• • • Innovation Award • • •
Saturday 21 October 2023
This article is from
10th Birthday Awards
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Exorbitant energy prices remain a pressing issue for breweries of all sizes, but the cost of heating water, cooling wort and maintaining the temperature of fermentation tanks comes at a particularly high cost for small breweries. With energy efficient equipment out of reach for many microbreweries, innovation around styles and ingredients that are accessible and offer brewers flexibility in how to use them has never been such a vital lifeline for the industry.
The innovation award this year celebrates the Nova Lager yeast, which was released by yeast lab Lallemand this year and is now a part of its core offering. The Nova Lager strain is a hybrid yeast that can ferment wort at ale temperatures to produce a clean lager profile (and if you did want to lower the temperature a little more, you’ll get a super clean crisp finish) in just four or five days, as opposed to four to eight weeks. Nova works in a similar way to kveik yeast, in that it allows wort to be fermented at higher temperatures, but is different in the extent to which it shortens the required conditioning time.
As versatile as yeasts like kveik are, the estery profile, and phenolics that come with it make it unsuitable for lagers. In addition to producing a clean base beer, the Nova Lager yeast acts like a true hybrid in tank, floating in suspension while also settling on both the bottom and the top of the liquid while fermenting. This yeast is a game changer for small breweries, or contract breweries that might not have the time, money, or tank space to produce beers that call for extended conditioning.
This beer doubly celebrates the innovation of hybridisation by exhibiting this hybrid yeast within a hybrid style; the Cold IPA. Where a Cold IPA uses ale yeast at lager temperatures, Paradise here uses a lager yeast at ale temperatures to produce a lager profile with a bright, crisp finish.
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