Utopian Augsburg

Utopian delves into the history books for anniversary lager –

Utopian Brewing is celebrating its fifth anniversary with the launch of Augsburg Export, a beer based on a German technique found in an original 1832 text book.

Utopian Augsburg

The Augsburger brewing process was described as an alternative to decoction or infusion mashing, and is unusual in that the mash is boiled in its entirety.

“When you boil the mash, more proteins and polyphenols are released into the wort, which contributes to the mouthfeel, foam, and overall character of the beer,” said brewing director Jeremy Swainson.

“Naturally, any technique which could fundamentally change the flavour of the finished beer is incredibly exciting to us — and it’s not often that we, as brewers, have the opportunity to bring a style back from extinction.”

It seems that industrialisation ultimately led to the demise of this intensive brewing technique. Despite researching with a number of German academics who have written about the Augsburger technique, the brewery has been unable to find any record of another commercial brewery using this method in the UK.

Jeremy said: “Recreating a process which was already antiquated 150 years ago isn’t without challenges, and the brewday took us over 14 hours. But it was worth all the effort as the beer has come out exceptionally well.

“Expect a beautiful golden beer, with a remarkably complex aroma, and luscious mouthfeel, possibly like no other lager you will have tasted before.”

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Over its first five years of operation, Utopian has grown revenues every year and won numerous awards for its lagers, despite the hiatus of Covid and the cost of living challenges. In the last calendar year it produced more than 7,200 hectolitres (around two million pints) of beer, and the business is well on track to exceed that in the current year.

“It is very exciting for us to pass this five-year landmark in such a positive state, bearing in mind all of the bumps along the way,” said Utopian founder and managing director Rich Archer.

“I still have very fond memories of that first brew day back in 2019, and I am very proud of what our team has achieved since then, producing some great beers and continuing to grow sales and availability across the UK.

“We will party in style as a team tonight, and the amazing beer that the team have produced for our anniversary celebrations will, no doubt, go down as another highlight.

“We all think it is a real shame when a technique that adds such huge amounts of flavour and character gets lost merely from the desire for cost saving in production. We do what we can to try to keep some of the traditional techniques alive, and so the Augsburg is a perfect showcase for that on our fifth birthday.”

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