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Frankfurt germany trip

Discussion in 'Germany' started by cfrobrew, Feb 28, 2013.

  1. cfrobrew

    cfrobrew Advocate (550) Texas Oct 9, 2012

    I have a friend headed to germany but I dont know what to have him bring back. Does anyone know about epic sours I should have brought back?
     
  2. starkmarvelo

    starkmarvelo Advocate (515) Nevada Jan 20, 2010

    My Dad will be heading that way too at the end of March. I don't know what they have but I'll ask my sister, she just moved from Aachen two years ago.
     
  3. Lutter

    Lutter Advocate (650) Texas Jun 30, 2010

    With sours you're pretty much gonna need to go with Gose (not to be confused with Gueuze) and Berliner Weiss. They're actually not the most popular styles in Germany... heck, Berliner Weiss practically went extinct this past century.

    For German-made Berliner Weiss... the only one I've really had is Professor Fritz 1809. Great stuff. It should be noted that that DOES make it to the US, although not Texas just yet.

    I would have no idea where to start with German Gose... as we don't get any here that I know of and I've never traded for it. The American versions are slighty tart and... salty. Salty.

    Don't plan on your friend seeing much Belgian or other sours available there... at least not in great quantity. My girlfriend is German and she says that all Germans have this complex that all other beer in the world is crap compared to theirs. They also hate IPAs. They love Texans though. Apparently they're all obsessed with Walker Texas Ranger.
     
  4. einhorn

    einhorn Savant (405) California Nov 3, 2005

    Not to put a damper on this, but forget it. No sours within many miles of Frankfurt, possibly something at Marhuhn in Darmstadt. Instead, find some fresh Rothaus Tannenzaeple or something from Schumacher or Pfungstaedter. Or have him/her bring back some Frankfurter Apfelwein, the sourest drink you've had since drinking vingegar. Frankfurt is a barren wasteland for oddities.

    CUE - boddhitree....
     
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  5. Gutes_Bier

    Gutes_Bier Advocate (515) Germany Jul 31, 2011

    His rant will be epic sauer.
     
  6. Decent beers of the Sauer inclination are normally only available locally. Around Berlin, go for the Potsdamer Weisse, in Leipzig go for Bayerischer Bahnhof (some of their beers make it to the US) for Gose and sometimes Berl. Weisse, go to Jena for Wöllnitzer Weissbier. Elsewhere - probably nothing.
    Go for Apfelwein when in Frankfurt / Hessen.
     
  7. Gutes_Bier

    Gutes_Bier Advocate (515) Germany Jul 31, 2011

    As you may have figured by now OP, Germany is an interesting place. The diversity of offerings in the average beer store is not even close to something you will find in America. I like to joke that the "Belgian" section of the beer store is "Go to Belgium". The average Getränkemarkt here is usually broken roughly into (a) local German stuff, and (b) national German brands. In particular, I have rarely seen a regional specialty outside of the region in which it is produced (excepting Kölsch, a few different brands of which make it down here to Heidelberg). In my nearly three years here, I have never seen a Gose. And I have done a fair amount of traveling, just not to Leipzig yet.

    Your friend will be able to find some quality lagers, but shouldn't expect to find Belgian beers or anything really "out there" for lack of a better phrase.
     
    boddhitree likes this.
  8. Folko

    Folko Zealot (85) Texas Jun 3, 2008

    I was born and bred in Frankfurt, and while it was virtually impossible to get even most relatively big brand beers from say the neighboring state of Bavaria back in the late eighties/early nineties (never mind Belgian or domestic, regional specialty beers - hadn't heard of Gose until I came to this country), I think things have changed quite a bit. In particular due to EU rules and regulations that opened the German market for imported beers that were not brewed according to the German Purity Law (Reinheitsgebot).

