We’d been talking to the guys at Clapton Craft about doing a collab brew for a little while. Something super smashable in keeping with our most popular beer in their shops, our Köln style lager – Nico. And so finally, a few weeks ago, we made it happen!
Martin from the Finsbury Park shop was particularly keen on the idea (many may say it was his), and on using some lovely German Mandarina hops! And so White Label Series 022, our 300th Orbit brew, is a Dry-hopped Köln style lager called…3öö!
Similarly to Nico we retained a relatively simple malt bill, but picked a Kölsch yeast strain which has a slightly less complex ester profile, allowing the hops to really sing! We also upped the bitterness slightly compared to a regular Kölsch.
Whereas Nico utilises the wonderfully elegant Tettnang, we felt this beer needed more punch, on the nose. And so we introduced a whole different hop bill, still largely European with some distinctive floral notes, but combined with the sort of fruitier aromas more closely associated with new world varieties.
So having selected UK Challenger for the bittering, we then used bucket loads, (actually bins, they’re bigger) of European hops Mandarina, Dragon and Wolf along with a smattering of US grown Sorachi Ace for both the late kettle additions and the dry hop. We then lagered the beer to give a cleaner, crisp finish whilst retaining the wonderful floral, melon and lemony citrus notes
So here we have it, WLS022 3öö Feat. Clapton Craft; a wonderfully simple, but aromatic as hell and easy drinking, dry-hopped köln lager (did someone say Kölsch?).
We’ll be having a little party with the Clapton Craft guys at their pop-up in the Tap Rooms in Islington this Friday 7th September. Stop by to say hi and be the first to try the beer on draught and in 330ml bottles!