An Almanac of German Beers

This page is dedicated to Beer, wonderful German beer. From shelf beer to boutique micro-brews, Im interested in it all, and here you can find photos and reviews of the multifarious beer ensemble available to me in Germany. *This almanac is a work in progress*

Beer is good... says the doctor.

Budweiser Budvar Imported Dark Lager

Dont let the name fool you, this one is not the same as the so called “King of Beers” found in virtually every store in the USofA. Although they happen to share the same name, Budweiser Budvar is from quality incomparably better than its Us counterpart.

Budweiser Budvar is brewed in the village of Budweis in the Czech Republic and, therefore, does not officially qualifying as a German beer.  Although, if we go back in time – say about 150 years – what is now the Czech Republic was once part of the German Empire, so in a way you might say that Budweiser Budvar and German beer share a comm tradition. Indeed, one can find many similarities between Bohemian/Czech Pilsners and German Pils . That being said, I still believe this beer needs to be documented and appreciated, deserving to be showcased alongside the great German beers. (From time to time I will include other beers from around Europe) Budweiser is best known for its lager, and it is one of my favorite beers due to its crisp hoppy taste. The Dark Lager is one of my favorite beers on the shelf at the moment. I simply cannot get enough of it. It reminds me of Sessios Dark Lager back home.

.5 Liter poured into my Ikea chalice

Without further ado, I give you the beer:

Appearance – The color is dark crimson-brown. It has medium carbonation that produces a sturdy initial head which quickly dissipates leaving nothing but a few patches of bubbles on the surface.

Scent – Wow, what a beautiful, sweet, dark chocolate like aroma. Hints of coffee can be detected as well.

Taste – Like a traditional bohemian lager, it has very bitter taste, nevertheless you can still taste the sweetly smoked grains. This aspect gives the complexity of an ale.  Floral hop accents can not be detected. Overall, very well balanced.

Mouthfeel – Very full mouthfeel. On the other hand it does not have enough carbonation for my tastes.

Drinkability – Very easy to drink. This beer is better for sipping than a normal lager.

I give this beer a solid B

Augustinerbräu München Lagerbier Hell

This is a very common beer here in Germany and can be found on nearly every shelf in Berlin. It is considered one of the better beers available, and when you have an excuse to celebrate, or perhaps just a little extra money, then you buy some of this. Augistiner is characteristic of the southern German beer(aka Bavaria) tradition, as it is not very bitter and is sweet and grainy. For my tastes, it is a little heavy for a lager. Nevertheless, Im grateful for such a fine German concoction.

.5 Liter bottle poured into my Ikea grail.

Appearance – Golden crystal yellow with a light, sudsy head that sticks around just long enough to dip the tip of your nose in it for a whiff. Medium to medium-high carbonation.

Smell – A faint acidic lemony smell that is tinted with the smell of hay and steel.

Taste – Distinct barny grains that are quite sweet. Slightly bitter and containing chalky flavors, but not dry at all.

Mouthfeel – Very well-rounded beer with just the right amount of carbonation.

Drinkability – Although this beer is extremely delicious and filling, drinking just a few will leave you with a headache for a hangover later on.

I give this beer a B-

Schöfferhofer  Dunkles Hefeweizen

Hefeweizen stands for yeast(hefe) and wheat(weizen), the two defining components of this beer. Malted barley is also present, giving this beer a dark color and a subtle, yet very sweet, grainy profile. This typical German hefeweizen, a style which has been brewed since ancient times, is distinctive for its strong banana and clove tastes, produced by a very special, top fermenting yeast. This beer is like a box of Wheaties, stirred up with some bananas and licorice.

Without the proper glass, Im not sure this review is even valid...

Appearance – It has a brown-amber color and pores a thick frothy head accompanied by light lacing.

Smell – It has a distinct sweet anis smell, a bit like sweet likorice, with faint hints of roasted grains.

Taste – Again, a heap of comlex flavors: bananas, likorice, unbaked doe and buttery vanilla notes.

Mouthfeel – Lots of carbonation that brings out that delicious banana aroma.

Drinkability – To many flavors to drink in mass quantities and quite filling, too.

This beer receives, again, a B from me.

Flensburger Pilsner

Flensburger comes from the town of Flensburg in the northern Germany, which is situated on the coast of the Baltic Sea. Next to Jever, Flensburger is the best known beer from northern Germany and is a favorite among locals in the region. It is THE beer on my favorite island, Amrum. It is perhaps one of the bitterest beers available and is associated with the sea folk and Fresians of the north. This beer comes in a unique bottle with a pop-top lid that makes and awesome PHWOP when opened.

Appearance – Bright golden yellow. Very light head.

Smell – Chalky salty smell.

Taste – Very bitter, hard and salty water.

Mouthfeel – Lots of carbonation and light texture.

Drinkability – Very refreshing on a hot summer day. I’d drink it!

Grade : C

Historisches Emmer Bier, Reidenburger Brewery

This is beer is interesting for its unique mixture of grains: Emmer, Dinkel, Einkorn. Emmer and Einkorn are ancient species of cultivated wheat that according to clever archaeologists are as old as 12,000 years. Emmer was the main ingredient  in ancient Egyptian brew and was used throughout the Old World in combination with other grains to brew beer and bake bread. Emmer is no longer commercially produced and typically grows in mountainous regions like the Alps. We should expect to see a resurfacing of this ancient wheat due to its ability to resists funguses and thrive on nutrient-poor soil.

Emmer beer is a portal back in time to the Medieval breweries of the Old World. I’m looking forward to brewing this type of beer someday, if only I could get my hands on some of that Emmer wheat. Blast!

.5 Liter bottle poured into mass-produced goblet

Appearance – unfiltered amber color, nice rocky head.

Smell – sour and spicy.

Taste – dark fruity notes and sour dough finish.

Mouthfeel – nice full body and a surprising amount of carbonation.

Drinkability – Sure.

Grade : A-

Ps- I love medieval stuff……


One Comment on “An Almanac of German Beers”

  1. Nilu says:

    Sweet reviews, but get yourself a real glass! The waviness of this one changes the colors of the beer.

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