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Germany Went to Italy on vacation, had epiphany on German beer

Discussion in 'Europe' started by boddhitree, Aug 3, 2012.

  1. WhatANicePub

    WhatANicePub Jul 1, 2009 United Kingdom (Scotland)

    Talking about filtration systems. But I know a couple of cask brewers who are very keen on not fining their beer either.
  2. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania

    I was specifically commenting on filtering systems at the brewery.

    As regards non-kettle fining, that will also have an impact on beer flavor as well:

    “Gelatin will in general always affect the flavor of the beer...but it's not because you're adding something to the beer...it's what gets taken out.

    Much like fine filtering, gelatin will help to take out the larger particles in the beer...and they affect the flavor. Some of the common things that will drop out are yeast, proteins, and some of the hop compounds. All these items have a flavor impact on beer, and their absence is noticeable too.”

  3. herrburgess

    herrburgess Nov 4, 2009 South Carolina
    Beer Trader

    And you prefer un-fined cask ale? Un-filtered Czech Pils? I think you may be the one with exceptional tastes! ;)
  4. Gutes_Bier

    Gutes_Bier Jul 31, 2011 Germany

    While we are on the subject, are finings allowed under the RHG? Just curious.
  5. PancakeMcWaffles

    PancakeMcWaffles Jun 15, 2012 Germany

    If the finings stay in the beer, no!
    If you use something to help filtration and it gets 100% removed afterwards it's fine as far as I know!
    boddhitree and Gutes_Bier like this.
  6. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania

    “Un-filtered Czech Pils?” Someday, when I win the lottery, I would very much like to travel to the Czech Republic (Plzen) and indeed drink an Un-filtered Czech Pils: Pilsner Urquell Kvasnicový.

    One person’s ‘review’ of Pilsner Urquell Kvasnicový:

    “It is delicious and like nothing else. The atmosphere isn’t all that great either, at least in the big brewery called "Beer World." The barrel server was a grumpy curmudgeon when I was there too. Still I’ll never forget that cloudy orange hop elixir. They should all the shot for filtering and pasteurizing it!

    Pilsner Urquell Kvasnicový

    Color: Gold

    Type: Bohemian-Style Pilsener

    Alcohol percentage: 4,4 %

    Rec. serving temperature: 5° - 10°C | 41° - 50°F

    Brewery: Plzensky Prazdroj

    Country: Czech Republic

    Only available at Na Parkanu in Plzen and on the brewery tour.”

    I would be willing to bet that Pilsner Urquell Kvasnicový is absolutely GLORIOUS!

    In the meantime I will have to make due with Victory’s unfiltered Pilsners: Braumeister Pils series of beers.

    As you know, I am of the opinion that Victory Braumeister Pils – Sladek is an OUTSTANDIING beer!


    P.S. As regards: “I think you may be the one with exceptional tastes!” I really don’t think that is the case. I will admit that I do like tasty beers like Victory Braumeister Pils – Sladek and now I found another tasty Pennsylvania Pilsner in Neshaminy Creek Trauger Pilsner. Life just keeps getting better and better!:)
  7. einhorn

    einhorn Nov 3, 2005 California
    Beer Trader

    Indeed that was the answer. And I also agree that filtering changes the taste. Think about it - you are taking a flavor component out of the beer, it's going to taste different.

    They also discussed the issue of pasteurization which also changes flavor. So any unfiltered, unpasteurized beer coming straight from brite tank is going to taste like a completely different beer than the bottled version. And on that note, it might have been interesting to know how old the bottled version was.
  8. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania

    Unfortunately the sound quality is lacking in the video; too much background noise.

    I know that unfiltered Pilsners is not everybody’s cup of tea but those glasses of Pilsner Urquell Kvasnicový had me salivating.

    Na zdraví!

