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Thorny Devil wants you to live and learn all about craft beer: so we give you all the craft beer news = globally; hope the following article helps you understand more about craft beer:
In 1988, Australia was busy celebrating its bicentennial, the Ronald Reagan era in the States was coming to a close, Allan Border was captain of the cricket team, the year’s big Aussie films included Crocodile Dundee and Young Einstein and the founder of The Crafty Pint was a 12-year-old at school in Gloucester, England. It was also the year Chuck Hahn introduced his first beer to the Australian market: Hahn Premium Lager.
Initially a 100 per cent malt beer – 4.5 per cent ABV and hopped with New Zealand Super Alpha – it was stylistically a pilsener, but called “Lager” so as not to confuse drinkers. Over time, the recipe evolved, with alcohol content increasing and bitterness decreasing.
“We discovered people were finding it almost too flavoursome,” says Chuck.
Twenty per cent sugar was introduced and the hops were switched to Australian Pride of Ringwood for bittering and German Hersbrucker for late additions for aroma and flavour.
The beer won the Overall Champion Beer at the Australian International Beer Awards in 1999, by which stage Lion Nathan (now Lion) had purchased Hahn and moved production of the brewery’s beers to Toohey’s. The original Camperdown site was renamed Malt Shovel and began producing, among other beers, the James Squire range. Hahn Premium continued to be brewed, but with little attention paid to it by Lion, who instead focused on the low carb Hahn Superdry.
All of which kind of brings us to now. And, in particular, a couple of voicemails and an email that landed in The Crafty Pint’s inboxes while we were away for a long weekend earlier this month. They were from Chuck and at the heart of them was this:
“When I discovered that the late additions to the brew kettle of the German Hersbrucker hops were not being made properly and were of 2008 crop a couple months ago, I quickly made corrections to the brewing programs. The resultant brew displays a more pronounced European floral hop aroma and a cleaner hop finish (as it should with the proper addition of fresh hops). We decided to change the name to better reflect the style of beer that it was originally. Drinkers back in 1988 did not really know what a European-style pilsener was so we just called it Hahn Premium Lager. Now we are back to ‘Hahn Premium Pilsener.’”
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