Shall we be “authentic” today?
Here’s a beer with heritage, from one of the most famous breweries in the world, founded in 1589. Hey, what’s 425 years between friends?
So, is this bottle almost like going to the source? Well, the atmosphere is a little different than when I was in the Hofbräuhaus in München. I could pronounce it then, having wasted a couple of years of German classes, but unfortunately I was 16 and didn’t drink yet. That meant that *all* I got was atmosphere, and Coca-Cola (same name, same soda). I remember being awed by the number of 1-liter steins that the beer maids carried, and a bit awed by the size of the steins. (OK, mugs, since these were glass and not stone.) My father wasn’t much of a drinker, and asked me the word for small. “Kleine,” I explained. When the beer maid came, he duly ordered “Ein Kleine” only to be told “Nein Kleine! Größe!” Meanwhile my mother cheerfully quaffed her liter!
Oh, right, the beer. Tangy lager yeast greets you, then a smooth malt with a slight dustiness to it, otherwise it’s very clean. There’s not a great deal of flavor, but I guess that’s not the point when drinking multiple Größe. The finish carries the yeast and malt for a long time. 5.1% ABV, their website proclaims its “refreshing, bitter flavour.” Refreshing, yes, but compared to the IPAs this has no bitterness at all! I’ll save this for the next time I’m in Munich . . . or perhaps to “rinse” the stein that I brought back from there, oh so many years ago.
What an excellent Weizenbock! Should we expect anything less from the “world’s oldest continuously operating brewery?” Well, I guess age sometimes has little to do with quality, but since Weihenstephaner has been around since 1040 AD, they should have had time to get it right! Compared to this brewery, Hofbräu is a youngster!
When poured, this generated a 4-inch head in a Weizen glass, and easily sustained a 1-inch head for a long time. Lovely yeasty nose with just a hint of hops. Nice body, malt in the mouth, just a faint fruity hint, and again a touch of hops. It seems to have a little more clout than some wheat beers, and a deeper, earthier quality. In fact it has some clout, at 7.7% ABV.
Neshaminy Creek Highwater Hefeweizen
Crossing the Atlantic, we go for a Pennsylvania Hefeweizen in the German style. It’s fairly dark amber for a hefeweizen, and the moderate head dissipates fairly quickly. It gives a nice yeasty nose like bread and coconut. On the palette I get an immediate impression of oranges followed immediately by caramel-sweet malt with a hint of clove and a sort of melon-like fullness.
I like this a lot.
The description is of classic German ingredients and techniques, but I still guess this is a sort of “New World” Hefeweizen, richer and a little heavier than many European examples, if substantially lower alcohol than the Weihenstephaner at 5.2% ABV.
Alesmith Yulesmith Summer Holiday Ale
Moving into the realm of Ale, the citrusy hops cut right through my stuffed-up nose, leaving a hint of pine. The malt fills the mouth and then the hops return strongly, again with citrus.
I poured this in one of my new Weizen glasses, more than slightly large for a double IPA, almost large enough to hold the bomber, but not enough to hold the bomber and the 2″ head that I got on the pour. The head lingered a while, and heavily laced the glass. A most welcome brew to counter a fairly bad day. This has a long hoppy finish too. Summer Yule? Yes, I suppose there’s a “Christmas in July” aspect to this brew; I look forward to trying their holiday holiday ale!
Day of the Dead Beer, Pay the Ferryman Porter, from Cerveceria Mexicana.
If Dos Equus grew up and attracted someone more interesting, this might be the result. It pours nearly black with a brief tan head but a lingering ring. The nose is chocolate and tobacco with a sweet note. On the palette, light smokiness leads.
It has a surprisingly light mouth feel with a slight effervescence, but still substantial enough to call itself a porter. It feels easy to drink, and at 5% ABV that’s pretty much the case. Almost not bitter at all, but there’s a bit of hops on the end along with that smokiness, so those who only like it pale won’t care for this. I’ve been on a bit of a weissbier kick, as you can see above, but this brings me right back to the Dark Side.