  9. herrburgess

    herrburgess Nov 4, 2009 South Carolina
    Beer Trader

    Again, I like Kellerbier as much as -- if not probably way more than -- the next guy. But I also like the beer that revolutionized brewing like no other: crystal clear, golden Pilsner Urquell. Why would I want proteins and/or residual yeast standing in the way of that soft Plzen water, the bready Bohemian malt, and those earthy, spicy Saaz hops. Only crystal clear and crisp does that beer -- and that style -- truly shine in all its "glory." Prost, and na zdrowie!
  10. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania

    Scott, I sincerely hope that you don’t think that I am trying to change your “exceptional tastes”! I truly believe that you do indeed have “exceptional tastes”. In contrast, I fully recognize that I don’t have your ‘ability’.

    The ‘good news’ for you is that the vast majority of beers, including Pilsners, are indeed filtered. I surmised this was done for aesthetic reasons but I suppose WhatANicePub is correct that it is done for shelf life reasons. So, you have lots of filtered beers (including Pilsners) to drink.

    I have a different opinion in that unfiltered beers (including Pilsners) are more flavorful. I forgot to mention in my previous posts that another unfiltered Pilsner that I enjoy drinking is Sly Fox Keller Pils (which I think is just unfiltered Sly Fox Pikeland Pils but I really don’t know). I also really, really like the Standard Pils they make”

    “Standard Pils

    A keller, or unfiltered Pils, hopped exclusively with German Spalt hops. Brewed in conjunction with former brewer, and current owner of the Standard Tap, William Reed to be released at the kickoff of Philly Beer Week for 2011 and again in 2012”

    Another of my favorite Keller Pils beer was the Southampton Keller Pils of 2010 which was unfiltered and definitely tasted like a Pilsner.

    Everybody has a different palate and a different expectation of what they think a beer should taste like.

    In summation, I would like to state that as brothers, we have kindred spirits but differing opinions on beers!

    Prost & Na Zdrowie!

    Brother Jack

    P.S. I am drinking a Troegs Nugget Nectar right now and that beer is awesome!
  11. Stahlsturm

    Stahlsturm Mar 21, 2005 Germany

    Pilsen is a 2 hour train ride (or a 1 hour car ride, if you dare to sit down in the Black Alfa...) from Regensburg :D
  12. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania

    If I win the lottery I will most definitely go the Black Alfa route. That will be a sweet ride! I just gotta make sure that I get a four seat version so that I can take you and your wicked hard core wife along. Pilsner Urquell Kvasnicový for everybody!!:)

    Na zdraví!
  13. Gutes_Bier

    Gutes_Bier Jul 31, 2011 Germany

    I would love to hear the "Jack Wins The Lottery Black Alfa" itinerary.
  14. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania

    "I would love to hear Jack Wins The Lottery Black Alfa" itinerary." Me too!:D

    I must admit that I really haven’t thought much about it since the seed was just planted today (thanks to Stahlsturm).

    So, there are a number of places I would like to visit in Europe; much of this due to the inspirational postings of herrburgess (kudos to Scott). So a preliminary list:

    · Northern Germany to drink very, very fresh Jever and Flensburger Pils. I have drunk a lot of Jever in my ‘career’ but unfortunately it is always several months (5+ months) old by the time I get it. I must say that Jever must have an outstanding bottling line because even with 5-7 months of age, Jever is still an enjoyable beer to drink. Unfortunately it seems that the hopping level has been decreasing over the past few years though.:(
    · Dusseldorf (hopefully around October or January) to try all of the tasty Alts but my primary mission would be for Zum Uerige Sticke Alt. That would be sweet!
    · Bamburg (and surrounding towns). I will be seeking out lots and lots of what I term Franconian Kellerbiers. I will also ‘take the challenge” and see if I can drink three Schlenkerla Marzen beers in a row. I have only drunk ½ of a liter bottle of Schlenkerla Marzen so far so I am uncertain I will succeed here. If Hardcore Frank has a wheelbarrow then I will certainly need to take the ‘Frank tour’.
    · Munich: I will go there principally for sightseeing but I will make it a point to drain a couple of Augustiner Helles in Maß mugs.
    · I now need to add Regensburg to my itinerary. Firstly for a five Maß tour of that town with Stahlsturm and his wicked hard core wife. I also need to stop there so I can bring them on my journey to the Pilsner homeland of the Czech Republic!
    · Needless to say that Plzen is on the itinerary to drink glorious Pilsner Urquell Kvasnicový beers. Maybe I will even be lucky to meet Vaclav Berka!?!
    · Next is Prague. My two missions there are drinking fresh unpasteurized Pilsner at Tankova Pubs. I also want to go to U Fleků to drink some tasty Czech dark lagers.

