Witte, witbier, bière blanche, white or wheat; whatever you prefer to call this Belgian style beer… it certainly deserves more attention! I suppose the most obvious example that we all know and love comes from Hoegaarden, everyone’s heard of them, right? To me they’re like the Foster’s of the witte world. But it’s a shame that Average Joe, or Plain Jane for that matter, hasn’t got a lot of interest in the style. It’s not just the Belgian’s who are making it, us Brit’s are trying too. A superb example has been created by the people at Camden Town Brewery, they call it ‘Gentleman’s Wit’ – it’s absolutely delightful.
Since 2010 they’ve been located just next to Kentish Town West station, producing some fantastic craft lagers, they currently have a stout, a pale ale and this witbier. They’ve also had some clever guys busy perfecting their marketing strategy as well, resulting in a ‘hells’ of a lot of money being raised through crowd funding. It’s going towards opening a brand new, bigger brewery to increase the rate of production, which at this point they apparently can’t meet – they’re outsourcing to some guys in Belgium at the moment. You could say Jasper Cuppaidge and co. have had relative success since starting out by making beer in a pub basement.
So, the beer. Gentleman’s Wit’s mash bill is half wheat and half Pilsner malt, combined they give the finished product a light straw colour with a hazy appearance. It’s made with the addition of slow roasted lemon and bergamot, giving the beer hints of both citrus and coriander, so a slight spiciness. It’s fairly dry on the palate and light in body. Bottled, it pours with good carbonation resulting in a crisp head, even more so when dispensed from keg. I really think it benefits from being served well chilled. And I recon It would be perfectly accompanied by a couple of freshly baked, all-butter Scottish shortbread biscuits. It certainly does, and most importantly, tastes great.