar to find our more!

Seasonal Summer Release – 5.3% ABV 3.5 IBUs

Things to Know about Shitty Lyte Beer

1) The Challenge

“Got anything light?” For 18 years our Brewmaster has always answered this question with, “We don’t make shitty light beer”. And we never did. Then someone said that we couldn’t do it. Well that was a challenge, and when it comes to beer, we love challenges.

2) Twist on the Traditional

How did we take the traditional American Light Mega-Lager and make it better? Easy. We made it fresher. Unlike the others, this isn’t pasteurized either. This allows the pure clean flavor to shine through. We use a single strain of clean lager yeast and cold ferment it.

3) Fresh Local Ingredients

We love writing checks to local farmers! Local means fresh. We source hops from three different Wisconsin family farms. Our malt is grown in North America and Malted in Wisconsin.

4) Water

Good water is the foundation of good beer. La Crosse has some of the best water in the best beer state in the country.

Last year, the Wisconsin Rural Water Association (WRWA) voted La Crosse water the best tasting water in the state!

5) You too can be part of your local beer scene.

You’re a light beer drinker, we get it. You like beer just not all that dark stuff. Just because you want to drink something light, doesn’t mean you don’t support your local craft brewery. Now you can drink a low-cal, easy-drinking, great-tasting beer brewed by people you know. Beer brewed with wholesome and fresh ingredients instead of what the mega-brewers use. There’s something awesome about a non-pasteurized, quality craft beer that’s made in a hometown brewery.  Best of both worlds.

4.7% ABV – 5 IBUs – 112 Calories – 8 Carbs….More at pearlstreetbrewery.com/shitty-lyte-beer. 

What is a Gose?

By Joe Katchever a.k.a. BrewMaster
– the younger years, pre-awesome beard.

A thousand year old beer.

It might seem kind of weird that Lower Saxony is actually located North and West of Saxony-Anhalt and even further Northwest of Saxony. Looks weird on a map but it makes sense because Lower Saxony makes up much of Germany’s Northern Lowlands, downhill from the Harz and Teutoburg Mountains. The Elbe River makes up the Northern border of Lower Saxony as it flows North/Northwest from the hilly and mountainous Hamburg, picking up watershed along the way to its mouth on the North Sea.

The Saxons are a Pagan germanic tribe that dates back to prehistoric times. In the 5th Century, 400 years before the Vikings invaded the British Isles, the Medieval Saxons joined up with their Northern neighbors the Angles and Jutes and sailed across the North Sea to plunder the English and ultimately protect their land from the Picts and Gaels, the Medieval ancestors to the Scotts and the Irish. The Saxons intertwined with their brothers-in-arms to form the Anglo-Saxon people and populated England with Anglo-Saxons over the next 600 years. The Englishman, or lowlander became known as a Saxon, to distinguish him from a Welshman, Irishman, or Highlander.

Lower Saxony was once the Kingdom of Hanover and part of the German Confederation, an economic union run by Austrian Empire, yet remained personally united with England for 123 years. In 1837 they decided that they their Salic Laws forbade them from being ruled by a female, namely, Queen Victoria,who was taking over the British Throne that year.

Twenty years later, Hanover backed the losing side in the Austro-Prussian War and was subsequently conquered by Prussia in 1866. Oopsie. Austria lost all official influence over member states of the former German Confederation. So, the Kingdom of Hanover became the Province of Hanover and was a province of Prussia for the next eight decades.

After the fallout of World War II, the Allied Forces occupied and had military control of the area and in 1946, The State of Lower Saxony and its capital, Hanover were established, followed by the Federal Republic of Germany and the dissolution of Prussia.

Goslar is a district in Lower Saxony that is nestled in the hillier side of the State, right next to the mountainous Harz district of Saxony-Anhalt. Over a thousand years ago, where the waters of the Abzucht and the Gose meet, Gose beer was born. The steady, maritime climate of the North Sea Coast brings much precipitation and agriculture to the lowlands, and gives way to the snowy mountains to the East, where ore mining is the major source of revenue. The mountains there, where the headwaters of the Gose River form, are rich with salt,. Hardly a river, the Gose River is only about five miles long but it became infamous as the water source for one of the World’s weirdest beers.

Gose Today

Gose, the beer, (GO-suh) starts with briney water so, when I started brewing Gose’s a few years ago, I had to add salt to my water to emulate the water of the River Gose. Undoubtedly there were more minerals present in the water than salt so I chose unrefined, unprocessed and ancient sea salt with sixty other trace minerals and no additives. Gose’s are brewed with malted wheat and barley about half and half, giving them a light color and turbidity and making complex sugars and carbs available for a bottle refermentation. This ancient beer style predates microbiology and was fermented with wild, airborne microbes, so I brewed mine the same way, with wild, spontaneous fermentation. Salty, light, sour, effervescent with a bready nose, this historical ale was often flavored with coriander, the seed of the cilantro. The tartness lends itself to other fruits and spices.

