14 February 2018

New vintage beer will support gastronomy

vintage beer

Researchers and chefs from the Nordic Food Lab at the Department of Food Science (FOOD) at the University of Copenhagen, together with researchers from the Carlsberg Research Laboratory, helped the Jacobsen Brewhouse to develop a cask-conditioned beer that gets better after it has been bottled and can be stored for years – like vintage wine.

You can add many different ingredients to beer, but it is difficult to find a recipe that brings out the sublime in the interaction with a high gastronomic meal, which is one of the things the collaboration between the researchers from the Department of Food Science at the University of Copenhagen and the Carlsberg brewery Jacobsen has been about. Picture: Julia Sick

Vintage wine is a well-known concept, but beer that can be racked and stored for several years is very uncommon - and it is precisely a vintage beer that the group from FOOD and the brewers from Jacobsen have developed in an innovative gastronomic-scientific collaboration.

“If a beer has an alcohol content of less than 10%, it has to be labelled with an expiration date, while the beer we have now developed is over 11% and has such good storage potential that it can be stored for many years, where they develop in much the same way as a vintage wine. The taste of the Chanterelle Lager develops over time. For example, we have noticed that it has become more fruity over the last few months – especially the characteristic apricot-like smell of chanterelles has become more evident,” says Associate Professor Michael Bom Frøst, director of the Nordic Food Lab at the Department of Food Science at the University of Copenhagen.

Tested by Michelin-starred restaurant

The beer is also stored for several months before bottling.

“Chanterelle Lager is stored in a mulberry-wood cask and understanding how the cask contributes to the taste of a beer is a science in itself. In the context of this beer, the storage has meant the development of a good astringency – that is to say you develop a somewhat dry feeling in your mouth when drinking it, which fits very well with winter food. When you eat the food, a layer of fat builds up in your month, which is cancelled when you take a sip of beer, which is one of the things we would like to achieve,” explains Michael Bom Frøst.

The beer is currently being tested by the Michelin-starred restaurant Ti Trin Ned in Fredericia, which has Chanterelle Lager as part of their drinks menu and the long term goal is to offer it to all of the country’s top restaurants.

I addition to Chanterelle Lager, FOOD has also helped to develop Jacobsen Sour Rye, which is not quite ready to launch.