1. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  2. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

4. Festival der Bierkulturen 2013 in Köln

Discussion in 'Germany' started by boddhitree, Dec 23, 2012.

  1. boddhitree

    boddhitree Advocate (620) Germany Apr 13, 2008

    It's time to start making your plans to be in Köln (Cologne) on May 25 & 26, 2013 for the Festival of Beer Culture. This is the fourth iteration of this event, which has been a trailblazer in Germany for craft beer. Below is the German version, with my translation just under each sentence. The real interesting part is the line up this year: De Molen, a small craft brewer which makes some great beers fro Holland, Fritz Ale, a German guy named Frizt who homebrewed and has now gone pro, and a few interesting breweries from Scotland, Belgium and Switzerland. I'll be there and hope others will, too.

    Braustelle/Bürgerzentrum Ehrenfeld​


    [​IMG]
    4. Festival der Bierkulturen 2013

    Klassische und innovative Bierspezialitäten auch jenseits von Reinheitsgebot und Kölschkonvention​
    (Classic and innovative beer specialties beyond the RHG and Kölsch conventions.)

    Sa. 25.5. 14-22 , So. 26.5. 12-18​
    (Saturday, May 26, 2 - 10 pm. Sunday, May 26, 12 - 6 pm.)

    Liebe Bierfreunde,
    (Dear beer friends,)

    Vielfältigkeit statt Eintönigkeit steht auch beim 4. Festival der Bierkulturen im Vordergrund.
    (Variety instead of monotony in the foreground of the 4th Festival.)

    Etwa 15 kleine und unabhängige Hausbrauereien kredenzen ihre eingenwilligen, mitunter auch mutigen Bierspezialitäten, die man in Supermärkten oder im herkömmlichen Getränkehandel meist vergeblich sucht.
    (About 15 small and independent House-breweries serve their maverick, occasional and brave beer specialties that you search for in vain in supermarkets and drink-markets.)

    Die Auswahl ist groß: würzige Kräuterbiere, säuerliche Lambik- und Geuzevariationen, vollmundige Starkbiere, stark gehopfte India Pale Ale und weitere Bierkreationen versprechen ganz neue und besondere Geschmackserlebnisse.
    (The range of choice is large: spicy herbal beers, sour lambiks and Geuze variations, robust Starkbiere, strongly hopped IPA and other beer creations that promise an fully new and special taste experience.)

    Dass Bierbrauen nicht nur was für Profis ist, zeigt die Vereinigung der Haus- und Hobbybrauer mit ihrer beliebten Live-Brauvorführung.
    (That beer brewing is not only for pros is demonstrated by the Club of Home and Hobbybrewers in their live brewing demo.)

    Die teilnehmenden Brauereien:
    (The participating breweries:)

    - Alzeyer Volkerbräu aus Alzey

    - Black Isle Brewery aus Munlochy, Schottland (Scotland)

    - Brasserie Trois Dames aus Sainte Croix, Schweiz (Switzerland)

    - Braustelle / Freigeist Bierkultur aus Köln

    - Bayerischer Bahnhof aus Leipzig

    - De Molen aus Bodegraven, Holland

    - Fritz Ale aus Bonn

    - Hofbrouwerijke aus Beerzel, Belgien

    - Lahnsteiner Brauerei aus Lahnstein

    - Mc Müllers aus Linnich-Kofferen

    - Nomad aus Tschechien (Czech Rep.)

    - Oud Beersel aus Belgien


    Die Bierhändler Bierkompass und Bierzwerg stellen weitere Brauereien vor.
    (The beer dealers Bierkompass und Bierzwerg present further beers.)

    Eintritt: 5,00 € inklusive Festivalglas​
    (Entrance fee: 5,00 €, which includes a Festival [commemorative] glass.)

    Hope to see y'all there. It's quite easy to get there taking the subway or S-bahn from Köln Hauptbahnhof, afterwhich it's a 4 minute walk to the community center. There'll be NO Kölsch beer here, so if you're looking for that, you can find it in downtown Köln in the Kölsch bars.

    Anyone else planning on coming?
    SteveBeitz and PancakeMcWaffles like this.
  2. cu29

    cu29 Aficionado (205) Wisconsin Sep 26, 2005

    Damn. Returning to the States on May 21 after a tour of Bayern!
  3. boddhitree

    boddhitree Advocate (620) Germany Apr 13, 2008

    So, no one wants to join me in Köln in the end of end of May? Or is it too soon to make plans? Or is it too far?
    Ok, there's another beer festival, this time in München on March 8 - 10. And there are a lot of brewers attending, mostly German but also from other Euro countries. It's the Braukunst Live 2013.

    It's fun to read what they have on their English page describing the reason for the festival:

    German beers are famous throughout the world. The number of local breweries is unique, the quality and variety of speciality beers in this country is unmatched.​
    On the other side: While other countries since decades (!) enjoy prospering beer specialty markets, a lively public exchange and spectacular national festivals like Stockholm, Copenhagen and Denver, there simply used to be no equivalent to all this in Germany.​
    [​IMG]As a result, German beers and brewers are celebrated like rockstars elsewhere – but hardly known to a broader public in their own country.​
    This is not only a funny anachronism: this is totally unacceptable. Our mission is to contribute to a substantial change!​
    We proved once that we can lead a festival to the very top: by making the FINEST SPIRITS Festival become a cult event, the biggest consumer festival for premium spirits in GER / AUT / SUI and, thus, one of the big shows of this kind in the world.​
    Based on a broad experience, a proven track record and supported by important breweries and beer associations, we staged the premiere of “Braukunst Live! Festival” in Munich in April 2012.​
    [​IMG]

    The list of participants:
    MÜNCHEN:
    BAYERN:
    DEUTSCHLAND:
    INTERNATIONAL:
    I haven't decided whether I'll be able to make it, but I'm going to do my best to find a way there. Hope some of you can make it here or to Köln.
    PancakeMcWaffles likes this.
  4. Koelschtrinker

    Koelschtrinker Zealot (95) Germany Nov 23, 2008

    I'll be on both festivals
  5. boddhitree

    boddhitree Advocate (620) Germany Apr 13, 2008

    I just bought train tickets to go to München for the Braukunst Live 2013. LungeRehm and I (plus another friend of his) will being hitting the place March 9, so hopefully we'll be able to see you there.