    Frankfurt is, of course, still predominantly cider (Apfelwein, or in the local dialect: Ebbelwoi) country. If you are there you just don't want to miss that, cause there is whole culture that goes with it. Skip the more touristy places in Sachsenhausen and go to Alt-Bornheim instead (take the U4 subway to Bornhein Mitte and start walking up northeast on Bergerstrasse until you start seeing pubs with signs depicting a jug in a wreath, which indicates that it is a cider pub). Back in the day, most of those places made their own cider. Nowadays most of it has unfortunately been contracted out to Possmann, who are by far the biggest cider producer in the region.

    However, beer is still consumed there in relatively large quantities as well. The prevalent style, as is true for most of Germany, is Pilsener. The only remaining big local brewery is Binding, whose Römer Pils is far from swill (especially on draft). A relatively new phenomenon are a few micro-breweries that have popped up in and around Frankfurt. A good example is the Alt-Oberurseler Brauhaus http://www.meinbier.de/startseite.html in the nearby town of Oberursel, which I visited a few years ago. They make a variety of year-round and seasonal German style brews, ranging from Alt-Bier to Doppelbocks, and they do bottle some of their brews.

    As for the typical "Getränkemarkt" I agree with the comments above. A decent one that at least sometimes carries Eastern European Baltic Porters (eg Okocim) is trinkgut. There happens to be one in Oberursel as well, and we stopped there on our way back to Frankfurt after the micro-brewery visit.
     
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  9. boddhitree

    boddhitree Advocate (640) Germany Apr 13, 2008

    Damn right I'm sauer. Sorry OP, but I'm gonna have to not only call you on your ignorance of geography, but also on using the term EPIC sour. Ugh... a sure sign of overblown hype of the craft brew scene in the USA, á la Herrburgess? Again, forgive my condescension, but I have to defend every day the utter ignorance of Americans concerning anything outside of it's own island, and then this... ugh. Yet, this is how we learn, grasshopper.
     
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  10. starkmarvelo

    starkmarvelo Advocate (515) Nevada Jan 20, 2010

    Just drive to Belgium. Liege is about 3 hrs. Germany is good for Hanuta and Milchschnitte.
     
  11. Gutes_Bier

    Gutes_Bier Advocate (515) Germany Jul 31, 2011

    Sorry if we're a little grumpy over here OP, it's just that they've been selling us horse meat and telling us it's steak. Come to think of it, Herr Burgess has the same complaint about American lagers...
     
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  12. cfrobrew

    cfrobrew Advocate (550) Texas Oct 9, 2012

    So sorry to offend you mr EPIC german guy, I dont live in germany and I dont know a lot about the various beers available there. I live in Texas and sours are hard to come by because we have unusual import laws, I like very sour beers so I try to emphasize the sour aspect and not funk since I often ask for sours and get something that is more wild than sour. I actually was asking for advice on what to get and where but you obviously have no desire to help. Instead you prefer to make a large generalization about a country several times larger than yours with a large variance of people and beers throughout. To that point to make a generalization about Texas based on Houston, Austin or Dallas would be ignorant and Texas is bigger than Germany, what makes you think you can talk about our country or beer scene like we all live on some small farm?
     
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  13. starkmarvelo

    starkmarvelo Advocate (515) Nevada Jan 20, 2010

    Don't sweat the small stuff bro ;) Seriously, have him drive to Belgium. One of the great things about Germany is that it's real easy to get to another country...

    Not sure why you're ignorant about geography though.
     
    boddhitree likes this.
  14. cfrobrew

    cfrobrew Advocate (550) Texas Oct 9, 2012

    Funny guy. My buddy actually was only there for some odd ball short trip so he didn't even have a rental car. Whenever I make it out there Ill definitely head up that way.
     
  15. Domingo

    Domingo Champion (955) Colorado Apr 23, 2005

    Here's a random related question:
    Are there any decent beers in the Frankfurt airport? We're probably heading back to Bavaria this Summer and one of the best options leaves us with a 2 hour stop in Frankfurt.
    I have yet to try any of the Rothaus beers - any chance they might be around? Are there any notable local beers available without leaving the airport?
     
