After returning from a beer tour of Belgium in October last year, I was anxious to experiment with as many Belgian style yeasts as possible in hopes of re-creating some of the beers I really enjoyed over there. After experimenting with several strains including 500, 510, 530, 540 (and a couple strains from another yeast company ;) at varying temperatures, I concluded that WLP515 was consistently creating the types of beer I fell in love with while in Belgium.
I was happy to see this strain was available shortly after my trip, and to be honest was drawn to it partly by the name "Antwerp Ale Yeast" because I'd spent a couple days in Antwerp and enjoyed some really fantastic beers while in the Diamond District of that beautiful city.
Fermenting this yeast on the cool end of the spectrum (64-65F) in a pale beer together with the right amount of noble hops (this yeast pairs perfectly with Tettnanger), will resemble something close to a German Pils, with just a touch of esters and almost non-existent phenols. Fermenting on the higher end (70-71F) will, in my opinion, create the most amazing Belgian style blonds or dubbels you've ever had, producing a very subtle and balanced background of esters and phenols. Looking to brew a Belgian style Pale Ale? Ferment with this strain mid-range (67-68F) and you'll hit a home run.
After a dozen or so batches of Belgian style beers using varying Belgian style yeast strains, I presented my offerings for tasting to a local pro brewer who'd also been searching for a great Belgian strain. After sampling, he too concluded WLP515 was giving the type of flavor profile he was looking for and made this strain one of his house regulars.
I've been keeping a couple vials of this yeast going since December because I absolutely love every beer I've made with it. So... my goal is to spread the gospel of WLP515, and with any luck this strain will be promoted from seasonal to year round!