    I assume I'll be in Köln for the Festival der Bierkulturen on the Saturday, too. For those who're in Germany, this is well worth visiting. It's not a dopey Bierzelt (beer tent) with drunk idiots (á la Oktoberfest), it's for folks who are really into beer.
  6. Stahlsturm

    Stahlsturm Savant (420) Germany Mar 21, 2005

    Don't be such an Elitist :p :)
  7. boddhitree

    boddhitree Advocate (620) Germany Apr 13, 2008

    I said all that above with you in mind. But, you've got to admit the BrauKunst Live Bierfest is cool, eh? Too bad none from R-burg are participating. I'm most interested in drinking the "International" selection, for those are harder to come by here in D-land.
  8. Stahlsturm

    Stahlsturm Savant (420) Germany Mar 21, 2005

    From a Bavarian point of view going to Cologne would be going international. It's in the same range as if US brewers would go to a festival on Cuba.
  9. Oooooh - just seen this. I might have to think seriously about attending.....
  10. boddhitree

    boddhitree Advocate (620) Germany Apr 13, 2008

    Which one? I'll be at both, each time on the Saturday.
  11. LOL! You are turning into a regular comedian. Maybe you could be the first German standup comedian!?!:)

    Prost!
    jazzyjeff13 likes this.
  12. I guess I should have specified - the Köln fest was the one I was thinking of. I visited Köln about 2 years ago and it would be nice to go back again for a brief visit. Perhaps I could move on from there....

    If I decide to come I'll let you know :)
  13. boddhitree

    boddhitree Advocate (620) Germany Apr 13, 2008

    One more reminder: Braukunst Live! is next weekend. Anyone going? Would love to meet up on Saturday.

    Also, Paxbräu said they'll be there too. Only time for you to be able to try his Doppelbock Hell Fosenöchter. He's already sold out the 1,000 liters that was brewed for February.

    Others I'm looking forward to is Maisel and Friends, and Fritz Ale.
    Here's the full list as of today.
    MÜNCHEN

    BAYERN
    DEUTSCHLAND
    TABAK / ZIGARRE
    • Die Dallmayr Tabacladen Cigar Lounge präsentiert (unterstützt von 5th Avenue Products Trading GmbH, dem offiziellen Alleinimporteur von Habanos Cigarren), feinste kubanische sowie die hauseigenen Dallmayr-Zigarren.
    Botschafterstände FINEST SPIRITS Festival
    INTERNATIONAL
  14. boddhitree

    boddhitree Advocate (620) Germany Apr 13, 2008

    Part I: Prelude to BKL

    Sorry for the delay in writing this up. I thought this would be the best thread for a report on BrauKunst Live! (BKL) since this is where I introduced it.
    The trip to München (MH) was an adventure in itself. I was talked into talking the night train from Frankfurt (FfM) to MH, which I'll never do again. The train was supposed to leave the Frankfurt airport at 1:50 am, but was 50 minutes late (They said it was due to someone testing the emergency brakes on the German/Holland border.), so we didn't get on the train until about 3 am. The seats are old (wagons were from the 70s or 80s), stiff and uncomfortable, though they were meant to be "sleeper seats," I got maybe only 2 or 3 hours sleep, then we got into MH around 8 am. Our friend who lives in MH met us at his subway stop, we had breakfast at his apt, then slept till 1 pm. BKL didn't open till 2 pm, and we arrived there at 2:30 pm. They were crowded already when we got there. Here's a few pics. First the ticket, next some of the people I took pics of.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    and the more tradional beer folks:
    [​IMG]
    Here are the 3 Musketeers (us with d'Ardagnan as the photographer) at the entrance:
    [​IMG]
    The venue was the MVG Museum, the museum of trams in MH. Nice, open hall, airy full of antique trams.
    mjtierney2 and herrburgess like this.
  15. boddhitree

    boddhitree Advocate (620) Germany Apr 13, 2008

    Part II: the Beers not drunk.
    No way this is going to be chronological. I took some notes, but it was hard, really hard to write, hold the beer glass and stay standing upright. I had a pen and yellow highlighter with me and highlighted every beer we tried.

    There were dozens, no hundreds, of beers I wish I had tried but I didn't have the time, the energy (back, feet, brain hurt) or sobriety to try them all. Here's one's I wish I got gotten around to:
    • Birrifico Italiano, Boon's Oude-Geuze,
    • Hinterhofbräu's "Jailhouse City Rogg ale,
    • Hopfenstopfer/Häffner Bräu's Citra Ale & Jahrgangsbier 2012 (lager),
    • Schoppe Bräu's Mandarina IPA, Roggen Roll PA,
    • Klosterbrauerei Weißenohe's Virtac Bior (middle age's herbal beer) and their normal German beers,
    • Crew Ale's IPA and "Surprise Brew,"
    • TUM Weihenstefan Studentbier's BanX-Black Nude (Experimental Ale),
    • Jopenkerk Bierbrouwerij's (from Holland) Joppen Hoppenbier and Jopen Koyt (Gruitbeer 1407), Mashing Pumpkins, Spanish Inquisition (Coffee/pepper stout)
    • Maxbrauerei's Hopfenschweinerei (Kellerbier)
    • Pivovar Nomad's "Gentelman" ale
    • Ritter's Ritter 1645 (Märzen)
    • Friegeist's Pink Gose, Wilde Wutz (Sour ale)
    • The Monarchy's Grätzer, Grodziskie, Son of a Batch Apple Wood, & Son of a Batch Hickory Wood
    • Schneider Weisse's Tap X
    • Stift Englelszell's (from Austria) Gregorious (Trippel) & Benno (Dubbel)
    • Stieglbrauerei zu Salzburg (Austria)'s Männerschokolade (Choco stout)
    • tons of stuff from Scotland,
    • Bürgerbrau Bad Reichenhall's Bayerische Hoppfenvariation Polar (Export with hops)
    • Loncium's (Austria) Austrian Amber Ale
    • Brauerei Hofstetten's Honigbock and Champoin Bitter (Imperial Pilsner)
    • Trappistienbrauerei Engelszell (Austria) Gergorius ( Trappistenbier)
    • Weissbrau Schwendl's Schalchner 5-Korn (top-fermented with wheat, barley, dinkel, rye and oats) & Schalchner Weisser Bock (with choco and intensive fruit notes)
    • Rogue Ale's entire lineup
    • Brauhaus Riegele's Dubbel Eiche (Ripened in oak barrels)
    Damn... those sound delicious just writing them up; wish I'd had them.
    mjtierney2 likes this.
  16. mjtierney2

    mjtierney2 Savant (455) Germany Jul 31, 2011

    Of those, the ones I would have most liked to try, in no particular order, would be the Weihenstephan, the Gregorius, the Tap X which sounds delicious to me, and the Pink Gose from Freigeist. But, yeah, killer line-up.
  17. boddhitree

    boddhitree Advocate (620) Germany Apr 13, 2008

    Part III: Beers Drunk

    First, forgive me for not taking better notes. I tried juggling a pen, the list of beers, a yellow highlighter to mark the beers I'd had, the glass of beer itself and sometimes 2 glasses. All that while just trying to remain upright and standing.

    Schneider Weisse's Tap 5 was very good. As part of the entrance ticket, it was a freebie, so I couldn't turn it down. It was my first Schneider's in quite some time, so I was looking forward to it. It didn't disappoint. It was hoppy, somewhat lemony, only hints of bubblegum, overall very balanced and slightly bitter at the end.