    So, I have only had 15 minutes of time to formulate the above but needless to say a number of thoughts have been in my mind for quite some time.

    Since I will be driving a four seater black Alfa there is room for brother Scott to join in the festivities. I will also not make him drink any hazy pilsners!;)

    Gutes_Bier and herrburgess like this.
  15. Stahlsturm

    Stahlsturm Mar 21, 2005 Germany

    Well, I already got the Black Alfa... :p
  16. Stahlsturm

    Stahlsturm Mar 21, 2005 Germany

    Let's see... Flight to München. 1 hour drive to Regensburg. 40 Minutes drive to Amberg. 40 Minutes drive to Bamberg. 1 hour drive to Pilsen. 40 minutes drive to Prague. Flight back home from Prague.

    There, I planned (most of) your trip for you. Now you can start thinking about how to finance that. :D
  17. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania

    “Now you can start thinking about how to finance that.”

    Plan A: Win the Powerball

    Plan B: The herrburgess "send Jack to Schlenkerla" fund

  18. Bierman9

    Bierman9 Dec 20, 2001 New Hampshire
    Beer Trader

    Stayed in Regensburg with my older daughter in 2007, and we took the train to Plzen for a day.... Had some nice, unfiltered Pils Urq from huge barrels in their lagering caves.... Stahlsturm was busy that weekend (Berlin marathon, I think?).... But I did get the White Knuckle tour around the area on a previous trip.... ;-)

  19. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania

    “Had some nice, unfiltered Pils Urq from huge barrels in their lagering caves” I just gotta ask, was that beer glorious!?!:cool:

    Na zdraví!
  20. Bierman9

    Bierman9 Dec 20, 2001 New Hampshire
    Beer Trader

    Mmmmm!!! Got 2x, as Caitlin wasn't a fan....
  21. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania

    2x is most definitely better!!

    More reason to bring brother Scott with me on my visit to Plzen; I get to drink his beer! A twofer!!:)

    Na zdraví!
  22. einhorn

    einhorn Nov 3, 2005 California
    Beer Trader

    More fodder Leute. Interesting development at Oettinger...

    Die Oettinger Braugruppe hat im Jahr 2011 einen deutlichen Einbruch beim Gewinn verschmerzen müssen. Wie einer aktuellen Pflichtveröffentlichung zu entnehmen ist, hat der Preiseinstiegsexperte statt 24 Millionen Euro im Vorjahr nur noch rund 4 Mio Euro verdient. Zum einen weil der Gesamtumsatz um 2% auf 414 Mio Euro sank. Zum anderen weil sich der Materialaufwand signifikant erhöhte. Das wird im Bericht auf eine Sondersituation im Jahre 2010 zurückgeführt. Damals sei eine Rückstellung für steigende Materialkosten aufgelöst worden. (Demnach hätte die Rendite schon 2010 nur bei ca. 1% gelegen.)

    Oettingers Problem ist der fehlende Abstand zu den Markenbieren. Deren Preisaggressivität engt den Spielraum für die Preiseingangsstufe ein. In der Pflichtveröffentlichung geht Oettinger (der Diktion nach wohl Brauereichef Dirk Kollmar persönlich) auf die Wettbewerber ein. Wörtlich heißt es zum Verlauf des Jahres 2011:

    "Wie auch im Vorjahr hat sich die Phantasielosigkeit beim Einsatz der Wettbewerbsinstrumente konsequent fortgesetzt. Neben einer groß angelegten Verlosungsaktion von PKW’s haben fast alle Marktteilnehmer den Aktionspreis breitflächig eingesetzt, um die Absätze zu fördern. Erste Anzeichen der Reflektion sind allerdings schon erkennbar, da man u.a. auch festgestellt hat, dass sich das Verbraucherverhalten dahingehend zu verändern scheint, dass vermehrt gezielt und aktionsinduziert eingekauft wird, ohne die gewünschten Mitnahmeeffekte von anderen Produkten zu erreichen. Es bleibt abzuwarten, inwieweit diese Erkenntnis in Handeln mündet."

