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Mahrs -- Tradition, Newness...and a Falloff?

Discussion in 'Germany' started by herrburgess, Feb 27, 2019.

  1. herrburgess

    herrburgess Meyvn (1,079) Nov 4, 2009 South Carolina
    Industry

    I keep hearing from numerous reliable sources that quality at Mahrs has fallen off of late. I think it has been a fairly commonly held hope that German brewers could embrace the new ("craft") movement while simultaneously honoring tradition. Of all the Franconian breweries, Mahrs seemed to embody this spirit. And now many have come to question their quality. Coincidence? Result of losing focus? Harbinger of things to come among other Franconian/Bavarian/traditional German brewers? What are y'all's thoughts here? I haven't been back recently to notice any dropoff, so I'm hesitant to say. Many of you have, though. Chime in!
     
    AlcahueteJ and boddhitree like this.
  2. hopfenunmaltz

    hopfenunmaltz Meyvn (1,403) Jun 8, 2005 Michigan

    Scott, I was there last August. Traveled with a friend that is a Brewer, his spouse who is an Advanced Cicerone, and my wife who has a darned good Palate. Disclaimer, we had poured some Herren Pils down our necks before Mahr's.

    The Helles was not as good as I remembered. The Mahr's Piks was just OK, but disappointing after Herren. The U-was the best of the 3, but not as stunning as I remembered. This was the consensus.

    Please report your impressions on your next trip.
     
  3. herrburgess

    herrburgess Meyvn (1,079) Nov 4, 2009 South Carolina
    Industry

    I worried when they said they were abandoning Bayerischer Anstich kegs for the U. In my experience at Bierkeller, moving TO Bayerischer Anstich has been one of the biggest improvements we've made. Will be back this year so I will definitely let y'all know my thoughts. Three years ago it still tasted great to me
     
    AlcahueteJ likes this.
  4. hopfenunmaltz

    hopfenunmaltz Meyvn (1,403) Jun 8, 2005 Michigan

    Agreed that all the beers seemed better three years ago. The U was great.
     
    herrburgess likes this.
  5. spartan1979

    spartan1979 Aspirant (279) Dec 29, 2005 Missouri

    I was there in October, but I only drank the Bock which was fine.
     
    AlcahueteJ and herrburgess like this.
  6. Domingo

    Domingo Poo-Bah (2,265) Apr 23, 2005 Colorado

    Not sure how far back this goes, but things were fine in 2017. We had the U and ETA Hoffmann. My biggest disappointment was that they discontinued their weissbier. The Gutmann one they replaced it with was okay, but not comparable IMO.
    As far as bottles go, while U is always pretty good, I don't think it tastes anything like the draft version. My pub gets U kegs here and there and they're night and day better than the bottles. Could be age, but even fresh bottles seem to simply taste like a different beer.
     
    AlcahueteJ, Witherby and herrburgess like this.
  7. Malt_Man

    Malt_Man Zealot (552) Jul 4, 2014 United Kingdom (England)

    I was there in September (my third time) and the U tasted great to me.
     
    herrburgess likes this.
  8. herrburgess

    herrburgess Meyvn (1,079) Nov 4, 2009 South Carolina
    Industry

    I hope its still good. just been hearing from way too many reputable folks/palates that it had noticeably fallen off. may be back soon, so I can see for myself.

    mahrs has said they'd serve from the gravity kegs in colder months and tanks in warmer ones. anyone know if this has played out that way?
     
  9. Dodger75

    Dodger75 Initiate (50) Feb 26, 2017 England

    Been three times and each time the U has been tremendous to my palate. Last visit my pal kept exclaiming “ooooooohhhhhh” after each sip as he put his beer back into the table.
     
    herrburgess likes this.
  10. AlcahueteJ

    AlcahueteJ Savant (902) Dec 4, 2004 Massachusetts

    Not what you're looking for, but I had the Mahr's Pils on draft for the first time at a very reputable bar in Boston called Deep Ellum.

    I enjoyed it, but I get this sweet honey-like taste that's weird, not exactly the Pils malt, but not really age either. I get it in their Helles too.

    While I did enjoy it, I'm not sure it blew me away. The Notch Tenner (Desítka), their triple decocted pale lager, I had before that on draft was better in my opinion.
     
    herrburgess likes this.
  11. herrburgess

    herrburgess Meyvn (1,079) Nov 4, 2009 South Carolina
    Industry

    sounds like age.

    although if you don't boil your pale beers long enough then you can get issues (also with age) with 2,3-pentanedione. doubt it's that but who knows. every time I drink Mahrs at the source I assume it's super fresh.
     
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  12. AlcahueteJ

    AlcahueteJ Savant (902) Dec 4, 2004 Massachusetts

    I should have clarified why I didn't think it was age.

    I realize this is a quality that can show up due to age (I think it might have been you who pointed this out to me the first time I had bottled Mahr's!).

    But what are the odds I've picked up this character in their bottled Helles, more than once on draft with the Helles, and then on draft with the Pils (at a reputable bar that tends to always have fresh imports)?

    For what it's worth, I've had the U on draft many times and don't recall noticing this character.

    This is all in the US though.
     
    herrburgess likes this.
  13. herrburgess

    herrburgess Meyvn (1,079) Nov 4, 2009 South Carolina
    Industry

    then I might in fact guess it's a 2,3-pentanedione issue. would surprise me, but the fact that the darker U doesn't exhibit it might be a further indicator.
     
    AlcahueteJ likes this.
  14. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa Poo-Bah (3,843) Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania
    Premium

    When it comes to distributed beer it is not just a case of age but how the beer was handled throughout the entire supply chain. Ideally the kegs would be transported in refrigerated containers from the brewery to the point where they are trucked to the US Wholesale Distributor (and refrigerated there and until delivered to the bar). Just one day of very high temperature can damage of a beer:

    [​IMG]
     
  15. AlcahueteJ

    AlcahueteJ Savant (902) Dec 4, 2004 Massachusetts

    While true, I'm not sure where this keg would have been exposed to very high temperatures at this time of year.

    I don't know for sure, but I assume it came from Germany (where it's cold right now) and then was shipped to the Northeast (where it's also cold).
     
  16. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa Poo-Bah (3,843) Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania
    Premium

    Maybe it sat for a few weeks in warmer conditions at a Customs warehouse? Who knows.

    The beauty of drinking beer at a brewpub or a breweries tasting room is you know those beers did not have to go through a multi-tier supply chain.

    Cheers!
     
  17. herrburgess

    herrburgess Meyvn (1,079) Nov 4, 2009 South Carolina
    Industry

    True to some degree. I know a number of brewery tap rooms that are regularly serving old beer (some of which may have even made its way through the entire supply chain before being returned to the brewery...and put on tap). No guarantees these days what with all the competition out there.
     
    AlcahueteJ likes this.
  18. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa Poo-Bah (3,843) Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania
    Premium

    I suppose the 'solution' here is to solely drink on premise at popular brewpubs/breweries who choose to not distribute their beer? This would address the topic of mishandling during the supply chain.

    Cheers!
     
  19. herrburgess

    herrburgess Meyvn (1,079) Nov 4, 2009 South Carolina
    Industry

    n
    That's the Bavarian model in a nutshell!