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Brevity, the Soul of Witbier

Published On
June 2, 2011

If this post were entirely true to its subject, it would probably stop right about here. But that wouldn’t give you much of an idea about our new seasonal beer, the Brevity Wit. Brewed with toasted coriander and citrus peel, this delectable wheat beer is ripe for slamming all summer long, as our spring seasonal, Harbinger Saison, phases out for the year. Full-bodied yet dry, it’s everything you want from a Wit. Said and done.

As a traditional Belgian Wit (an old style of wheat beer), Brevity was brewed with almost 50% wheat. Taking a departure from the typical Wit, however, we’ve used raw, un-malted wheat in a blend of German and domestic barley malt, and flaked oats. This ungelatinized wheat starch makes a striking difference in flavor than had we used only malted wheat, with a nutty, bready flavor that’s much less cloyingly sweet.

Upon the suggestion of our friend, Executive Chef Will Prunty of nearby Prime Meats, we’ve toasted the coriander seeds before adding them to the boil. This lends to a rounder, spicier finish, which complements the orange and lime peel that was added, too. Horizon and Citra hops balanced out the blend with another citrusy hint and bitterness.

The finished beer’s appearance is pale orange and very cloudy due to suspended yeast and wheat proteins. Aromas of bread, citrus, and sweet, peppery spice mingle with hardly any hops in the nose. Once knocked back, Brevity tastes slightly tart and spicy with wheat in the foreground and toasted coriander and zesty orange and lime peel close behind. Finishes clean without any lasting bitterness.

“Therefore, since brevity is the soul of wit,
And tediousness the limbs and outward flourishes,
I will be brief. Your noble son is mad.”

Hamlet Act 2, scene 2, 86-92

Of course, we came up with many more Witty ideas when it came to naming this beer. Here are some of the ones that ultimately got tossed aside in favor of Brevity:

Witney Brewston
Witless Protection
Wit Light/Wit Heat

This beer is available in bars throughout July. If you find it at one bar or restaurant and want to share its whereabouts, you can “spot” it on Foodspotting, on our “Where’s My Sauce” guide. Anyone can submit a spotting of their favorite sauce anywhere, so go hog wild.