    Staatliches Hofbräuhaus München's Eiskalt gehopfter HALLODRI. It says it is a 6% Festbier, very nice with melon and lemon flavors, almost pure Simcoe, but not too much malt. Very good but I'd hoped for something to go with the hops. This was also free as part of the entrance tickets.

    Freigeist's Peated Porter was also very interesting. It was full on peaty/malty all over the tongue, not smoked malt, though. I liked it, but maybe only as something to mix it up once in a while, but my friends hated it. It had a thick, silky feel and went down well.

    Ratsherren's Iggy Hop was another fun beer. A weizen at 5.6% with Simcoe. Yes, Simcoe-lemony and a little weizen, but it was too dry for me. I enjoyed more talking to a guy from this brewpub in Hamburg, who invited me to stay in the pension above the pub for free when I visit, but I think he was pulling my leg and didn't get his business card.
    [​IMG]

    Fanø Bryghus from Denmark was hit and miss. Their Fanø Havgus was a 2.7% Session IPA but so bitter as to be nearly undrinkable. There weren't many beers I wanted to water the plants with this day, but this was one. Their Oyster Stout also disappointed as it was too thin. However, their Pikkulintu IPA was maybe one of the best of the day. You could taste the Citra and Simcoe hops clear as a bell, and at 11%, the alcohol was really well hidden. A WOW beer.

    Gerbrüder Maisel & Friends has 3 I wanted to try, but I only got around to the Mar's Chocolate Stout. Another WOW beer, tasting like dark bitter chocolate melting all over freshly cracked barley, with hints of blackberries. Maybe the best Chocolate Stout in a long long time.

    Pivovar Nomad came from the Czech Rep. and I'm glad he did. I wish I could've tried all 5 on offer, but only got the Karel, a “Czech IPA,” which was a 7.6% citrusy wonder, dry hopped with Czech hops, Smaragd I bet. Another WOW.

    Pax Bräu was also there I had only 2 of the beers. At first I tried the Salix Ale, the oly one not on the beer calender. It says it was lautered over a wicker basket but I didn't taste anything like that. It was a slightly sour, very well rounded ale, though. The best part was getting to talk to Andreas Seufert. I told him how I had ordered the monthly Abo how much I loved the beer and he said, “You're Tony” and also said my last name. I asked how he knew it. He said he looks at everyone's Facebook who likes Pax, and I was coincidentally wearing the same t-shirt this day that I'm wearing on my FB profile. That's getting to know every customer, eh.
    [​IMG]
    I really wanted to try the Imperial Peppermint Stout from Pax, but he told me we couldn't drink it until 6 pm because he needed to finish up the keg of another beer first. I cajoled him without success, but at 6 pm I wasn't disappointed. It really tasted like an After Eight chocolate, only better because of the beer/malt flavors added in. WOW WOW. I asked how he added the mints, either as dry hop or extract. He said he just dumped in “eine Menge Blätter,” or “bunch of leaves” in the boil. This was my favorite beer of the day, really. It was thick, silky, smoth, and hid the 6.8% really well.
    I bought a Pax Bräu t-shirt, too.
    -----> Will continue later -------->
  18. boddhitree

    boddhitree Advocate (620) Germany Apr 13, 2008

  19. digita7693

    digita7693 Advocate (575) Germany Jan 19, 2010

    If I was still living in Germany I would be there:) I went to the first two, Sebastian is doing some great things!
  20. Stahlsturm

    Stahlsturm Savant (420) Germany Mar 21, 2005

    The saying there is hilarious :D
  21. boddhitree

    boddhitree Advocate (620) Germany Apr 13, 2008

    Part III: Beers Drunk, con't.

    Privatbrauerei Camba Bavaria was another one to give a free beer along with the entrance ticket, so of course, we drank 'em. I'd never had any of their selection, so I was looking forward to it. Their one of the older and bigger boys in the Neue Deutsche Welle from Craft Beers. However, I was wary of them because I'd heard a rumor that they sucked. I found that rumor was completely off base. The first was their Camba Dettl Fire Beer. At 8% I was [​IMG]expecting a good beer, but I found it WAY too sweet and basically a Malzbier, too much maltiness and not balanced with hops or other flavors. Unfortunately, I had to pay for that one; the free tickets were only valid with the lower alcohol beers.
    Next up was a free one, their Pale Ale. I didn't write anything about it... so it musn't have been great or terrible, right? However, the next 2 we tried we WOW beers. Their Nelson Weiße was a mini-wow and a 1/2, coming in full citrusy but smelling like grass, not horse blanket, but fresh mown grass. Very refreshing. Their blurb stated "fruity with a strong taste of bananas and Mangos," none of which I got a hint of, still yum. Finally, The real WOW WOW was their Doppelbock. It was super süffig (drinkable)! Silky chocolate mixed with vanilla, with some pear or another fruit we couldn't place. At 8.5% if felt strong in flavor but hid the alcohol bite well, a sign of a master brewer at work, IMO. I can see why this beer won the European Gold Star. On their site they call it the
    "Mastrobator", which is funny because most German don't know the English word masturbation (Selbstbefriedigung).

    Their stand was a madhouse, lines 20 people deep for hours; I would say the most popular stand there. Well, that's due to the free tkts, right? Not really, for Schneider Weisse, Pilsner Urquell and Hofbräuhaus also had free tkts but they never had a line. Rather, they offered quality beers, often very unique takes on German styles and also non-German styles. I'm sold, and especially looking at their website, seeing all their offerings, I will be ordering from them in the future. [Also note their selection of foreign beers, too.]

    Near the end I focused on a large stand of beers from a wide range of Österreich (Austrian) brewe. First was Kiesbye's BIERkulturHAUS' (from Salzburg) one offering: handgepumptes (hand pumped: read cask) REAL ALE. It was dry, very very Simcoe-y but lacking much else. It seemed like this was one of the ABI (Another Bloody IPA) that Andreas Seufert of Pax Bräu was talking about.

    Then 2 from Handbrauerei Forstner, from Steiermark, Österreich. Website here. First was the Slow 2 Roggen Ale, a 6.8%. As you can see below (Flaschengärung), it's bottle conditioned.
    [​IMG]
    Very tasty... thick, a fruity aroma, some bitterness from the rye and hops, too. Not as good as the Hop Rod Dry Rye Stout I had made a year ago, but still, it wasn't a stout, it was more a pale ale.
    Then I tried their Brew Secco, and 8.5% Starkbier that they say was modeled after a Belguim style and fermented with Champagne yeast (Proseco is a popular, cheap northern Italian Champagne.) I loved it. Boy did it ever have foam! After they poured the glass, I waited 3 or 4 minutes while talking to the staff in the stand and a man came up and said, "You got the Brew Secco, only chapagne yeast make foam that strong." Here's a pic 3 minutes after it was poured into the glass!
    [​IMG]
    I finally had to slurp through the foam to get to the beer, tickling my nose in the process. The taste was dry, champagne-like brut, but beery too, for it was thick and malty to match a really lemony flavor. A WOW beer.

