One of the most common lagers in the world, Carlsberg beer, has long been a familiar sight for many of us. It’s like living in a beautiful place, and you gradually stop seeing the beauty that surrounds you.
Meanwhile, one of the world’s oldest beer brands can rightfully be called the father of all lagers on Earth. In 1883 Emil Christian Hansen first bred a cultured race of beer yeast. At first it was planned to keep the “production secret” secret, but Jacobsen, the founder of the beer empire, said that such a discovery could not be kept secret. The world’s first cultured beer yeast was sent free of charge to everyone who wanted it. And it was this yeast that became the basis for all brands of lagers. Thus, Carlsberg became the “father” of the most common beer in the world.
A few years ago, one of the old Carlsberg breweries was being renovated. Several bottles of Carlsberg beer more than a century old were discovered in the cellar. To everyone’s surprise, live yeast spores were found in the bottles. The very first cultivated yeast bred by Emil Hansen back in 1883.
This is how the idea of restoring the very first Carlsberg beer was born, timed to coincide with the 140th anniversary of the brewery’s first research laboratory.
The project took a long three years. Yeast was grown from samples found in bottles. Grain samples not used for many years were found in the Svalbard World Grain Bank on Spitsbergen Island. The samples were malted using the ancient Floor Malting technology. At the end of the 19th century there was no variety of beer brands. Brewers kept the main recipes in their heads and did not bother to write them down. Nevertheless, the recipe for the historic beer was also recovered by the pieces.
400 liters of beer were brewed according to “that same recipe”. Forty liters of this beer were also sent to Israel. I had a chance to taste it at the last beer exhibition BEERS 2016. There the journalists were also given a bottle of Carlsberg Rebrew brewed according to the same recipe, but bottled. By happy coincidence, I also got a bottle of this beer.
Yesterday I was finally able to taste the “historical beer”. It turned out to be unusually beautiful. Very deep burgundy-brownish color. The foam is not snow-white, but quite dense. The beer is unfiltered, but nevertheless clear – all the yeast settled during ripening. Aroma is malty, the same maltiness is brightly felt in every sip. Great body, very smooth rich flavor.
Not outstanding, but a good, tasty beer. And most importantly, this beer was the first! The first real lager! And that’s the most important thing. I won’t say we froze during the tasting, but everyone was very excited about this touch of history.