The history of German beer is expansive. There have been many laws created, most notably, Reinheitsgebot, also known as the Bavarian Beer Purity Law and Bavarian Beer Ingredient Law. This law, enstated in 1516, outlined what was needed in order for a beer to be considered a beer in Germany (among other things). At the time, all you needed was barley malt, hops, and water, as yeast was yet to be discovered. Beers created with these ingredients were considered “pure” German beers. In fact, many German breweries still follow this law to the “t” toting “Gebraut nach dem Reinheitsgebot” (brewed according to the purity law) or “500 Jahre Münchner Reinheitsgebot” (500 years of Munich purity law) proudly displayed on beer bottles and in advertisements.
To honor German beers, I wanted to feature a couple beers that at one point stopped being made for one reason or another, but, due to some begging, have been brought back!
And Now, the Brews
|Schneider Weisse | Tap 4 | Organic Wiesen Edel-Weisse|
|So, a little bit of history. Schneider’s Wisen Edel Weisse was traditionally brewed for Octoberfest in Munich. Now, in Munich, Octoberfest actually took place in October which meant that the entire party was held during some very cold weather. To help patrons stay warm, they brewed a malt heavy, warming beer (the Wiesen Edel-Weisse) with some additional hops to help balance out the entire beer. In 1942 Schneider’s Munich brewery was destroyed during the war, and since, according to Munich law, in order for a brewery to participate in Octoberfest, their production facility must be in Munich’s city limits, Schneider stopped making their Wiesen Edel-Weisse.
After what I can only assume was some intense begging, Schneider agreed to brew this beer once again for the American market, with some additional ingredients, as most of the original ingredients were no longer being produced. The resulting beer features aroma of bready wheat malts, clove spiciness, lemon citrus, as well as a nice hop presence which gives off floral, herbal qualities. With flavors that follow suit to the nose, there is a great bready wheat sweetness with some additional clove spice which weaves its way throughout the beer. Ripe banana, pear, citrus, and grassy herbal floral notes can also be found with a finishing peppery quality to round out the beer. A straightforward delicious beer. Period.
|500 ml | 6.2% ABV | 20 IBUs|
|Apostelbräu | Dinkel Bock | Granite Fermented & Whiskey Barrel Aged|
|Now, this is an interesting beer, to say the least. Dinkel refers to a historic malt, descending from wheat, the malt bill consists of pilsner malts and floor malted barley (a sort of crude way of malting). They have also included three different hop varieties from three different countries; Saphir (Germany), Opal (Austria), and Saaz (Czech Republic). Additionally, this limited edition Dinkel Bock spent four weeks fermenting in granite followed by a short maturation and second fermentation of 4-6 months in a Tennessee whiskey barrel. The nose is interesting with a brisk semi-dry earthy whiskey aroma, followed by some wood char, and a touch of malt. There is a big flavor of whiskey that hits right up front tempered by a touch of caramel, malt sweetness, oak, bread, and some earthiness, which helps the beer from becoming too sweet. The finish has a few sour notes and a touch of booziness. A truly unique beer out of Germany.|
|500 ml | 7% ABV | N/A IBUs|
|Ettal | Curator | Dunkler Doppelbock|
|From one of the last authentic German monastic breweries Klosterbrauerei Ettal, Bavaria comes its famous Doppelbock Curator. As over the past years, many of the classic bottom-fermenting Doppelbocks have been “adjusted” to make them “easier to drink”, the importer we work with to bring in this beer begged the monastery to re-brew for their U.S. customers its authentic recipe which was created in the years after 1330 when the monastery was established. This historic beer clocks in at 9% ABV, as opposed to its, more modern counterpart, which sits at 7%.
What’s more interesting is that I was able to procure a case of the 2009 vintage of this beer for the Blaine store. If you’ve never had a 9+-year-old beer, now is your chance to give it a whirl! The aroma is very bready; a heavy, dark bread scent mingles with molasses and a mild alcohol scent. The taste is also extremely reminiscent of heavy dark bread and molasses. A raisin flavor has also emerged. As it warms a bit a welcoming caramel flavor comes through. The alcohol is fairly assertive, but that is actually a positive in this case because it has the malt backbone to stand up to it. The flavors are excellent if you are a lover of big, bold Doppelbocks.
|500 ml | 9% ABV | N/A IBUs|