In 1988 Chuck Hahn carted from Sydney a keg from his first batch of Hahn Premium Lager for tasting at Farmer Brothers Belconnen. People loved the brew and it went on to become a favourite in Australia’s rapidly expanding premium beer market.
Tooheys, now part of Lion, bought the brand and expanded production. Over time the beer became just another so-called premium, lacking the bitterness or character of the original.
Then a week or two back Chuck Hahn phoned saying he’d been disappointed with the beer, especially in its use of old hops. He intervened late last year, bringing the recipe back to 100 per cent malt (it’d slipped to 80 per cent) and reintroducing fresh German Hersbrucker hops. The hops, especially the late addition, give the beer its vibrant, spicy aroma, says Hahn.
I hosted Hahn for that first tasting in Canberra and welcome its return to form.
Hahn Premium Australian Pilsener 330ml 6-pack $16
You’ll notice Hahn Premium recently changed from “Lager” to “Australian Pilsener”, reflecting a significant tweak to the quality. It’s in the European pilsner style, pale golden in colour with attractive spicy hops aroma and a gentle, fresh, lightly malty palate seasoned with spicy hops flavour – though not particularly bitter.
Copyright © Chris Shanahan 2013
First published 29 May 2013 in The Canberra Times