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Anheuser-Busch Research Pilot Brewery Brewmaster Drew Nelson Talks Budweiser Harvest Reserve

91 Rating - Exceptional
Anheuser-Busch Research Pilot Brewery Brewmaster Drew Nelson Talks Budweiser Harvest Reserve

We spoke with Anheuser-Busch Research Pilot Brewery Brewmaster Drew Nelson about Budweiser Harvest Reserve.

Who came up with the beer’s recipe?
This beer is a true collaboration between our barley growers and our brewing team. We wanted to create a beer that our growers would love to drink and be proud to have their barley in. Based on an immersive tasting we conducted with the Dixon family and several other barley farmers, we brewed a few beers in the Research Pilot Brewery in St. Louis and presented them at our annual Grower Days event. There, we received more feedback from our barley growers and selected the final recipe. It was a great experience to brew this beer specifically for our barley growers to show our appreciation for all the work they do to provide us with the highest-quality barley.

What is your favorite aspect of the beer?
I love the barley malt complexity of Harvest Reserve. The biscuit, bready and toasted notes pair nicely with the hint of bitterness making Harvest Reserve very clean and drinkable. This beer was made to showcase the barley, and I think that it accomplishes that.

Where does this beer’s name come from?
This beer was named Harvest Reserve to celebrate our barley growers and the barley harvest. To quote one of our barley farmers, Jim Dixon, “There’s nothing like a cold one after a long hot day of driving a combine during the barley harvest.”

Can you describe this beer in 10 words or less?
Malty lager with caramel, toffee and biscuit notes, finishes crisp.

Do you know a story – or have a personal story – that revolves around this beer?
During the process of creating this beer I had the opportunity to meet some of our barley growers for the first time. I spent time with Jim Dixon out in his barley fields in Idaho and we discussed how he manages the challenges that come with growing barley. It was an eye-opening experience for me and as he went into the details, I realized how complex the process is. I truly have a greater appreciation for the quality of barley we have to brew with at Anheuser-Busch after spending time with Jim. In return for the farming lessons, I was able to share the first brews of Harvest Reserve with Jim and his family. It was fun to teach them about tasting beer and talk through what they liked and disliked about each brew. Jim and I were able to meet up again this summer and we enjoyed the final version of Harvest Reserve together out in the barley fields.

What is a good food pairing for this beer?
Harvest Reserve pairs well with burgers, grilled chicken, pork chops and other grilled meats. This beer is an awesome complement to any grill master’s favorite dish.

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