Witbier Chronicles

Crafting Gold with Girl You Know Wit’s True

award winning beerIntroducing the re-release of “Girl You Know Wit’s True” Belgian Witbier, a beer that captured the hearts and taste buds of judges at last year’s US Open Beer Festival, clinching the gold medal. With its perfect balance of traditional Belgian wit flavors and modern brewing techniques, this brew promises a delightful and refreshing experience for all beer enthusiasts. But what exactly goes into crafting this gold-medal-winning witbier? Read on to discover the unique brewing procedures and ingredients required to get it just right.

What wheat ingredients do we use? Where do we source the wheat we use in this style?

We chose to use Weyermann Malt’s pale wheat malt to differentiate if from the wheat-heavy Perry’s Family Farm malt we use in our Perry’s Epiphany Hefeweizen. As a witbier, the choice to not overly express a wheat focused interpretation of the style allows for the spice and yeast to take over as the primary flavors. In terms of the beer’s composition, 50% of the malt profile is still wheat with an additional portion of 10-20% unmalted wheat. The addition of unmalted wheat, in Ian’s opinion, is what gives the beer a nice froth for the mouthfeel, a haze in clarity, and adds to the excellent head retention.

Do we utilize any unique brewing procedures in this witbier that other breweries perhaps do not?

For this beer, we utilize the step mashing capabilities of our brewery to achieve a different flavor formation based on the composition of sugars that you give your yeast. It is a long step mash (over 2 horrs long) with 5 different temperature sets and a unique sugar composition more in line with European breweries. In theory, without that lengthy mash you wouldn’t accomplish the same complex flavor profile. Blackbird Brewery has won 2 gold medals so far at the US Open Beer Championship for Belgian styles and Ian attributes these achievements largely in part to our step mash processes.

What hops do we use? In a style known for its low hop perception, how do you believe the hops add to the flavor profile?

Our witbier hits only 8 or 9 IBUs which is extremely low on the bitterness range and this is representative of a beer with an extremely low amount of hop presence. A funky, sweet flavor aspect can happen without any hops at all, but purposely the hops are not meant to be the prominent element of this flavor profile. English noble hops are used and are classically a more docile hop in terms of flavor impact. Additionally you don’t want to over-hop something with spice-forward phenols like a Belgian witbier. It is these style specific phenols that give our Witbier the classic clove component present. Towards the end of the brew process, we dose with coriander and orange peel to round out and complete the beer.

Can you speak on the unique aspects of the Belgian yeast that we use in this brew? Why is it a yeast that we don’t use in any other beers? Where do we source our yeast?

We use Belgian and Hefeweizen yeast strains from Omega Yeast. Ian describes these products as “phenomenal” and refuses to use any other supplier. Specifically for our Girl You Know Wit’s True Belgian Witbier, we use the Hoegaarden yeast strain. In the most simple of terms, Ian says “You will win a gold medal with this strain. Top Notch.” The excellence of the Hoegaarden strain goes back to the 1960s and Pierre Celis who is regarded by many as the forefather of Witbier. Our Witbier is our only Belgian style to use this unique and specific strain of yeast and our other Belgians use Trappist yeasts. There is such an unmistakably original quality that is derived from the Hoegaarden yeast that lends easily to the decision to only purpose the yeast in the witbier. The yeast choice is easily the largest financial investment for this beer, but it truly makes all the difference.

Pint and Cans of Girl You Know It's TrueGirl You Know Wit’s True Belgian Witbier embodies our dedication to quality and innovation in brewing. From carefully selected ingredients to meticulous brewing techniques, each element contributes to the exceptional taste and character of this award-winning brew. Available now on tap and in cans, we invite you to experience the refreshing delight of our witbier and raise a glass to the craftsmanship that goes into every sip.