Almost two months ago now, we posted about a 1/2 BBL batch we brewed and split into three ferments – one with Espe Kveik Blend, one with Lærdal Kveik and one with New World Saison Blend. Well the saison is still doing its thing but both Kveiks have been done and kegged for almost 2 months so I guess its time to write about them.
Both Kveik strains are known to produce similar flavor profiles so I was especially interested to compare and contrast them both. The image above was of the beer fermented with Espe Kveik Blend but both were nearly identical in appearance with the Lærdal-fermented beer maybe slightly clearer. Both had a slight haze to them. Each poured with a thick white head that persisted for some time.
The Lærdal fermented beer had a bright tropical fruit-forward aroma. Ripe mango and pineapple with some hints of peach in the background. Quite pleasant for sure. The taste followed along nicely with the aroma. An explosion of the same tropical fruit. It was bright and crisp with a perceived sweetness (it finished around 1.006 so the beer it self was actually rather dry) that rounded things out nicely.
The Espe-fermented beer had similar aroma and flavor profiles, just more reserved and without the perceived sweetness. In fact, the bitterness came through more with this beer then the other. It is unclear if the perceived sweetness of the Lærdal beer was enough to mask the bitterness or if the Espe yeast served to enhance the bitterness, like seen in other Kveiks strains.
Both beers were quite enjoyable. I think Lærdal would work great in a kettle sour or as a base beer for a long term sour. It would also be a nice pairing for a fruit-forward Brett beer with any of the Berliner Brett strains or something like Brett M. You would not get the funk as the Kveik is POF- but the complex fruity profiles would complement each other well. For Espe, this would work quite well in a Tropical IPA or APA (watch the bittering levels) or even co-pitched with a saison yeast. Either way, both will make a great beer.