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KC Bier Co. Head Brewer Karlton Graham Talks KC Bier Co. Hefeweizen

93 Rating - Exceptional
KC Bier Co. Head Brewer Karlton Graham Talks KC Bier Co. Hefeweizen

We spoke with KC Bier Co. Head Brewer Karlton Graham about KC Bier Co. Hefeweizen.

BC: Who came up with this beer's recipe?
Steve Holle (our founder and owner) and I established the original malt and hop bills as we prepared to open in late 2013.

As required in Germany to be called a wheat beer, we use more than 50% wheat malt, with the rest comprised of Pilsner malt, and a touch of Vienna malt for color. Making this bier is more about executing a process well. Most importantly, fermentation time, temperature and pressure must be managed perfectly for the yeast to consistently produce the desired flavors.

BC: What's your favorite aspect of this beer (flavor, aroma, etc.)?
My favorite part of this bier is the distinct estery banana flavor and aroma. We coax the yeast to produce lots of isoamyl. Spicy phenols linger in the background for balance, but the banana ester definitely is the star.

BC: Where does this beer's name come from?
We name all of our core brands after the generic German style, including Hefeweizen. In German, Hefe means "yeast" and Weizen means "wheat," indicating that the style is an unfiltered wheat ale. Using generic German names reinforces our focus on recreating authentic, traditional styles. We brew a few brands that lend an American interpretation to an existing German style, and for these non-traditional recipes, we use a fanciful name, e.g., Hop Sticke.

BC: Is this your "desert island beer?"
No, but our Helles Lager is.

BC: Can you describe this beer in 10 words or less?
Full-bodied mix of malt, banana and spice flavors.

BC: Do you know a story - or have a personal story - that revolves around this beer?
We follow the tenets of the Reinheitsgebot (Germany Purity Law of 1516), which limits a beverage called "bier" to four ingredients. Most American brewers don't realize that bier can only be carbonated with CO2 produced by fermentation. Therefore, we have fermenters that are rated to 45 PSI. Using these tanks, we can naturally carbonate the bier and by doing so, capture the fermentation by-products that give the bier its amazing flavor.

BC: What's a good food pairing for this beer?
Hefeweizen goes well with Weisswurst and a pretzel — the traditional Bavarian breakfast. If you have not tried this classic combo, you really need to.

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