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Kelsey drinks beer: Ov Wolf and Grüngeist
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Akademia Brewing Company's Ov Wolf and Grünngeist - photo by Austin Steele

When Morgan Wireman, brewmaster at Akademia Brewing Company, brewed a batch of beer with Styrian Wolf hops, Metallica’s “Of Wolf and Man” came to mind.

He named the India Pale Lager, Ov Wolf and Grüngeist, as an ode to not only his appreciation of Metallica but his love of heavy metal.

“Me personally being a huge fan of metal, the name ‘wolf’ really jumped out at me,” he said. “Metallica is one of my favorite bands that really made me fall in love with the genre.”

Wireman didn’t stop there with the theme.

The can’s artwork was modeled after the 1991 album “Metallica,” also known as “The Black Album.”

Ov Wolf and Grüngeist

Brewery: Akademia Brewing Company

Alcohol by volume: 5.5 %

International Bitterness Units: 35

Style: India Pale Lager

Bottom line: A refreshing light beer that highlights two hop varieties

Akademia Brewing Company’s logo carries Metallica’s characteristic font, and in the bottom right corner, the can includes a snake design. The album originally displays the snake from the Gadsden flag.

Once I looked at the snake on the can, I flipped through my mental Reddit history and knew something about it was familiar.

It turns out Wireman decided to use the snake from the “no step on snek” meme, which parodies the Gadsden flag.

“I thought it would be funny to put the silly version,” Wireman said.

The brewery has the goal of brewing 19 IPAs this year. Ov Wolf and Grüngeist was born out of this experimental series.

Wireman said he particularly enjoys the flavors of both the Styrian Wolf and Grüngeist, which he used in the beer. For those who care, Grüngeist translates to ‘green ghost’ in German — super metal, am I right?

Unlike an IPA which is brewed with an ale yeast, the India Pale Lager is brewed with a lager yeast and fermented at cooler temperatures.

Having always wanting to create an India Pale Lager, Wireman gave it a go with this brew, which the brewery released on April 5.

“The hops are extremely fruit-forward and blend well together,” Wireman said. “The lager yeast lets the hops shine through more than the ale yeast.”

After trying the brew, I couldn’t agree more with Wireman about the hops taking center stage. The lightness of the beer elevates the two, allowing you to pick out key characteristics of both hop varieties.

The hops hit you with smooth mixed-fruit and citrus notes, then fade with a peach flavor.

The lightness of the beer makes it an easy-drinking brew perfect for warmer months. I adore how this beer embraces the hops, which is great when you want to start distinguishing the individual flavors of different hops.

The fruit-forwardness and smooth nature of the Ov Wolf and Grüngeist makes it a fantastic gateway brew for craft beer beginners. I recommend this to anyone looking for a hop-centric beer without the bitter bite.

For more information about Akademia Brewing Company visit akademiabc.com. People can find the brewery at 150 Crane Drive in Athens. Hours of operation are from noon to 10 p.m. Monday-Thursday and Sunday, and noon to 11 p.m. Friday and Saturday.

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