This collaboratively-brewed beer boasts that it “unites the 1,000 years of brewing knowledge and innovation” between the two cooperating breweries. It is no disservice to Boston Beer, the American company in the partnership and one of the older U.S. craft breweries, to point out that Weihenstephan, the German partner, accounts for 970 of those years. Infinium is the bi-national outcome of this collaboration, a beer that conforms to the Reinheitsgebot, but promises to explore new brewing techniques. It arrives in a tall, elegant bottle with a cork-and-wire closure, and trippy label art that hints the graphic artist made a quick detour to Magic Hat. Two champagne flutes, and we’re ready to go.
Napoleon is said to have compared the Berlinner weisse style to champagne, but he would have found the similarities here more striking. The beer is bright, twinkling gold in the glass, with a light head and a steady stream of tiny bubbles. The aroma has the sweet and tart notes of fresh pineapple rind, overlaying fresh breadrolls and hints of lemon. The beer has a medium mouthfeel. The first impressions of pineapple and passion fruit are less sweet than the aroma. Developing hints of juicy honeydew and summer rhubarb yield to earthy, rooty notes and a dry finish that is – yes – champagne-like. Noble hops contribute some gentle citrus but no bitterness. Although the beer contains 10.3 percent alcohol, it wears its strength dangerously well. Infinium will be available for a limited time starting in November. An elegant choice for the Thanksgiving table.