    A German brewer from München was Brauerei im Eiswerk, from which I really wanted to try another beer with a new German hop, Mandarina, so even though I wanted to try their Joseph's Spezial, a Braunbier, which they said was smokey beer, and their Bourbon Bock, I went with the Wiezenbock Mandarin. Again, WOW. It had a süffig, round mouthfeel, really balanced malts and oranges that mixed well. Thankfully no bubblegum or banana here.

    What turned out to be our last 2 beers of the night here were 2 from the Orkney Islands in Scotland from Sinclair. I think it was because my taste buds had had an overload of Simcoe and Citra already and needed some comfort beer, we went for 2 dark beers. First was the Dark Island Reserve, a "Dark Ale." Man, vanilla, chocolate with the aroma of a whiskey barrel,... mmm lovely. Finally, I drank the most satisfying beer of the day, a 4% Dragonhead, which despite it's low alcohol, packed a smokey, rich, thick feel all around my tongue.

    At this point, it was around 7:30 pm, which meant we had spent 5 hours drinking and thinking beers. All of us agreed, our heads hurt from the crowd noise and we were tipsy, and more importantly, we couldn't drink another beer packed with an explosion of taste. Literally, our taste buds were worn out and we needed something to eat and blander to drink, so we left. What happened after we left is funny and I think y'all will enjoy it, but I have to save it for part IV.
  22. mjtierney2

    mjtierney2 Savant (455) Germany Jul 31, 2011

    Awesome report. Have you had Duvel recently? How does the Brew Secco compare? It sounds like that's what they were possibly going for.

    If you go to the Köln event, be sure to try the Tap X and the Gregorius. I want to hear about those!
  23. mjtierney2

    mjtierney2 Savant (455) Germany Jul 31, 2011

    I will need to remember this thread for the next time I go to Munich. Eiswerk's Joseph Spezial sounds terrific, and I'd like to check out some Camba Bavaria stuff, too.
  24. SteveBeitz

    SteveBeitz Aspirant (30) Germany Mar 16, 2013

    I'll be there, well planning on going to it anyway it's just a short hop on the bahn up from Munich and how can I say no to good beer! I noticed that you didn't list Brew Fist's beers, maybe they're still coming in your lineup. For me those were my favorite beers at the event, the 2 Late IPA was delicious! As was everything else that Pietro brews!! It's just too bad that he won't be up in Cologne. I've got to check with my homebrew club, but I think a few of us will make the trip up to Cologne in May.. perhaps we'll see you there.
  25. boddhitree

    boddhitree Advocate (620) Germany Apr 13, 2008

    I had Duvel about 6 months ago, fresh from a friend who was in Belguim, and it is NOTHING like the Brew Secco. Duvel is nuttier, almost a hazelnut flavor, I'd say, and not close in flavor. The Brew Secco was fizzy like a Champagne but had the body of a beer. Loved it.

    If you looked at the list above from Köln, neither Schneider Weisse nor Gergorius will there. How did you come up with those brews? Though I'm sure they taste good, the selection in Köln will be much less than in MH.
  26. mjtierney2

    mjtierney2 Savant (455) Germany Jul 31, 2011

    Heh heh, I probably just looked at the Munich list. You missed an opportunity!
  27. Stahlsturm

    Stahlsturm Savant (420) Germany Mar 21, 2005

    Is that that new Austrian Trappist place ? It's just beyond Passau, behind the border. An easy day trip from here. I've been meaning to check it out but the wife isn't interested and I don't feel like going alone...
    boddhitree and mjtierney2 like this.
  28. mjtierney2

    mjtierney2 Savant (455) Germany Jul 31, 2011

    Yep, that's the one!
  29. boddhitree

    boddhitree Advocate (620) Germany Apr 13, 2008

    Part IV: The Aftermath.

    Sorry it's taken almost a month to get around to finishing the review of BKL 2013. I even thought of NOT posting it, but the more I thought of this, the more I thought y'all might want to read it.

    Ok... around 7 pm we were (at least, I was) somewhat tipsy and our taste buds were hammered. By that, I mean the extreme tastes of the IPAs and Stouts and whatnot had basically put our taste buds into sensory overload, and we couldn't stand much more flavor. We all had tongue fatigue (don't laugh too hard, it's really how it felt!) and needed something blander, milder, something to sooth our tired tongues. Our host, the one who lived in München and whose apartment we were crashing in, suggested that since it was Starkbierzeit, we hit downtown München and go there and get something hardy to eat and drink.

    First, we went to an Irish pub, which was packed to the gills, for some fish and chips, but all we did was hit the restroom and go back out. Luckily, our guide led us directly to Augustiner am Dom, where we plopped down and What'sApped each other the pics we'd taken all day.
    Here's what it looked like:
    [​IMG]
    The 2 glasses of dark liquid were Starkbier and the glass on the left was Pils, I think.

    And now, just the beer the Starkbier:
    [​IMG]
    The food was great, as you can see here:
    This is basically Frickadellen or some other meat concoction that was delicious, and Kartoffelsalad.

    [​IMG]

    Though the food was great, the beer was disappointing. The Starkbier was very malty but the alcohol was very very present. At between 7% to 8%, the alcohol was hot, a burning sensation that tells me it might do well to lager the beer a few weeks more before serving it. If I drink a Doppelbock or whatever, I find the burning sensation of alcohol very disruptive to enjoying the beer. I had beer just as strong earlier in the day, stronger even, and to me as a homebrewer, hot beer is sign of lesser brewing skill or simply impatience in not letting the stuff mature enough. Anyway, I could only drink one glass of Starkbier and didn't really enjoy it. I was very disappointed, for I'd read so much about the stuff on BA. I really wouldn't ever order this beer again; that's how much I disliked drinking it.

    After this, we head out to another bar our guide directs us to. The place is called Substanz, and it served Tegernsee, of which I drank the Helles & Dunkeles. I was too tired mentally and physically to review this beer or even remember much more than I really felt at that moment it hit the spot perfectly. They were somewhat blander than what we'd had during our time at BKL, good but no flavor bombs, just simple and tasty beers. It was like eating a bowlful of Japanese rice after having a wasabi attack. After a long day and evening of palate-demanding beers, it was nice to drink a more boring, humble beer. Granted, we didn't go all Fernsehbier and go whole-hog boring beer, but this was quality blandness, ( :D ) like a nightcap to ease us back into normal beer reality again.
    Here's the only photographic evidence of that part of the trip:
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    I think I had 2 glasses of 1/2 L beer and called it a night drink-wise.

    The following day, I couldn't even imagine drinking another beer, not because the of effects of the alcohol we'd consumed, but it was more of a hangover of the palate, a hangover of too much taste that lingered into the next day. We took the ICE train back north and couldn't even drink a beer in the train's bistro car, where I had to hang out due to a lack of reserved seat and an extremely full train. I stuck with coffee all day and didn't/couldn't drink another beer for at least 3 days thereafter.

