From Munich via Belgium to Oxfordshire

Here’s a taste tour that I would love to make in person.

FranziskanerFranziskaner Hefe-Weissbier Naturtrüb

This pours gold with a big foamy white head. As they say on their website, “Due to the higher carbon dioxide content, it is particularly lively and sparkling.” It has a yeasty nose with peach and banana esters. The smooth yeasty flavor continues the fruit with cracker malt building in, wrapping up with a nice malty finish. This comes from Spaten-Franziskaner-Bräu in Munich (inBev) 5.0% ABV

AugustinerAugustiner Bräu Maximator

From the oldest brewery in München, founded in 1294, this Dopplebock is chestnut brown with a generous bubbly cream head. The aroma is of rich dark malt, light coffee and cocoa. It has a medium-full body, brandy-caramel malts, and a slightly funky flavor. The finish is a little bitter with classic hops and a roasty touch. They say “especially suited for festivities during the chilly season” but I found it excellent in high summer . . . in good air conditioning. This is not ideally one for sipping by the pool. 7.5% ABV

LefebvreBrasserie Lefèbvre Blanche de Bruxelles Wit

Shows hazy gold with a moderate off white head. The yeasty nose carries faint fruit and light spice, perhaps coriander. The fruit emerges in the flavor with banana and stone fruit, along with lots of malt, bread and cracker, with lightly spicy hops. The body is quite light. The finish continues the malt and fruit. 4.5% ABV

MikkellerJackieMikkeller Jackie Brown Ale

Described as an American Brown Ale, this is almost opaque dark brown with a very generous off tan head. The nose is of caramel malt, coffee and a faint stone fruitiness. The flavor is very malty, roasty, with bitter chocolate coming in on a medium body. The finish gets smokiness and a light wave of caramel ending with a nice shot of hops. As a gypsy brewer, Mikkeller beers can come from a variety of breweries, this one is brewed at De Proef Brouwerij in Belgium. 5.9% ABV

Wychwood King GoblinWychwood Ale King Goblin

“Brewed only on a Full Lunar Moon.”

This pours hazy copper with a brief off white head. The malty nose comes with dried plum and a hint of spice. The flavor brings the fruit toward raisin with lots of chocolate and crystal malt and a trace of toast. The finish carries the flavor smoothly through a fade-to-black. Perhaps fitting for a King Goblin with a big axe, this seems to hit harder than its 6.6% ABV would indicate!

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