The dream started in 2010 but New Braunfels Brewing Co.’s origins date back to the pre-prohibition era. However, the company did not survive prohibition and were shut down after authorities found the company bootlegging. Eighty-five years later Kelly and Linsey Meyer swooped in to pick up the history and carry on the name. Today the main focus is wheat and sour beers which makes sense given their geographical location in southern Texas. The capacity is quite small with an annual production of around 800 barrels utilizing two 15-barrel fermentors.

Today’s beer is a version of their decoction mashed “German Farmhouse Hefeweizen,” Blondine, that has been dry-hopped with New Zealand Pacifica hops for 14 days and redubbed Hopfenstopfen. It comes in at 5.1 percent ABV and 17 IBUs.

The pour reveals a crystal clear amber-gold hued body and virtually zero head sans for a minute ring of small bubbles around the ring of the glass. The aroma is mostly lactic sourness with some whole wheat sourdough to back it up. There is a bit of grapefruit and nutmeg character however it is rather subdued.

The taste comes in at first chalky and salty with a strong lactic acid hit. Some nice earthy funk plays well with the slight nutmeg note on the end. A good whole wheat backbone is noticeable throughout. The acidity is on the biting end, especially with the chalky minerality. Being relatively flat may be helping the beer in this case as higher carbonation might make Hopfenstopfen too acidic.

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New Braunfels Hopfenstopfen
BREWERY: New Braunfels Brewing Co.
LOCATION: New Braunfels, Texas
STYLE: American Sour Ale
ABV: 5.1 percent
IBU: 17
PRICE: $17.99
AVAILABLE IN: 750ml Bottles
Overall, Hopfenstopfen is a very sour wheat beer with a hint of hop aroma. It is lacking some carbonation and the water profile seems too salty. I feel that more hop aroma and carbonation would help distinguish the beer from its base, Blondine. The beer shows some potential so if sours are your thing—like they are mine—give New Braunfels Brewing Company a try.
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