    To end, here's some pics of folks riding the subway in Lederhosen and Dirndls:
    The 2 two guys in Lederhosen were hilarious, but not because they were trying to be funny. They asked us if we knew how to get to the Münchener Hauptbahnhof ! I took a pic of them, and they complained, saying "you can't take our picture, we're law students." We laughed at these idiots for every hour of the next 2 days. Probably future CSU politicians.
    [​IMG][​IMG]
    [​IMG][​IMG]
    mjtierney2 and herrburgess like this.
  30. boddhitree

    boddhitree Advocate (620) Germany Apr 13, 2008

    Enjoy my review of the 4th Fest der Bierkulturen.

    Part I,

    This last Saturday, May 25th, I went to the Fest der Bierkulturen in Köln. I took the train up there from FfM and had a pretty good time. First, we went to a Hamburger place to eat some delicious burgers and homemade fries. Now, there are also a couple of good designer hamburger joints in FfM, but it's always nice to try a new place. It's called Die Fette Kuh, or The Fat Cow, and the meat was wonderful as were the homemade fries. None of us drank beer here, for we were holding out for the Bierfest. Here are some pics to make you hungry. Below is the burger I had:

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    We got to the Fest around 3 pm and it was already in full swing. I was impressed with the crowd turnout. Obviously, it was a lot less than in München for BrauKunstLive (BKL), but this has always been a beer counterculture fest, billed as "Bier jenseits der Reinheitsgebot," or "Beyond the RHG." That meant NO Pils and lots of interesting beers you can't find in Germany.

    [​IMG]
    (Thank you to Grima from hobbybrauer.de for the pamphlet pic. Look here for to see the pic in its original, much larger size.)

    First, I was very disappointed that one of my favorites from BKL was the only no-show: Nomad from the Czech Rep. I loved their Czech-ified IPA and Ale. Second, overall, we were quite disappointed in the beers we at the fest. I felt as if some of these brewers said, ok, we'll toss in some American hops, call it an IPA, and now we're cool, without really having to brew a decent, balanced beer of any sort. I also got to tell the story of Pax Bräu's ABI, Another Bloody IPA, which I felt was what we were witnessing here. Now, I love IPAs, but I kept thinking my own IPAs at home are a hundred times better and these were simply wanting, and I began to doubt why I left my home-brews to come here.

    Here you can see the festival glass that was 0.2L.
    [​IMG]
    (Picture taken from "vquante's albums." Thank you.)

    Bierzwerg.de had a booth again.
    [​IMG]
    (Picture taken from "vquante's albums." Thank you.)


    Nonetheless, there were a few WOW beers and I'm glad I got to see new beer brands and even here, I wasn't able to try all the beers I wanted due to a lack of sobriety and time. The Champions League game between Borussia Dortmund and Bayern München was looming, and we needed to find a place to watch it, for kick-off was 8:45 pm.

    End of Part I.
  31. boddhitree

    boddhitree Advocate (620) Germany Apr 13, 2008

    Part II:

    Now to the 29 beers:

    Fritz Ale, basically a one-man show out of Bonn.
    "IPA": Aroma of honey and Münchner malts, flavor only a light citrus taste, but quite dry and somewhat sour. Overall, disappointing.
    [​IMG]
    "Adambier- Methusala": my first Adambier. Poured from a bottle. Slightly citrus aroma, very dark brown, and flavor was half sour, half dark malt roasted flavors. Wasn't thrilled about it.

    Braustelle, a brewpub a block away from the festival and the main sponsor, had a few on tap but I only had their "Mandarina Weizen Bock".
    [​IMG]
    (Picture taken from "vquante's albums." Thank you.)
    First, not much aroma, lots of hoppy bitterness all over the tongue, some dryness, some bubblegum flavors but very very little Mandarina hops to be found in the flavor. Again, I was disappointed.

    De Molen, from Holland:
    [​IMG]
    (Picture taken from "vquante's albums." Thank you.)


    We drank 3 of their beers. I've liked many of their beers I've bought before at Mahrun's. They're a new-ish craft brewer who I expected a lot from today.

    The 1st was their "Single Hop - Citra IPA." Overall, it had a decent Citra flavor, a hefty Piñon bitterness, but not much else. It was way too dry and almost no malt backbone. Very disappointing.
    [​IMG]
    (Picture taken from "vquante's albums." Thank you.)


    The 2nd was the "Dark IPA with Saaz." This time it was lots of roasted, dark malt flavors, but again, very very dry, more like a dry stout, yet virtually no Saaz hop flavors, though there was a very slight grass-like flavor, but that's not enough to label is a Saaz beer.
    [​IMG]
    (Picture taken from "vquante's albums." Thank you.)


    Finally, we had the 3rd, "Blood Stains." WOWOWOW. It was a 12% or 13% whisky cask ale, and it made me finally feel I hadn't wasted my day coming here. It was black, reddish with lots of malt whiskey aroma. The taste was of high alcohol, licorice, coffee, toffee and it was thick as oil. Again, finally, a WOW beer.

    Bayerischer Bahnhof from Leipzig:
    [​IMG]
    (Picture taken from "vquante's albums." Thank you.)

    "Berliner Weisse mit Kartoffel." (with Potatoes) This was the weirdest beer I've ever had. It was a noble experiment, but it was a Frankenstein beer: interesting in theory, a horror when brought to life.
    It was a white/yellow beer. Not Pils yellow, but WHITE with a speck of yellow. Man, it was S-O-U-R, dry, horrible. It tasted like you'd squeezed lemons, the REMOVED any sugar or sweetness… yuck. Neither of us 3 could finish a single 0.2L glass of it.

    McMüller, from Linnich-Kofferen, Germany:
    [​IMG]
    (Picture taken from "vquante's albums." Thank you.)


    Another small craft brew. They had a Lakritz (Licorice) stout, which I had last year and really liked, though it was drier than I like my stouts, I still had good memories of it from a year ago. So, I decided to drink another of their offerings this year, an "Alt." It had a roast aroma, very dry taste, basically a soured Malzbier. It was flat, which may have been the fault of the CO2 set up, but it still had a head on top. It tasted like a sour rye with malts that hadn't been fermented but had been allowed to sour. Yuck. Very disappointing.

    London Fields, from London:
    [​IMG]
    (My own pic. Really.)


    We were really looking forward to a beer from the good ol' UK, We had high hopes, but were disappointed.
    Too bad their logo is more interesting than their beer.

    First, "Love and War IPA." How can you screw up such a coolly named IPA? Aroma was lots of Citrus hops, very little CO2 despite a healthy head on it, make it very dry, citrusy flavor but virtually no malt backbone.

    2nd, "American Pale Ale." Again, dry, almost no CO2, almost a sour lemon flavor. Yuck.

    3rd, "IPA" here sweet malt aroma but almost no aroma.
    There were a few more to try from them, but 3 strikes here, so why continue?