  16. Gutes_Bier

    Gutes_Bier Advocate (515) Germany Jul 31, 2011

    When I flew to Italy I remember seeing some stuff in the Duty Free section of FRA. I'm forgetting exactly what, some laughable-to-bring-on-a-plane 3 liter bottles, but there was also something like Bavaria Beer Box 3 Pack (1500 ml total) which I remember noticing had Dopple Hirsch, a really good dopplebock from Hirschbräu. I don't remember seeing Rothaus, but I wasn't looking too hard.
     
  17. Gutes_Bier

    Gutes_Bier Advocate (515) Germany Jul 31, 2011

    Well as reluctant as I am to jump into this one, I'll try to mediate. OP, let's say for a minute that all Texans hate Kansas City style BBQ, and vice versa. I don't know if that's true or not, but for argument's sake, let's just play along. What you did was sort of like a German saying, "Hey, I have a friend going to Texas soon and really wants to try some good BBQ. Can you tell me where to find Kansas City style?" One might respond with, "Uh, dude, L2Geographate, Kansas City is that-a-way, we don't sell that stuff here." That's kind of what happened here.

    Now, I'd like to point out that I fully understand where OP is coming from. It makes total sense to an American that a country that borders Belgium might have better access to Belgian beers than the US, but we don't. And it sucks. Germans drink (and sell) only Germanic beers, and don't really care about beers from other countries. Speaking generally, of course.

    As for Boddhitree, as I understand it, he has spent a lot of time in the good ol' US, and knows (and misses) the American craft scene quite a bit.

    My €0,02

    PS - so did your friend bring anything back?
     
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  18. cfrobrew

    cfrobrew Advocate (550) Texas Oct 9, 2012

    Hey thanks for the objective opinion. I really just enjoy hearing about what kinds of beers are good to get where. I was a little hopeful that there were some great german sours to be found even. I could see how it could be misunderstood that by saying sours I meant belgians, I dont care where it comes from as long as its interesting and good enough to bother a friend to pack in their bag.

    I was going to ask what german beers were good to bring back but sours are hard to find for me so thats usually what I look for when I travel. Also a lot of the research I was going through showed styles of beer Id love to have IN germany but not as much in the US from Germany. Im also trying to inoculate some beers Im brewing with sour bugs from different places to see what kinds of crazy flavors stand out, which is another reason I focus on finding sours, hoping they arent pasteurized or filtered of course...

    Unfortunately I wasnt able to get the info to my buddy before he came back so he just had a couple of beers and came back. He had a flight attendant friend that got him a free flight with a one day layover. Pretty odd but hey at leaast he got to hang in a beautiful place and have some fresh beer.

    All that being said, I do apologize if I offended you boddhitree . Maybe we can share a brew if you make it to Houston or I make it to Germany. Do feel free to describe what beers to try when I get around to scheduling that trip over there.
     
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  19. Stahlsturm

    Stahlsturm Savant (430) Germany Mar 21, 2005

    boddhitree IS an American who just happens to live in Germany... Which is likely the reason why he's extra sensitive when one of his countrymen asks a question that is completely, well, moronic if you know even the tiniest bit about Germany and beer here whatsoever or spent like 2 minutes on your own research. He's not always the most diplomatic but he has his heart in the right place. Going off on a rant about how great Texas is isn't going to get anyone any scene points either I'm afraid...

     
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  20. cfrobrew

    cfrobrew Advocate (550) Texas Oct 9, 2012

    Well I could rant about how great Texas is but Im pretty sure I just said its big and we suck at getting a very wide variety of sour beers. I posted this to people in my region since they would be more informed about what we couldnt get here but one of the brothers moved my post to your region.

    Seriously though, you guys seem pretty excited about your beer scene and seem to really know all about it. My friend has come back already but Id like to hear about what it looks like. I have some friends headed over there again soon, what should I ask for? Do any germans make sours? I know over here there are a lot of different styles and people going outside style guidelines. Is it that way there or is it more like how Ive read, where there are a few main styles and everyone likes it that way?
     
