Live Oak Brewing Company, an Austin microbrewery, brewed their one-thousandth batch of beer today. This landmark brew is a batch of their new winter seasonal, Primus Weizenbock. It is a dark, rich German-style Weizen beer (beer made with wheat malt) fermented with a very particular strain of brewers' yeast that gives these beers their unique spicy and fruity character. Primus Weizenbock will extend Live Oak's family of central European-style beers by building on the foundation of their highly acclaimed and best-selling HefeWeizen.
"Our HefeWeizen was voted on the beer aficionado website, BeerAdvocate.com, to be one of the top 25 best beers on planet earth. It seemed natural to extend that brand with a Weizenbock this winter", said Chip McElroy, founder of Live Oak Brewing Company. As all of the Live Oak beers, Primus will be available only on draft in Texas bars and restaurants. It is named after the legendary, if unofficial, patron saint of beer brewing, Jan Primus (John the First), Duke of Brabant. It is also customary in Germany to end the name of a Weizenbock beer with the letters "us" thus, Primus (pronounced, "pre' moose").
The unfiltered beer will have the characteristic clove and banana flavors familiar to HefeWeizen drinkers but with a darker and richer roasty malt character that is typical of some German-style Bock beers. Contributing to that malt character is a laborious decoction mash employed at Live Oak. This old school brewing method is still used at some central European breweries and Live Oak but rarely anywhere else. The alcohol strength will be around 8% ABV and it will be available on tap in December.
Live Oak has experienced such growth over the last few years that they had to put on hold plans to get their products into bottles due to lack of space and production capacity in their current east Austin facility. In order to expand their capacity and package in bottles, the brewery has purchased 20 acres of land on the Colorado River north of the airport (ABIA) to build a new facility that will include a bottling line. The property is beautiful with very many Live Oak trees over 30" in diameter and a couple measuring over 45". McElroy warns, "Don't start holding your breath for bottles yet. Keep looking for our beers on tap. It will take us a couple of years to get the new brewery completed."
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