    Black Isle Brewery from Munlochy, Scotland:
    [​IMG]
    (My own pic. Really. That's why it's so out of focus.)


    Maybe we'll have better luck with a Scottish brewer. We tried 5 of their beers, and was hit and miss.

    First the HITS
    .
    1st HIT:
    "Export Scotch Ale." WOWOWOW. Full-bodied, creamy sweetness, like a Malzbier but with like Fuggles or EKG taste to balance it.

    2nd HIT:
    "Yellowhammer IPA."
    WOWOWOWOWOWOYOW. Best in show! Oops, I said that for "Love and Regret," so let's say a tie for Best in Show.
    Aroma - Amarillo? citrusy. Nice pale male backbone flavors, thic,k more citrusy flavors, smooth, very creamy! Love it.

    3rd HIT:
    "Goldeneye Pale Ale."
    Thick, dark golden, no aroma, but very süffig! It's hoppy with a little bitterness in the front, more malty in the middle. Love it but but not as good as the other two above.
    [​IMG]
    (Picture taken from "vquante's albums.")


    Now the MISSES.
    "Porter."
    It was roast, thin, a little sour, not nearly half as good as Samuel Smith or Young's. Disappointing.

    "Hibernator Oatmeal Stout."
    I got a little licorice, some coffee flavors but very little of the oatmeal feel you'd expect, it actually needed MORE thickness. It tasted OK but it was weak for an oatmeal stout.

    "Red Kite Ale." sweet malts, only bitter hops, but no hop aroma. Not much else going on. Boring and disappointing, really.

    Lahnsteiner Brauerei.
    [​IMG]
    (Picture taken from "vquante's albums.")


    Unfortunately, we tried only one, a "Dunkeles Bock/Ice Bock." The aroma was weak, but the beer was thick with lots of Münchner malts. I didn't write much more than that, so that means we weren't too impressed.

    Biere Trois Dames Brasserie, from Sainte-Croix, Switzerland:
    The guy at the stand.
    [​IMG]
    (Picture taken from "vquante's albums." Thank you.)


    I tried 6 of their beers, mainly because I was parked at a table in front of their booth and liked their beers, but also because they were easily accessible. I liked their stuff a lot. In fact, these folks and Black Isle are the discoveries of the show. I also really liked the artwork on the labels.
    [​IMG]
    (Picture taken from "vquante's albums." Thank you.)


    "Bïse Noire Menthe" or a Peppermint Stout.
    WOWOWOW. The aroma… peppermint, and wow, very nice! The flavor,… also WOW. It's thick, sweet, almost oatmeal like thickness, but it flows better than that. I get roasted coffee, then toffee flavors. Yet after awhile, the peppermint becomes too much and I realize there's not ENOUGH stout taste. It's very, very good, but not best in show. I'm trying to figure out how it's so thick but loses stout-flavors,… maybe a lot of flaked barley but not enough chocolate malt?

    "Espresso Stout."
    First, for an "Espresso Stout," shouldn't it be black or at least dark? It's just not dark enough. Really, it's a small thing, but since when can you look through a stout? It's amber… who ever heard of an AMBER stout? Well, again, like above, it's thick as all get out, but lacks enough stout flavors to keep my interest. My critique above of the Peppermint Stout stands here, too. I like the coffee bean flavor, and it tastes like a filter coffee with sugar added, yet still, not enough stout flavor.

    "Pasionaria" Double IPA.
    First, no aroma. What's an IPA doing without aroma? Lot's of Belgian malt flavors with severe bitterness in the front. Basically, malts good, hops bad, which is not what you want from an IPA, eh?

    "Saison Houblon"
    A little sour, some bitter hops in the back, bread Belgian malts. Not bad. I like it actually.

    "Framboise Saison."
    Sour aroma, slight raspberry, too. The flavor is a nice light sourness with slight raspberry notes. It's thick, not bad, like it, but not great, something's missing but I can't put my finger on it.

    "Grande Dame" Oud Broun.
    Too sour with cherry flavor. Again, too sour for me. Undrinkable and awful. A great label, though.
    [​IMG]
    (Picture taken from "vquante's albums." Thank you.)

    End of Part II.
  32. boddhitree

    boddhitree Advocate (620) Germany Apr 13, 2008

    Part III.


    't Hofbrouwerijke from Beerzel, Belgium:
    [​IMG]
    (Picture taken from "vquante's albums." Thank you.)

    First was a hoppy "Amber Trippel with Amarillo" with some French name, "Ceci n'est pas une triple"
    It had a wonderful hoppy aroma, nice malt flavors, lemony with slightly bitter flavors around the tongue… not bad! Not wow, but very good.

    2nd was a "Cascade Saison," in French "Ceci nest pas use saison." Lots of Cascade aroma, tasted like I was drinking a USA hop bomb, but what made it a WOW beer was you had lots of Belgian malt flavors. Honey, maybe from Abbey malts, but maybe Special B, but add a kick of bitterness from Cascade or another hop with more caramel from Belgian malts and you had a WOWOW beer.

    3rd was "Love and Regret." The pamphlet said it used "Kräuter," or "herbs." Flat out… BEST BEER OF SHOW. It had a lavender aroma… please tell me how they got that! The flavor was licorice and lavender, sweet Honey, Abbey or another Belgian malt, giving it a sweetness that balanced the other flavors. WOWOWOWOW!!!
    [​IMG]
    (Picture taken from "vquante's albums." Thank you.)

    Sünner Brauerei, from Köln: Had the "Dröhnung,"
    This word was difficult to translate. After asking numerous sourced (who couldn't agree), I got "Hammered" or "Buzzed" or "Wired." for a Kaffee Weizenbock.

    [​IMG]
    (Picture taken from "vquante's albums." Thank you.)


    [​IMG]
    (My own pic. Really.)


    Lots of bubblegum aroma, and you could taste it too. Some bitterness. It's really thick; normally I hate Weizens, but this is so thick that it's really süffig. It's warm, love the flavor, but where's the coffee taste? If they hadn't named it Koffee Weizenbock, I wouldn't have missed it, though that's what maybe gives it the thickness? Again, I normally can't stand bubblegum flavor, but here it's worth it.

    Alzeyer Volkerbräu, from Alzey, which is a small town between Worms and Mainz.

    [​IMG]
    (Picture taken from "vquante's albums." Thank you.)

    "Haferbier," or "Oatmeal Beer." Also disappointing somewhat. I wrote in my notes that it was sweet, malty, a little honey flavor, think mouthfeel, very thick from the oatmeal, but not much more. Other than being incredibly thick, the flavors were lacking.

    End of Part III.

    Hope more than 2 people enjoy this. Don't forget to Like. (This for those not named mjtierney2 and herrburgess, JackHorzempa, or Stahlsturm)
  33. Wow. Sounds like the U.S. beer culture -- with its multiple, myriad disappointments...and the rare successes -- has finally arrived in Germany.

