The crafting and consumption of artisanal ale has come to define hipsterdom as surely as unchecked facial hair and tattoos. Lager, once the fashionable brew, has been largely left out in the cold. One young Münchner, though, is determined on rebuilding buzz around bold but bubbly Bavarian beer.
Currently based in Berlin, Daniel Noah Sheikh has bounced between London, Milan and Sydney and worked briefly in brand management at Adidas before spending two years plotting the launch of his own lager label. And then he brought in expert help.
The beer itself was developed by Dr Florian Schüll, former head of the brewing faculty at The Science and Research Centre of the Technical University of Munich in Weihenstephan, lager’s own MIT, working with his brew master Michael Ammer. ‘I studied at the university, so I knew about the faculty,’ says Noah Sheikh. ‘With Noam, we felt we needed to reinvent what beer was. And we began to understand that our brewery is really a laboratory, with one of the world’s most modern and best research facilities. We worked very academically.’
Brewed with hops from the valleys of Hallertau, Bavaria, the beer has a mild taste ‘with a signature herbal base note’, but weighs in at a hefty 5.2 per cent alcohol. ‘It’s a homage to Bavarian Helles,’ says Noah Sheikh. ‘It’s a very fine, pure taste that is much harder to balance than more flavourful blends.’
The bottle design and branding were developed by Acne in Stockholm after budget restrictions ruled out a number of German design companies. ‘After a phone call I was on the plane to Stockholm and pitched them the idea,’ says Noah Sheikh. ‘I think they just really liked the idea, believed in the vision and were bold enough to take a risk.’ The clear-glass ribbed bottle, meanwhile, is manufactured in Italy and labels are applied by hand.
Noah Sheikh says he considers Noam’s product less lager than luxury object. ‘It is a new category within the beer market,’ he insists. ‘We envisioned the post-craft evolution. That is the claim for Noam. We see it as a product served next to a champagne.’
As originally featured in the April 2016 issue of Wallpaper* (W*206)