    Es entbehrt nicht einer gewissen Ironie: Der Preisbrecher Oettinger beklagt sich über gebrochene Preise.

    If you will allow a simple Google translation, with a few tweaks, I would be grateful

    Oettinger Brewery Group had to get over a sharp drop in profits in 2011. As is apparent from a mandatory publication, the entry-level price expert earned only 4 million Euros vs. 24 million euros in the previous year. Firstly, because the total revenue declined by 2% to 414 million euro and secondly, because the cost of materials increased significantly. This is attributed in the report to a special situation in 2010. At that time, a provision for increasing material costs had been terminated. (Thus, the return would have been 2010, only about 1%.)

    Oettinger's problem is the lack of distance to the brand beers. Their aggressive pricing narrows the scope for entry level price. In the compulsory publication Oettinger (probably after the diction brewery boss Dirk Kollmar personally) on competitors.

    "Similar to last year, the lack of imagination in regards to marketing tools has continued to plaque the industry. Beside a major raffle of cars, almost all market players used pricing over a wide area in order to promote sales. First signs however, are already visible, as others are also noted is that consumer behavior seems to change so that more is purchased only through price-oriented offers/deals without reaching the desired profits from other products. It remains to be seen how this knowledge leads to action in the retail business.

    There is a certain irony: The price breaker Oettinger is complaining about low price

    I hope that the translation works somewhat. This only shows the fact (which I repeat again and again and again) that the industry in itself IS BROKEN. It doesn't matter if you like or don't like these beers, the fact of the matter is that ALL the players are suffering due to overcapacity, dumbed-down Einheit-pilsners and consumers used to paying bottom-dollar for beer.
    boddhitree and drtth like this.
  23. Domingo

    Domingo Apr 23, 2005 Colorado
    Subscriber Beer Trader

    For the locals – did Oettinger come out of nowhere? My first trip over was back in 2005 and I’ve been back 4 times since then. Can’t say I ever saw anything from them on my first couple of visits but on my most recent trip they were everywhere. From empty bottles on random park benches and by the river to random (non-homeless) people carrying multi-packs.
    It wasn’t long ago that those same bottles would’ve all been Augustiner hell, cans of Lowenbrau, or at least Beck's. Is it pretty much just price or are they making inroads into the mainstream market, too?
  24. Gutes_Bier

    Gutes_Bier Jul 31, 2011 Germany

    Well, according to the Wikipedia page, it has been the best selling beer in Germany since 2004. I have only been here since July of 2010, but it has always been everywhere (supermarkets and beer shops, not necessarily restaurants or bars). I don't see much Löwenbräu around, but when I've been to Berlin at least, the Empty Beer Left In The Train Station of choice did seem to still be Augustiner Helles. The only people I've ever seen carrying Oettinger have been students and, well, drunks (for lack of a more delicate way to put that).

    einhorn likes this.
  25. einhorn

    einhorn Nov 3, 2005 California
    Beer Trader

    Oettinger was the original "inexpensive beer" (as I recall about DM 7 for 20x0.5 liter), and since others have tried to duplicate the model. High volume, some beers actually half-decent quality (I know I will take flak for that, but it's true), and due to massive volume, always fresh.
  26. herrburgess

    herrburgess Nov 4, 2009 South Carolina
    Beer Trader

    First time I had Oettinger was 1997. At the time you could find it for around DM6-8 for a crate. I disliked it from the first moment I tasted it, as it had a distinctly grainy/husk-y malt flavor and a sharp (not-at-all rounded or clean) finish.