    Seriously, though, great write-ups and nice visual aids.

    Did you drink any Paeffgen? ;)
  34. mjtierney2

    mjtierney2 Savant (455) Germany Jul 31, 2011

    It's funny how your two BKL experiences seem to be so different, with the first being so positive and the second being so hit-or-miss. The Bayrischer Bahnhof stuff looks really interesting to me. Too bad the IPA's didn't seem to be working out.

    Great reading, thanks for posting.
    boddhitree and herrburgess like this.
  35. boddhitree

    boddhitree Advocate (620) Germany Apr 13, 2008

    Thanks, the write up, formatting, and finding and crediting the pics were the hard part. Wait, that was everything except the drinking and note-taking. ;)

    Why waste time and sobriety on Kölsch when 1) I could do that any weekend, 2) boring, been there, done that & 3) we were there for "Biere jenseits der RHG." I did have 1 Kölsch that evening, a Mühlen Kölsch at a bar while watching Dortmund lose to Bayern München in the Champions League Final. It was OK, rather bland, though, after the other tastes I'd experienced. After the game, we went to pub and was forced to drink Becks, yuck, which was really horrible in comparison.
  36. mjtierney2

    mjtierney2 Savant (455) Germany Jul 31, 2011

    Coffee Weizenbock just jumped to the top of my list of Beers That Don't Sound Like A Good Idea, one spot ahead of Berliner Weisse with Potato.
    boddhitree and steveh like this.
  37. Tony, thank you for taking the time to write those posts. I thoroughly enjoyed reading them! It sounds like you found two Gold Medal winners in Yellowhammer IPA and Love and Regret.

    One of my favorite Saisons is Southampton Cuvee des Fleurs:

    “Cuvèe des Fleurs roughly translates to "batch of the flowers". This most distinctive ale is flavored with a variety of edible flowers. Aromatic and medicinal flowers such as Lavender, Chamomile, Calendula, Rose Hips and Hops (they’re flowers too!) are added to this special brew to impart a distinct aroma and flavor.”

    Prost!

    Jack
    boddhitree likes this.
  38. boddhitree

    boddhitree Advocate (620) Germany Apr 13, 2008

    Bierbörse: Mainz 2013, part I​
    Almost 2 weekends ago, my girlfriend and I went to the Bierbörse in Mainz, which is a 45 drive or S-Bahn's ride from FFM. This isn't a craft beer festival as you'd expect in the USA. Rather, this is a traveling roadshow, going from city to city in Germany every summer. They feature a local beer or 2, some other more regional beers, some international, but the best part, NO Fernsehbiere for miles. The other thing that differentiates it from a USA style craft beer festival is the people who come to it. Very few seemed to be beer afficianados or connoisseurs. There were mostly the curious but as beer drinkers, the Fernsehbiere drinker, and then there were the numerous bachelor and bachelorette parties, who often mixed, and who were hell bent on just getting drunk and/or acting like fools. Thus, I didn't go with super high hopes for great beers. Also, I knew there wouldn't be any IPAs or anything popular in the USA. My focus was to drink as many different Pils as possible and maybe a foreign style or 2.

    I found out about it only the day before, so I couldn't get any of my usual beer friends to join us, which meant I had to get my girlfriend to accompany me. This only cramped my style when she got completely bored of watching me drink and write about the beers I was drinking. She had had 1 and sipped a few of others, but she insisted on driving here instead of my choice, taking the S-bahn, but hey, it's her car, she wants to drive me, and I get to drink, mmmm, good deal, I say.

    I had been to a Bierbörse 3 years ago when it came to downtown FFM. At that time, I was jonesing for Belgian beer, and it was cool, rainy, and dank that weekend, so a parked my butt at a stand that sold all kinds of obscure, high alchy Belgium beers I can't remember the name of. Unfortunately, it never came back to FFM, meaning I hadn't been to a Bierbörse since then.

    First, we got there around 6 pm, and by 8 pm it was packed, wall to wall people. What really made this Bierbörsein Mainz interesting is it was held on the banks of the Rhein river. Here are some pics to show what we saw when we sat and I sipped a beer or 2.

    [​IMG][​IMG]At one point (no pic there, sorry), we sat on very long stone stairs leading directly to the river, and we could feel the spray of the waves from a barge wake hitting the shoreline. How many beer fests have that experience? It was very warm, making it a nice day for Pils drinking, but being so damn crowded made it very difficult to drink, take notes about the beers, and relax all at the same time.

    Finally, they sold a ProBIER glass, a 0.1L mini-weizen shaped glass for 2€ that allowed you to get only 0.1L samples for a really nice price of 1.50€, but again, we're not talking super DIPAs or barrel infused anything here. Also, I decided to start a numbering rating similar to BA's: 0 for worst, 5 for best.

    Our 1st order of business was to fill up on food at a Metzer (butcher) stand. Schweinehaxen & Sauerkraut for me, aSchlachtplatte for the G/F. Here's the proof of what it looked like before we dove in.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    With the good food... ok, it wasn't the best I'd ever had in Germany, but hey, we're a bierfest, so really good was great, we had a beer, and it turned out to be the best of evening. I'd heard of Platan, of couse, from Czech Rep, but had never tried it. I had the Pils, my g/f the Dunkeles. The Pils was WOW, TRANSCENDENT. Different from a Pilsfrom Bayern, but still, WOW. It had great Pils aroma, bitterness up front, but not too much. It had lots of Pils malt flavors, sweetness from the caramel like malts were simply wonderfully strong but not overpowering or too sweet. There was a little bitterness in the aftertaste but also the Pils malts lasted and lasted, even between bites of sauerkraut. The only 5 of the evening. Süffig! I was so glad we got a 0.3L glass of the stuff to enjoy throughout my entire meal.
    [​IMG]
    The Dunkeles was also really good. Usually, I like a brewery's Dunkeles much better than their Pils, but here we had the opposite. Despite being a wonderful beer, it didn't reach the transcendent heights of their Pils. It had sweet, Pils aroma to spare, and the flavor was also imbued with a hint of roasted malts. There was enough bitterness of front, too, to excite and tantalize. Again, Süffig. Excellent beer, but not wow: 4+.
    [​IMG]
    Another Czech beer was Radegast, where we also tried the Pils & Dunkeles. The Pils is best described as MILD. That's good but not excellent. The Pils malts were well represented but the bitterness was about ½ of what I'd like to see in a Pils. I don't mind a malt-forward Pils, but it started to get boring after the 3rd or 4th sip. A 3+.

    The Dunkeles, however, was a WOW. It had lots of Pils malt aromas and flavors, plus a roasted flavor with caramel overtones that made me go wow. Wish I'd written more about it. A 4+. Great but not transcendent. Sorry, but no pics here or from the next place, either.

    My last Czech was Staropramen, which I'm sure you've all heard. I only had their Pils, and really, I was disappointed. It was ok, but with much less Pils malt flavors, just boring in comparison to the others. A 3+.