Usually, I first design a recipe, then brew the beer and it ends up with a name conjured by the imbibing ritual. The first Gose I brewed was brewed to match a name. Pearl Street Brewery’s 17th anniversary was coming up and, as those who party with us know, we release five brand-new beers every year at our anniversary party, which we call, “The Winter Ball.” Somebody suggest a beer be named “17Up” to celebrate the big 17. I thought the name was cool, so I decided to brew a beer that was tangy and lemon-limey so, I brewed it with lemon and lime zest and my first commercial Gose was born over a thousand years after the originals were brewed from the Gose River brine. 17Up was truly a delicious, thirst-quenching beer, if I don’t say so myself. Fresh citrus nose, prominent tanginess and a slightly salty backbone. The mid-February release was good but this was destined to be a Summer beer. I re-brewed it and bottled in the summer of 2017 and to be honest, it took awhile for people to catch on. Local popularity was good but sales around our distribution footprint really didn’t take off until later in the year.

I decided that I would brew more Goses and create different versions seasonally. I have friends in Juneau, Alaska that always brings me fresh, Spring spruce tips to brew experimental beers with. I brewed a Wintery version with spruce and the essential oil of the bergamot orange, the Italian orange famous for flavoring Earl Grey teas. That winter, Sour Winter Gose was the highest-ranked Gose of the year, earning a Gold Medal from the World Beer Championships. This was followed by Pop Gose, a bright, Spring-time beer with hibiscus flowers, lavender flowers and cucumber extract. The Autumn version is the newest one: Gosecopia. In this version I wanted to explore tropical fruit and used guava and mango along with some cranberries from a local Wisconsin farmer friend.

All of these Goses received high praise and went on to win medals except Gosecopia, but then I haven’t entered that one in any competitions yet ;).

Watch Pearl Street Brewery on the the new Discover Wisconsin.

What is Pale Ale?

By Joe Katchever a.k.a. BrewMaster

The beer that started a revolution.

I brewed Pale Ale back in the 90’s when I was working in breweries out in Colorado. Pale Ale was one of the most popular brews and the hands-down favorite of the employees.

When I moved to La Crosse to start Pearl Street Brewery in 1999, Pearl Street Pale was one of the first beers I brewed. I still brew it today with the same recipe, although now I buy my hops and malt from local, Wisconsin farmers.

Pale Ale is a special beer to American brewers because it was the genesis of the American Craft Beer Revolution. I remember trying a Sierra Nevada Pale Ale back in high school and thinking “Wow!” It was stronger, darker and more bitter than anything I’d tried.

The History 

American Pale Ale is a variation of an old English beer style named because it was paler in color than beer brewed previously. Sometime around the mid 1700’s, brewers found that using a type of coal instead of a wood fire as a heat source when kilning malt resulted in steadier, more even heating and more consistent malt production. An additional benefit was a lighter, cleaner and less smoky malt. When they brewed with this malt the result was beer that was lighter in color and had a cleaner malt profile.

In the early 1700’s, these pale beers began to gain popularity in England. They were referred to as “bitters” because they were more bitter than normal. It is unclear to me whether the bitterness was actually increased, or if it was the lack of competing flavors that made them seem more bitter. Take away the smokiness and the malt-derived astringency and it is easier to taste underlying flavors. Different brewing practices and hop levels have resulted in a range of tastes and strengths within the pale ale family over the next century.

Meanwhile in America, a series of political events including several major wars, prohibition and the Great Depression, led to beer becoming heavily industrialized. Throughout most of the 20th century, American beer was a bland and lifeless staple; void of any significant character, nutritional value or artistry.

Rebirth 

Circa 1980, Pale Ale was reborn on America’s Western shores. Pale Ale became the beer that started the American Craft Beer Revolution, becoming the most popular craft beer style in North America.

American Pale Ale, or APA differed from its English cousins in that was lighter and hoppier. The new APAs were brewed with North American 2-row barley varieties and American hops, most notably, Cascades. Cascade hops were one of America’s signature hops; named after the Cascade mountain range where they are grown. APA’s are usually brewed with yeast that ferments cleaner, with less estery notes than English Pale Ales, giving a lighter, cleaner-tasting flavor profile.

Since then, the American beer revolution has resulted in America developing and being recognized around the world for dozens of uniquely American beer styles, including seven different variants on the beloved pale ale.

Big Time!

It is an American thing to do just about everything bigger, better or more extreme than is done in other parts of the world. We’ve got bigger cars, bigger houses, bigger stores, super-size fries, extreme sports and the list goes on. American beer is no exception. America took the two things that make a Pale Ale what it is: light color and increased hoppiness and pushed the limits, brewing an even lighter and hoppier beer. Americans have taken beer, in general, to the extreme. By my count, American brewers have officially introduced 27 new beer styles or bigger, stronger, bolder versions of traditional styles since the birth of the iconic American Pale Ale, and that’s more new styles than the rest of the world combined. Ironically, American-stye beers are now being emulated all over the world from Europe, to Mexico, to South America. Even the Belgians, considered by many to brew the most unique and ancient ales in the world have begun to brew American beer styles. What started out as a single beer style has grown into what is becoming a world-wide beer revolution.

 

Viva la Cerveza!

Watch Pearl Street Brewery on the the new Discover Wisconsin.