Moulin Rogue Watermelon Lager

A sparkling copper lager with a muted watermelon background—cool and fresh!
  • Grain bill:  Bohemian Pilsner Malt, Vienna, Torrified Wheat
  • Hops:  Polaris, Calpyso, Wai-Iti
  • Yeast:  Wyeast Budvar Lager 2000
  • Secret ingredients:  Watermelon Puree


Origin Story:

The HLH cellar

The HLH cellar

It took me a while to conceive a tribute to Rebecca, my second child.  Rebecca was a geology major at Carleton and has spent a number of years studying glaciers.  This gave me my first angle:  focus on the cold.  All of my prior beers prior to this one had been ales—I wanted to try my hand at low-temperature lager fermentation.  This gave me the excuse to get a new toy:  a chest freezer attached to a temperature controller so I could precisely control the temperature of my fermenting beer.

The second angle:  Rebecca’s favorite fruit has always been watermelon.  I’d never tasted a watermelon beer, it was an intriguing notion.  I wanted to capture not the sweetness of the melon—which would ferment out in any case—but its cool, cucumber-adjacent aspect.  It seemed right to select hops that would add subtle elements of lime and mint.

Moulin Rouge hits its intended target.  The yeast lager ferments clean, so there are no other fruit flavors competing with the subtle taste of watermelon.  The first sip is a surprise; in the next couple you get it; and pretty soon the whole bottle is gone.  The main note I’ve taken is that it’s a bit minerally—in the past eight months I’ve become more thoughtful about my water treatments, so I look forward to fixing this in a future rebrew.

Re the name:  in glaciology, a moulin is a vertical shaft in the glacier, formed by surface water percolating through a crack in the ice.  Rebecca, looking more than a little like Tintin, encounters this unexpected geographical feature in their continuing arctic adventures.  Thanks again, Aidan!

Music Pairing:

Ellen and Matt Friedberger—who are The Fiery Furnaces—are like a couple you run into at the bus stop.  While he’s muttering something vaguely sinister under his breath, she’s friendly and engaging and you strike up a conversation.  Before long her words are pouring out in torrents, the glint in her eyes gets sharper, and you start to realize that she’s probably crazier than he is.  But by then it’s too late and she has recruited you into his MLM scheme, which for some reason involves importing dried Balinese monkey paws to bitcoin miners in Recife.

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