    I also tried a beer from Croatia, Karlovačko. It was horrible, really. I'm not sure how it was possible to make a beer that was simultaneously too bitter AND too sweet. It was so bad I could only stand 3 sips before I donated to a local tree in the park.
    [​IMG]

    To wash out that horrible taste from my mouth, I went to the German stands. I thought the stand at Hirschbräu looked promising and inviting in a gemütlich way. It was better than the Croatian beer, but... the Holzar Bier, which they described as an Export, was lacking. It wasn't horrible, and I've had really good Exports, but there were very few sweet Pils malt flavors and some bitterness up front, but overall, bland. It was from the Allgäu, in Bayern, so I expected more, I guess. The mouthfeel was wonderfully thick, which helped me give it a 3.
    [​IMG]

    Bad Neuzeller in eastern Germany was up next. I'd had their Schwarzes Abt (Black Abbot) before and wasn't impressed, but I thought on tap, maybe it's better. NOPE. It was still a 3.5% dark, syrupy, sickenly sweet malt mess and not much else. Damn, suckered in by their marketing again. A 2-.
    [​IMG]

    I went back to an old favorite in times of need after striking out 2xs of the last 3: Uerige Alt. I've had this a few times before and each time loved it, but today, not only was their stnd boring and bland, but so was their beer today. It had dark malt flavors but not much else. It was on tap, and Mainz isn't far from Düsseldorf, so... I was stumped. Only a 2+ today. How can it be just BLAH?

    End of Part I.
  39. boddhitree

    boddhitree Advocate (620) Germany Apr 13, 2008

    Bierbörse: Mainz 2013, part II​
    I went to another I'd had before, though in bottles bought from Mahruns: Störtebecker. Again, I had their Pils &Schwarzbier. I'd been impressed with the bottled beers I'd had a few years before, especially their Schwarzbier, so I had high hopes.

    [​IMG]

    Störtebecker's Pils wasn't too bad. It was sweeter than I like in a Pils, but also drier. For me, Pils and dry don't go together. A thick mouthfeel from decent protein rests when brewing helps create the feeling of Gemütlichkeit, with which, like a Bayrisch Helles or Pils, I hold as standard, and without which I find disappointing. Also, I'd hoped Störtebecker's Pils had been a bit bitterer. This is after all, a brewery marketing itself as North German brewer. They're from Strahlsund, a small city in the northeast of Germany near the Polish border. It's marketing sells the Baltic Sea (Ostsee in German) and all the hoppy connotations that entails. I hoped for a bitter, hoppy punch, but only got a dry, sweet, bland Pils. A 3 only.

    Störtebecker's Schwarzbier redeemed them a little. It was malty, but on tap, was too sweet malty, roasted flavors yes, but too sweet. It could also have been bitterer. Though my memories are faded after 2 years and I expected more, a 3+.

    Kreuzberger Klosterbier's standlooked promising with lots of dark wood, blue tones, the monkish vibe without the monks, tradition oozing from the set up. Sorry, no pics of the stand. I had their Pils, which was pretty good. It had sweetish Pils malt, but an amber color instead of golden, which helped me guess the malt profile. It tasted a lot more like a Märzen than a Pils. Not many hops influenced the taste, a little in front though if you looked for it. Overall, a really good beer, malty, thickness enveloping the soul, nice... a 4.

    [​IMG]

    I also had an Alfelder Pils. Sorry, I wrote nothing, but it wasn't much to write about. A solid 3 but not too exciting but not boring... just a hair above average.

    Schinner Brau, or Brauhaus Schinner, enticed me with their stand that focused on medieval themes. Bartenders wore silly costumes, but the beer was ok. I only took a pic of their menu for schnapps: a Ritterfurz (Knight's Fart), which is a Schwarzbier liqueur, and the Jungfernflut (Maiden-glow/ardor), a Kräuterlikör, or herbal liqueur. I tried neither, but I loved the name, so that's what I took a pic of. Another 3.
    [​IMG]Their Pils had lots of sweet Pils malts and tasted ok, but nothing to write home about. Their Braunbier, however,
    was much better. I'd had it before from a bottle bought on Bierzwerg.de, so I knew this would good. It was not too malt-forward or too herb, or bitter. It actually tasted “brown,” by that I mean some roasted malts or brown malts, yet no evidence of Münchner malt flavors, so this is a nice change-up for a German beer. Even though I'm dead sure they used a bottom-fermenting yeast, this beer reminded me slightly of Pils-y version of a Newcastle-like brown ale. Well worth trying... a solid 4.

    My final German beer of the evening was Rheinhessen Bräu's Helles. MMMmmm, very very good. It was my favorite of all the German Pils today. Lots of Pils malt aromas, and the flavor matches the aroma with lots of Pils malt swirling around the mouth. It had some hops in the front, but this was a malt-forward beer, and a delicious one too. I was recommended to try it by an American who I met by chance here who also I talked to in the Köln Festival der Bierkulturen in May. He and his German wife are very active in the USA beer world, for he dropped the info he was Philly for the beer fest and a homebrewers fest. Anyway... This beer comes from a part of Mainz, and it was worth drinking. I plan of finding this beer again to see if it tastes equally good from a bottle. A 4+.
    [​IMG]

    I wish I'd had the time to drink beers from the stands that sold Scottish, British and more Belgian beers; however, I've been on a Pils comparison kick, so my goal was the Pils and other forms of German styles.

    I had 2 Belgian beers just to change up the palate, I had the Grimbergen Dubbel, which I was a little disappointed with. It wasn't sweet in caramel Pils flavors but I still felt it was too sweet at that point in my tasting day. A 3 only.

    The other Belgian was Val-Dieu's Brown. They had lots of stuff hand written about it being a handgemachtes Klosterbrau, so they're right in that they're an Abbey beer. At 8%, I was concerned for my sobriety, but what the hell. Surprisingly, it had lots of banana flavors and virtually no bitterness, but had a few sour notes, so it was leaning towards an Oud Brun. The alcohol was hidden well in a very caramel-forward beer. 4.
  40. mjtierney2

    mjtierney2 Savant (455) Germany Jul 31, 2011

    Well your experience sounds much better than my Mannheim experience last year - blazingly hot, no water outside of a cruddy looking fountain, and the Börse took place in a large, unattractive concrete Messplatz. A few thoughts on the beers:

    • Hirschbrau. I know it's too late to go back, but their Dopplebock is where it's at. Very good.
    • Bad Neuzeller. I have yet to pull the trigger on their Schwarzer Abt. Sounds like I'm better off.
    • Störtebecker. Try their porter and tell me what you think. Your review of the Schwarzer Abt sounded like how I felt about Störtebecker's porter.
    • Grimbergen. I had one of their beers a while back while in France and was also really disappointed. I appreciate the 2nd opinion. On the other hand...
    • Uerige. Blah?!?! We can no longer be friends. :p
    Thanks for the report! A good read wie immer.

Share This Page