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Nøkken At Your Door

Craft beer has always been about the hops, and in recent years that emphasis has only heightened: Single hop IPAs, experimental varieties, otherwise normal people with jobs and families who get into heated arguments about the merits of Citra vs. Mosaic on the internet where other people can see it.

That’s why we’d like to talk to you today about…yeast. And doom metal.

The yeast is Kveik (pronounced “kwike”). Strains of this Norwegian yeast impart fruity, citrusy characteristics to beer that one would normally associate with the hop profile. In addition, Kveik works at much higher temps than standard yeasts, allowing for faster fermentation and a potential boon for brewers.

Doom metal is a subgenre of heavy metal, marked by slower tempos and down-tuned guitars (think Black Sabbath pushed to the extreme). Denver’s Khemmis is one of the most critically acclaimed bands in the genre and the only out-of-state band to play Darkness Day multiple times. Their drummer, Zach Coleman, is also the head brewer at TRVE Brewing. Surly and TRVE have been friendly for years, thanks to our shared interest in intense, experimental beer and heavy-ass music. That connection of metal and craft led to our newest BC Small Batch Beer: Nøkken, a farmhouse ale made in collaboration with TRVE featuring Kveik yeast.

Nøkken brew day.
Nøkken possesses a light malt body, mellowed on a touch of Colorado honey and mild birch wood aging. A hit of dry-hopping heightens the natural lemony character of the yeast, and delivers pineapple, melon, and honey aromatics.

“Whenever Zach and I had the opportunity to hang out, whether it was with Khemmis on tour, at beer fests, or visits to Colorado, we would talk shop and toss around the idea of brewing a collaboration someday,” says Brooklyn Center lead brewer Josh “JAWSH” Lemke. “It’s been a great learning experience and a dream to be a part of it. We all couldn’t be happier with how it turned out!”

As for the name, a nøkken is a shapeshifting Norwegian water spirit that lures its prey into the water by playing an enchanted violin, where it then drowns them. Don’t let ABBA fool you, Scandinavians are dark.

The details:

  • Hops: Citra, Hallertau Select (dry hopping)
  • Malt: Eraclea Pils, Pilsner, Acidulated, Carafoam
  • ABV: 9.3%
  • Guest stars: Honey, birch wood
  • Aromatics: Pineapple, apricot, honey
  • Pour: Dark yellow

Nøkken is available to all US Surly markets beginning the week of July 8th.

Not an enchanted violin. Might be a shapeshifter though.

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