    Fast forward to 2012 and I tried it again and, like Einhorn says, found it actually of quite high quality. I have no idea if they changed the recipe or if the barley harvest was simply better for that year. Of course it was hardly preferable to the crate of Tannenzaepfle stacked beside it in my in-laws' basement, but it was surprisingly OK. (Can't believe I'm actually saying this....)
    einhorn likes this.
  27. Stahlsturm

    Stahlsturm Mar 21, 2005 Germany

    There are a great many people in Germany who can only buy Oettinger if they want beer at all. The economic situation isn't all that brilliant and there's a much greater percentage of our population living off the state (and the meager funds provided) than offical statistics let on. For those 20 to 30 % of the population it's either 5 EUR a crate or no beer at all, they don't have any other choice living on ALG-II or similar sized "incomes".
  28. PancakeMcWaffles

    PancakeMcWaffles Jun 15, 2012 Germany

    I have done a blind-tasting recently, Oettinger vs Radeberger!
    They look pretty much the same, one of them had a better head retention (can't remember which one), and the difference in taste was minimal...
    I'd say, if someone serves you an Oettinger and tells you it's a Radeberger/Krombacher/Warsteiner (etc.) you're not going to notice anything!
    einhorn and herrburgess like this.
  29. herrburgess

    herrburgess Nov 4, 2009 South Carolina
    Beer Trader

    I think I could pick out the Warsteiner, but not the Radeberger or Krombacher...never cared much for either of those two (especially the latter; yuk).
  30. Domingo

    Domingo Apr 23, 2005 Colorado
    Subscriber Beer Trader

    I was kind of thinking that, mainly just because Warsteiner tastes a bit different, IMO. For better or worse, it's unique.
    Now I think I'm going to have to grab an Oettinger bottle on my next trip just for the sake of trying it.
  31. Gutes_Bier

    Gutes_Bier Jul 31, 2011 Germany

    You may as well just go for it and grab a few of these:


    Cost per 500 ml bottle: €0.53 (includes €0.25 Pfand).
  32. boddhitree

    boddhitree Apr 13, 2008 Germany

    When a half liter of beer is cheaper than bottled water, you know there's something wrong. .
  33. Gutes_Bier

    Gutes_Bier Jul 31, 2011 Germany

    Yeah, not recommended.

    Also, I'm noticing now I said "bottle" in my above post, but obviously(?) that is a can.
  34. Stahlsturm

    Stahlsturm Mar 21, 2005 Germany

    You Sir, are a masochist. o_O

    Seriously, what morbid curiosity drove you to violate your taste buds in such a monsterous fashion ?
  35. Stahlsturm

    Stahlsturm Mar 21, 2005 Germany

    When half a liter of beer is cheaper than bottled water it likely has the taste profile of bottled water as well. However, bottled water in German discounters costs 0.19 EUR (without deposit) for 1.5 liters so water still is significantly cheaper. Not that I'm trying to advocate the above "Export" of course :)
  36. einhorn

    einhorn Nov 3, 2005 California
    Beer Trader

    Thought you guys might like this

  37. PancakeMcWaffles

    PancakeMcWaffles Jun 15, 2012 Germany

    Let's say I am certainly not someone who buys a palette of 5,0 and drinks that stuff all day long (it's made by Oettinger breweries though as far as I know), but I was really curious on having a blind tasting Oettinger vs Fernsehbiere and see if it is as bad as some people call it. It's actually not that bad, I don't understand the "hate" Oettinger gets. At least they don't annoy me with advertisement everywhere :D
    But that one bottle of Oettinger was the first one and was probably the last one I bought, because it pretty much tastes like all the other Fernsehbiere - which I rarely buy.

  38. boddhitree

    boddhitree Apr 13, 2008 Germany

    Thank you for taking one for the team. Your selfless act of bravery will be noted in our honor roll of foolhardy fools willing to subject their tongues to wicked torture.
    Stahlsturm likes this.
  39. Domingo

    Domingo Apr 23, 2005 Colorado
    Subscriber Beer Trader

    While I'm sure these are comparatively rough when matched against Augustiner or Rothaus, I bet they're like drinking the nectar of the gods compared to some of our value branded US lagers like Keystone and Milwaukee's Best.
    steveh likes this.
  40. herrburgess

    herrburgess Nov 4, 2009 South Carolina
    Beer Trader

    Actually that's close to something Matthias Trum said when I talked to him: while some German beers are of considerably lower quality than others, none are objectively bad. (He also said that he was surprised at how many infected and otherwise "off" beers he has had from U.S. craft brewers....)
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