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  21. boddhitree

    boddhitree Advocate (640) Germany Apr 13, 2008

    Wow... I'm so happy I got a great discussion going. First, to cfrobrew, I'm sorry I offended you. Really, I am, but the German side of me loves to provoke "discussion," and tact isn't my middle name. Nonetheless, I grew up in Dallas, TX, so your mention of stuff there was high comedy, in my book. I know the craft scene, miss it much, but also appreciate what's going on in Germany beer-wise (big shout-out to Stahlsturm & Herrburgess.) The "epic" comment was more a tip o' the hat to Herrburgess, who... well, hates(?) the excesses the craft scene in the USA is currently undergoing, and you just happened to walk into that discussion as Example A. Again, my apologies.

    I'm into sours, but not heavily. I just made a super lemony IPA that got a lactic acid infection and hence sour... love it. A perfect summer beer,... when it's 30F outside in March. :( I think you'd love it, too. Unfortunately, I only use plop-tops on my homebrew and they don't fly well; otherwise, I'd give you some. There is a sour in Germany - Gose - but it's so unheard of in Germany other than in Leipzig in the place they physically sell it, well, you could get it if you went there, but that's it. I've never seen Gose in the wide world of commerce.

    I'm actually not very excited about the beer scene in Germany. Traditional German brewers are a dieing breed and going through simply the same process the American beer scene went through since Prohibition, only at a slow motion super-sonic speed (I know it's an oxymoron, but that's the point.)

    Also, thanks all to those who either jumped in before I was able to or had my back. And many of your explanations were waaaaay better than I could've ever done, so props to y'all.

    Final point. Again, OP, please don't take this personally, and I also have to say no country has a monopoly on ignorance, but I've lived and taught English all around the world (Germany, Turkey, Japan, Holland, TEXAS, NY, Indiana, etc.), and I have world-wide experience of seeing so many American's utter culture/geographic ignorance of anything outside of America, and well, it's embarrassing. An example, one of my German students went to HS in the US, and she was asked if they have cars in Germany... and I have to try and somewhat defend this? Your transgression was not at all at this level of ignorance, in fact, I completely understand you now you've explained it and it makes perfect sense.

    Anyway, if you ever come to Germany and like sour beverages, I would love to show you (this invite goes out to all BA's, BTW) the Äppler (Apple wine) Lokale (restaurant/bars) which are very very traditional German, have great traditional German food, such as schnitzel and lots of other pork entrees, and in summer, IMO an Äppler is more refreshing, is lighter on the stomach and mind, and goes down better than beer on a warm day, and you can ogle the tourist. (Sorry Folko, even those in Bornheim are inundated today, seems they're in a Japanese/Korean guidebook.)
    Prost, Cheers, Kampai!
     
  22. starkmarvelo

    starkmarvelo Advocate (515) Nevada Jan 20, 2010

    I can see where cfrobrew is coming from. You'd think that since Germany is part of the EU, goods from other EU countries would be widely available. Apparently that doesn't seem to be the case.

    Here's a good read: http://knowledge.wharton.upenn.edu/article.cfm?articleid=3159

    For the sake of Germany, I hope they figure something out to bolster their beers, but I don't wish the disease that is the craft beer chase that we have going on right now on anyone. I grew up there and I miss it dearly, but I've heard a lot of things have changed.
     
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  23. Domingo

    Domingo Champion (955) Colorado Apr 23, 2005

    Now I'm curious about Äppler. Is that specific to a region/city? I've had (and actually like) Apfelkorn but was always told it was essentially for winos.
    Ever had any apple wines from the US? Are there any fair comparisons?
     
  24. boddhitree

    boddhitree Advocate (640) Germany Apr 13, 2008

    Thanks for pointing out the article. It's dead on.
     
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  25. Gutes_Bier

    Gutes_Bier Advocate (515) Germany Jul 31, 2011

    ^ This explains a lot, actually.

    I hope you do check back in to this forum if you do end up travelling here. You will find a lot of well informed people with a lot of good opinions and thoughts. And I'm here, too.

