Drinkology November 2011

Bière de Champagne

Bière de Champagne, “Champagne-Style” beer, is a hybrid of beer and champagne techniques. It starts with standard beer fermentation techniques, but after this, two methods particular to Champagne production come into play. Sugars and yeast are added to naturally carbonate the drink. Afterwards, the yeast is removed from the bottle over time, resulting in a higher alcohol content, spicy and fruity flavors and abundant effervescence.

Infinium Ale is a collaborative production between the Samuel Adams and Weihenstephan breweries, and is one of the only Bière de Champagnes to be brewed in the United States. The Weihenstephan Brewery is regarded as the oldest continuously operating brewery in the world, having brewed beer since 1040 AD. According to Jim Koch, founder of Samuel Adams Beer, Weihenstephan reached out to Samuel Adams, looking to collaborate on the creation of a “Champagne-Style” beer using only four ingredients in the production (water, malt, hops, yeast). Infinium retails for $20, with limited availability.