Great lager takes a long time to make. In our case, it’s taken us 16 years!
Infinity is a lager, designed to be infinitely sessionable. A refreshing, pale-golden Helles brewed with authentic German ingredients to ensure the smoothness, balance and complexity of the style.
Filtered and crystal clear in the glass.
Helles is a style that requires finesse and for INFINITY, we use a simple recipe of authentic German ingredients with just 2 malts - German Pilsner and Vienna, and 2 German Noble hops - Tettnang and Spalter, to create a perfectly balanced and refreshing lager with the smoothness, balance and complexity of a true Helles.
INFINITY captures the crisp refreshing nature of its more famous cousin, Pilsner, whilst softening the bitterness and lowering the extreme dryness of the finish. Infinity, true to the Helles style, brings an element of sweetness to accompany the bitterness and dry finish of a lager, creating a more balanced pint.
Welcome to Infinity!
WHAT IS A HELLES?
Helles is to Munich, Bavaria and Germany what Pilsner is to Plzen, Bohemia and the Czech republic - a legend in Germany, a little more unknown outside. But isn’t lager all just basically lager? Yes and no. Yes, lagers are simple beers: pale with simple ingredient lists. Infinity features 2 malts and 2 hops whereas a classic BBF cask beer would feature on average closer to 5 malts and 5 hops. But… different styles and different lagers feature little quirks and differences that we love.
In essence, Helles is:
Pale, sessionable lager with slightly more colour than a pilsner.
A little maltier than the classic Pilsner, giving that slightly more golden colour and adding a touch of sweet bready-ness to the taste. Like all great lager it needs a nice dry finish but critically, a Helles is less hop-forward and thus less bitter and stops short of the major dryness and bitterness of the finish of a pilsner.
More detectable character than mainstream lagers but not so much character as to stop it from being sessionable.
Helles was first brewed in the late 19th Century and, like most beers, started as an attempt to cater to changing consumer demand - in this case, Germans who were used to drinking darker styles such as Bocks and Dunkels and even Märzens were after a paler beer similar to the Bohemian Pilsner. Bavaria’s proud reputation for brewing excellence was built on beers of a deeper colour and this new fashion for paler beer, further encouraged by the newly available consistent and inexpensive pale malt, was essentially the birth of Helles. The Bavarian brewers’ appreciation for giving the essentially simple, delicate lager more time to lose all the unwanted flavours (such as diacetyl) allowed for the production of Helles as we know it.
Every batch of great lager takes much longer to produce from vessel to glass than pales, ambers or stouts in cask or keg. The Germans know this very well as they are as expert and storied in lager production as the British are in cask bitters and stouts. The word lager comes from the German ‘lagern’, which means ‘to store’ and the secret to great lager is timing.
Part of our mission statement at BBF is only to produce beers we think can stand up as among the very best of their style, not just in Bristol; that means we need the right equipment, ingredients and expertise to brew any style.
For lager that was particularly important and challenging for us with our restrictions on space to fit the necessary bespoke lager tanks into our compact site on North Street. Anyone who has been on a tour of our brewery will know that space is already at a massive premium. Thus, the reason we have not brewed a lager before now: we did not have the space to add the necessary tanks and equipment to brew a world-class lager. So, it became clear, we needed to find a creative solution.
We started looking all over for a partner brewery that had the same core values as us: quality, consistency and flavour. We wanted to focus on our favourite style of lager (Helles) and brew this Helles using the ingredients and the processes that make the very best Helles lagers - a lager with authenticity, consistency. Our Head Brewer, Tristan Hembrow, had a clear vision of what he wanted Infinity to be, from the style to the specific hops and malts (all German), the colour, and finish. What we were looking for was world-class lager kit (differs in several key ways from our own ale-focused kit), and a partner for this project with expertise and passion and shared ideals so that we could create a world-class lager.
Utopian Brewery, near Crediton Devon, had recently been set up by Richard Archer and were now producing fantastically brewed, British lagers. We approached Richard to see if he was willing to help us with our venture and from then on, we quickly established that Utopian were the brewery that we were looking for.
Richard showed us their brewery and introduced us to Head Brewer Jeremy Swainson. Jeremy learnt his trade in Germany before moving to the UK and his experience and passion for producing true lagers was exactly what we were looking for.
Using Jeremy’s expertise, Tristan and Jeremy finalised the recipe and methodology for Infinity and the first batch was brewed in early July 2020.
Produce a lager with distinct character while retaining mass-appeal and easy sessionability. We tend to brew what we love to drink and we love to session on German lagers as they are the best in the world. Brew an authentic German lager from the equipment and methodology used, through to ingredients and time taken to produce. In short, produce a top-quality lager that screams BBF in quality, consistency, passion and trueness to style, as opposed to a craft lager that takes the lager style and gives it a modern twist or tends towards a hybrid or new style.