Brewers: Cerebral Brewing, Almanac Beer Co. (United States)
Review Year: 2022
Wunderbar is a Kottbusser collaboration between Cerebral Brewing (Colorado) and Almanac Beer Co. (California). This take on the historical German beer style was brewed with Hallertau, Hersbrucker, and Saaz hops.
The Kottbusser is not an official style listed in the 2021 Beer Style Guidelines of the Beer Judge Certification Program (BJCP) and the 2022 Brewers Association Beer Style Guidelines. However, we think if this style would be listed, it would likely be lodged under “Historical Beer.”
A Kottbusser is noted to be a golden-colored ale brewed with wheat, oats, and barley, with a healthy dose of noble hops to make up a floral bouquet of aromas as well as honey and molasses to add more fermentable sugar and subtle complexity. Unlike its wheat-based German styles (e.g., hefeweizen), a Kottbusser is fermented using a clean fermented yeast with nearly no discerning yeast character. For more information on this beer style, you may read 6 Tips on Brewing Kottbusser from Grimm Brothers Brewhouse by the American Homebrewers Association.
Pours clear deep gold; medium white head with fair retention. Aroma profile could be best described as moderately low, yielding honey, floral, wheat, and pear impressions. Medium-bodied, moderate carbonation, and smooth. On the palate, this Kottbusser unveiled moderately high grainy, wheaty, and oaty malts with subtle hints of floral and indistinct fruitiness. Balance favored bitterness (moderate) in contrast to the very low sweetness. This beer finished on the dry and light side with hints of honey, floral, and malts.
Wunderbar is another challenging beer to benchmark given mainly that the Kottbusser style still lacks a comprehensive set of style guidelines and is not often brewed. As perceived, it is a lager that takes its flavors from the malts (e.g., wheat, oats, and grain) rather than from fermentation (e.g., esters and phenols) like its German Wheat Beer cousins. It is dry like a Kolsch but without the associated fruity flavors. Overall, we think this is an easy-drinking and refreshing beer to consume during the summer.