No Gimmicks. No bullsh*t! Just great beer.
AND UNION’s seasoned beer crew recommend that you crack open a cold one to sip on while reading about the cogs of our enduring brewing process and traditional approach that is integral in obtaining the uniquely flavourful results in our beers.
It’s damn tasty! And there is a good reason - we simply cannot rush what we do. Each aspect of making an AND UNION beer has been meticulously thought out, each ingredient selected and process calculated - time being our key consideration, taking weeks (not days) to brew our signature modernist Bavarian beer range. Our brewing process pays homage to age-old Bavarian traditions, acknowledging our roots, and at the same time looking forward, creating a taste profile that is responsive to the modern drinking palate.
Know Your Flow
If you’re an aficionado or beer geek, then please bear with us as we indulge those ‘not in the know’ for this next section.
As is the case with most ingenious inventions, beer was actually discovered completely by accident in around 4500 B.C. In ancient Mesopotamia (present day Western Asia), people had begun storing food, including grains and cereals, in wooden barrels. Each time the heavens opened these barrels would fill with water. In a beautiful twist of fate, naturally occurring wild yeast then fermented the mixture, giving rise to the delectable beverage we now call ‘beer’, AKA a cheeky cold one, brewskis, the amber nectar of the gods, the ‘ol pig’s ear’, a David Hasselfroths… you get the point.
The brewing process for beer differs from other fermented alcoholic beverages. Cider, for example, uses fermented apples and wine has grapes as the base of its fermentation transformation. Beer on the other hand, is made through fermenting cereal sugars, resulting in a generally lower alcohol concentration, whilst maintaining an euphoric experience for your tastebuds (and the occasional burp of joy!)
We all know the basic definition of beer as a beverage made using four key ingredients: water, yeast, malt and hops. In simple terms, AND UNION likes giving natural cereals a nice hot bath, and then adds the special hops to this remaining filtered liquid called wort, whilst boiling it. Lastly, we add our closely guarded secret strains of yeast to work their magic and scoff the sugars, generating alcohol, gas and other chemical compounds responsible for some of the flavours you will pick up on in the perfectly poured steiner of AND UNION.
The AND UNION Way
Like most, our process kicks off with milling the grains and putting them into a tank called a mash tun. The mash tun is a brewhouse vessel used for combining the ground malt (grist) with temperature-controlled water, which creates a concentrated rich liquid of sultry sugars, the wort.
The most common type of malt in brewing today is barley malt, although unique cereal variations such as rye and wheat can been used to kickstart some iconic recipes, such as Weissbier. Malt is processed by wetting the grain, a catalyst in the germination process, and is then immediately dried. This short time spent wet is enough for the grain to develop sugars inside of the peel which are essential for the wort.
Commonly referred to as the beer starter, the wort liquid extracted during the mashing process is rich in two important sugars, maltose and maltotriose. These sugars are what allows the fermentation, with the aid of our unique and closely guarded brewer's yeast, to produce a tantalising alcohol.
Now comes the hops, which is added to the liquid in two separate stages, each offering a different kick to the palate. The first batch of hops (bittering hops) is added at the beginning of the process and contributes to the rich bitter tones, while the next batch (flavouring hops), combined near the end of the process, where the aromatic flavours start developing.
Incidentally hops are the climbing plant brother of the marijuana family, but rest assured the only ‘high’ here is the sheer euphoria you’ll get from drinking an AND UNION. Hops is used as fresh or dried and are also an effective antibacterial, making beer not only one of the tastiest, but also one of the safest beverages to drink ;)
Because beer is about 90% water, and water has a naturally different profile in different regions, this has historically helped in endowing beer with some kind of “terroir”. However, from the 1900’s on, we managed to treat and confirm the chemistry of water, allowing breweries to use almost any source of water to produce any style of beer, anywhere. Thanks to this, the tale of breweries advertising that their beer is high-quality because of a nearby natural water source, can be questioned.
Back to the brew - once the wort mixture is done boiling, it is cooled down rapidly with the brewers using a novel “whirlpooling” method to remove any stubborn stragglers (coagulated proteins and hops). This liquid is then carefully transferred to the fermentation tanks where the yeast is added and left there to ferment and age to excellence.
Some brewers will now choose to start “dry hopping” which is popular when a recipe is asking for stronger hop aromas and flavours. Dry hopping is when we add hops to the beer after it has already begun the fermentation process, which leaves a fresh and satisfactory hop aroma to the beer without any of the bitterness. The unique flavour complexion of the beer is only amplified by adding hops later in the brewing process, preserving the distinguishable scents and flavours from the hops’ oils.
Once the beer has matured to drinking excellence, some brewers will filter it before it is packaged into the bottles, cans or kegs, but not AND UNION. We believe that an unfiltered product is quintessential in capturing the fresh taste of the beer, leaving you with a pure and authentic Bavarian product.
AND UNION is a Modernist Bavarian beer with the goal of serving the lessons and traditions of a proud past with the benefits of modern brewing techniques. Upholding the traditional methods of the German Purity Law, married with a belief in the basic principles of modernism, residing in simplicity, purity and rationality. Our traditional brewing process fights the quantities of mass production and leaves you with incomparable lagers, ales and wheat beers.
‘Analog beer for a digital world’ is what we like to call it.