German Craft Beer: A Growing Niche
Variety Is The Spice Of Life
A Tipsy Trip
Below is a brief rundown of the different types of beer I tried during my visit last night. As you can see, I am not a huge fan of IPA: Nothing against them per se, it’s just personal preference that I don’t like hoppy, fruity tasting beer. I tended to concentrate on some of the stronger and darker types of beer which they had on offer and for the first two beers, I sampled two local craft beers from the Mainz/Wiesbaden area. So, here’s to the beers: Beer number 1, Kuehn, Kunz & Rosen Festland Bock from Mainz. A dark beer with a malty taste, which deviates slightly from the German purity law with its inclusion of tonic beans. Beer number 2, Wiesbaden Braumanufaktur Amber Ale. A red lager from my adopted home town with a hazelnut colour, malty taste with a hoppy nose. Beer number 3, LaBierAtorium Alte Welt Ale (old world ale) from Brandenburg in eastern Germany. A hint of smokiness and with a bitter taste round off an all-round decent beer. Beer number 4, Faust Brauerei Winterfest Bier from Miltenberg in Lower Franconia, a beautiful setting surrounded by hills along the River Main. A classic example of a traditional brewery expanding into the craft scene whilst holding on heavily to its roots. Beer number 5, SuperFreunde Golden Pale Ale from Berlin’s trendy suburb of Friedrichshain. These guys are definitely part of the new start-up scene and are all about their brand. An easy-to-drink ale which would be perfect in summer. Beer number 6, Rheinhessen Bräu Winterbock, a delicious dark bock beer with a whiff of roasted malt, from a brewery set in the middle of the Rheinhessen vineyards. Beer number 7 and by far the best beer of the night was from Vulkan Brauerei Bourbon Barrel DoppelBock. This is really something special, a light-coloured bock beer which is matured in imported bourbon barrels from the US and is cooled in the world’s deepest beer cellar. Beer number 8 and my least favourite of the night was Sander Schockolator. This strong, chocolatey stout was disappointing, as I usually love these types of beer. However, I probably just picked the wrong choice as they have lots of variety in their portfolio and a well-established website. Beer number 9, an unusual but very nice Rye beer (Roggenbier) from Alzeyer Völker Bräu, which from their website and stand look like almost a one-man hobby project. Impressive stuff for such a small outfit. And finally to round off the night was beer number 10 which was a Ravenkraft Red Ale brewery in Nuremberg, in the heart of Franconia brewing country, a red lager similar in taste to beer number 2.
Better To Have A Spoonful Of Gold…
If any of you are wondering how did I manage to drink 10 pints of strong, German craft beer, well…no, I’m not a Geordie rugby player. They gave out taster glasses upon entry and the measures typically were 0.1 litre to allow you to taste as many beers as possible. A good plan, and respect to the event organisers for laying on free water dispensers throughout the hall! We all made the S-Bahn home easily enough and even managed to resist the temptation of the kebab shop stop on the way home.