We've had a busy couple of weeks recently packaging our newest addition to the Himmel Brewing range. Our Vienna lager hit the shops and bars late last week and we are very excited to introduce it to you!

I first decided to make this style of beer because I wanted to brew something for the spring Oktoberfest season that would be full flavoured but wasn't quite as heavy as a Maerzen or Festbier,for example. Melbourne is certainly hinting that it will be a hot spring and summer, making it ideal for drinking a delicious malty and crisp lager.

Unlike our witbier, which is all about the yeasty goodness, this beer is all about the malt. I used a selection of four different high quality Gladfield malts to get the typical rich, biscuity flavours of a Vienna and that beautiful deep red hue. We hopped the beer with Helga hops - a local Australian grown substitute for Hersbrucker that has the added bonus of a lovely, subtle citrus hit that adds a fresh fruitiness to the aroma. This was all finished off with a clean and crisp lager yeast and a nice long lagering in the cool room to show off the hero of the beer - the big malty grain bill. At 4.9% ABV this beer is also a good sessionable summer style, without compromising the taste. I suggest drinking it chilled to at least 4 degrees C in a pilsner style glass to admire the red colour, although it tastes just as good out of the bottle too!

You may have noticed that many beer/food matching websites recommend that Vienna lager be served with Mexican food! I was also surprised when initially researching this, however it really is the perfect thirst quencher with some spicy, citrusy tacos. Not to say that I can't imagine drinking my Vienna with a giant Bretzel or a slice of decadent Viennese Sachertorte.

Of course with every good beer you need a great label and we were so lucky to have a local tattoo artist (who incidentally has also drawn some artwork on my skin!) Jarrad Serafino @jserafino to draw a really cool original old school Sailor Jerry style "Vienna girl" for our label. It looks so good and we can't wait to see what he comes up with for our future beer labels! If you come along to our official Vienna lager release in Kyneton at the end of this month, you could win a blown up frame poster of our Vienna girl signed by the artist and the brewer.

The Vienna Lager is already almost sold out, so get to your nearest stockist or pub soon if you want try the first batch!!

Now it's back to the micro-lab to work on the next beer... Cheers!