World ofHeineken 40 - summer 2009
Caledonian Brewery in Edinburgh
brewed a specialty beer to
lucky consumers attending this
year's edition of the annual JD
Wetherspoon International Real Ale
Festival, which ran at Wetherspoon
bars across the UK in early May.
The Edinburgh-brewed specialty
ale was a 4.5% ABV Wit Bier
aptly named 'Flying Dutchman'.
It was crafted by Flenk Oexman,
Innovation and Speciality Brewer
from Heineken in the Netherlands
and Caledonian's Brewing Manager,
The idea for the special beer arose when Caledonian was asked
by East West Ales, sole supplier of the festival and long standing
customer of the brewery, to offer their facilities to a foreign
brewer to create a guest ale for the Wetherspoon festival. More
than 50 cask ales were showcased at the festival. These included
one of Caledonian's other brews, Raspberry Fool, their spring fruit
beer, John Smiths Fleritage Beer, and Theakstons Cooper Butt.
Caledonian Brewery's Operations Manager Craig Steven knew
immediately who to bring on board - Fleineken, the brewery's
parent company through its ownership of Scottish Newcastle.
"It only took one phone call to Rob Richardson, Flead of S&N UK
Brewery Operations, to get Fleineken on board and fly Flenk over
to Edinburgh," says Craig. After a short meeting between the two
master brewers, the collaboration was confirmed and a unique
recipe was created.
"I was delighted when the Caledonian Brewery asked me to join
them in such an exciting challenge," says Flenk. "I've been brewing
lager for Fleineken for the last 30 years. This was the first time I
brewed an ale. It was also the first time I'd ever seen, let alone
worked in, a traditional British brew house."
Henk (left) and Ion in the Caledonian Brewery in Edinburgh
Brewed with pale and wheat malt to create a light-bodied spring
ale, this beer's refreshing characteristic is enhanced by the
addition of coriander and orange peel for spicy bite, coupled with
a subtle sweetness from its 'secret' ingredient, liquorice.
"Creating Flying Dutchman was a great chance for us to showcase
a genuinely new beer," says Henk. "We offered consumers a
unique experience that they enjoyed tasting as much as we
enjoyed inventing it. Fingers crossed I'll be invited back!"
"We were delighted to welcome Henk to the brewery to work on
the new beer," says Ian. "We had a very productive initial meeting
where we pooled our brewing knowledge to create a beer that
would have the right hop and malt characteristics to complement
the coriander, orange peel and liquorice. We had never produced
a beer with this amount of wheat malt or used herbs before so
it was a great learning experience for us. It was something very
different that we could do in the brewery. Henk got on famously
with the operators on shift too. We would welcome him back any
time for further collaborations or just to pop in for a pint!"
Lies Eeckman, the brewery's Marketing
Manager, explains how different beers within
the range appeal to different connoisseurs.
"In Belgium we have quite a wide spectrum
of drinkers. The original range, composed
of Kriek and Geuze, appeals to more mature
drinkers, who value the authentic taste and
flavour. The Xtreme range, however, is very
popular among females in their 20s and
30s, who respond to the sweeter, fruitier
flavour. Internationally, Geuze and the Kriek
remain our most popular beers. They're
typically drunk by the real beer connoisseur,
who understands the Iambic beer making
process and is looking for an original taste
THE HEINEKEN PORTFOLIO
Choosing the perfect beer is a difficult
decision for the beer connoisseur. It's
probably fair to say that the perfect specialist
beer doesn't exist, because there are so
many different styles, and so many top-
quality contenders. But diversity is indeed
the spice of life. One thing's for sure: with
the hundreds of beers available in the
Heineken portfolio, from international
classics to handcrafted speciality beers, beer
connoisseurs everywhere are spoiled for
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