The birth of a beer: EMB aLe

Mukkeller Brewery

The 20th anniversary celebration of EMBL Rome will be soon upon us and the preparations have already begun! On the 16th of May, Alex Young and I traveled with our collaborator for this project, Valentino Roccia, to the Italian brewery Mukkeller, located approximately 275 kilometers from Rome in Sant’Elpidio, just south of Ancona.  The next morning we started brewing at 8:00, finishing around 17:00. I designed this beer to be in the style of a Belgian Pale Ale: characterized as an easy-drinking, moderately malty, somewhat fruity, copper-colored Belgian ale. The bitterness should be moderate and complementary to the malt and fruitiness. Using a traditional Belgian yeast adds a bit of spiciness which we blended with some freshly ground coriander. I chose to add some lemon peel to accent the citrusy fruitiness from the citra hops we used. The beer will be around 6.5% alcohol.  In summary, a full flavored and interesting beer, but well balanced – good for a hot Roman summer day!

Mukkeller Brewery
My home brewery apparatus

When I brew for our normal parties, I use this equipment (photo on the left) where I can produce 40 liters at a time. But as this is not a normal party, this time we made 1250 litres! Technically this beer is owned by Valentino’s Brewpub, Pork N Roll. We will purchase what we need from him for our party. The rest of this one-time recipe will be available in bottles and kegs at Pork N Roll in Rome.

‘Name that Beer’ contest award
Tristan Weissalla

Recall, there was a competition to name this beer.  We received 32 entries which were narrowed down to 8 by a panel.  The final 8 were voted on by all of you, with the clear majority of votes going to the winning entry from Tristan Wiessalla. Tristan won a dinner for two including four fresh beers.  Perhaps he will enjoy an EMB aLe?

Thank you so much to Valentino and Mukkeller for all of his support making this entire project possible. See you at the party!

Author: sawitzke

Head of Genetic and Viral Engineering Facility. Member of EMBL staff since June 2015. Expertise includes: genetic engineering, molecular biology, bacterial genetics, CRISPR and viral engineering and production. Longtime staff scientist with Don Court developing recombineering after postdoc with Stuart Austin at National Cancer Institute, USA. PhD with Frank Stahl at University of Oregon 1993. Avid home-brewer for 26 years. Beer judge since 2008 and currently the highest ranked BJCP beer judge in Europe.

One thought on “The birth of a beer: EMB aLe”

  1. Happy anniversary!… and happy beer tasting! 🙂 I wish I was able to taste one of your beers when I was working at EMBL.

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