    To answer some other questions: Germany generally doesn't really do sours, but what they do, they do well (IMO). They are tradition-minded and do not seem to enjoy making (or buying) beers that color outside the lines, but they have set the standard for many different styles.

    I have come around on the beer scene here. At first I struggled to get used to it, living in mostly beer-dead Heidelberg. But now I know what to look for and more importantly how to get it.
     
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  26. boddhitree

    boddhitree Advocate (640) Germany Apr 13, 2008

    It's most famous in FfM, and one of the few places people of all walks of life mingle, and the tourists, of course. Many parts in Germany produce a similar product, and it has lots of different local names, but FfM is the sole place that has commercialized the product, going back 100s of years. Still, apple wine isn't a popular product outside the Rhine-Main area, in fact it's similar to Kölsch, beloved by locals but despised outside it's indigenous region.

    In fact, when I go out to bars/restaurants, unless there's something beer-wise that isn't a Fernsehbier, I go for an Äppler (the term for both the bar and the drink) or Ebbelwoi (this refers to the drink only). It's local, it's often fresh from a keg, and it's a little less than 5% ABV for a 1/2L Gerippte, which refers to the ribbed glass it's served in. Also, in an Äppler, you order a Bembel, which is a ceramic jug of 1, 2 or 5, even 10L, which you then pour in each person's glass, and usually mix/cut it, either with sparkling water (Sauer gespritzt or sour "sprayed") or with limonade [a lemon flavored cola] (Süss gespritzt or sweet "sprayed"). You can order a single glass with these terms or the Bembel with sparkling water or limonade on the side to make your own, usually at a 70/30 or 80/20 ratio.

    I had an interesting history with Ebbelwoi. I loathed the stuff in my teens and 20s, only 4 years ago on a humid, sweltering day in the sun, I felt beer (Pils) was just too heavy in the mouth and my stomach and felt dulled my mind, and someone handed me an Ebbelwoi. I was floored at how it just hit the spot, kinda like a Saison or a Farmhouse beer would've back 100 years ago. It felt cool, light in the mouth, tart, sour, just what my sweaty body craved. It wasn't heavy and didn't fill up your stomach, either, and got you less drunk. The perfect summer elixir, I just then thought.
     
  27. Thanks for the link. A very interesting read indeed!

    Cheers!
     
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  28. cfrobrew

    cfrobrew Advocate (550) Texas Oct 9, 2012


    Sounds like a great brew man, Ive been thinking of doing some kind of sour IPA but decided to start out with a sour brown. I may try out a sour mash IPA one day when Ive got a vessel to do it in that isnt used for other brews.

    I appreciate the further explanation, to be honest I got the gist of what you are describing when I looked around online but didnt want to believe it. I hoped there would be a bunch of very interesting German beers worth bringing back that were small and hard to get in the US.

    Ill certainly try to check those beverages out when I make it over that direction.

    Thanks for the lively discussion guys, and to boddhitree I actually lived in Dallas for a while. I lived in mckinney for a bit and then went to UTA. After I moved around the US for various engineering jobs I was floored at how different people were from place to place. That also has a lot to do with my rant about the diversity of people. That being said, the whole run around for the new fancy brew is a bit ridiculous here. Which has more recently inspired me to press into brewing my own beer and trying others more for socialization and learning.

    Thanks to everyone on here for the data dumps and opinions. If you ever find yourselves in the Houston area hit me up for a beer. I work at NASA here so maybe we can squeeze a tour in as well. Id certainly trade one of a bottle of that sour homebrew :)
     
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  29. The sours in Germany was Berliner Weisse when I lived there, 2 breweries, now one. Gose has come onto the scene around Leipzig.

    My German co-workers considered any Belgian beer suspect. The sour Belgian beers were obviously infected and were thought not fit for human consumption. Really.

    As for the Frankfurt airport, if you want to leave the secure area, there is a supermarket on the way to the local train station in the airport that has beer. You may or may not find interesting beers.
     
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  30. Stahlsturm

    Stahlsturm Savant (430) Germany Mar 21, 2005

    That would still be the general cosensus around here.