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  1. #1
    Bourbonian of the Year 2011
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    Toronto, Canada

    First Beers In Germany

    I had some great beers when awaiting transfer flights in Frankfort airport recently (my only time so far in Germany) including Licher pils, export and weizen. Also had some draft Lowenbrau and one or two other German drafts in Spain, Warsteiner, say.

    The Licher beers were really good, especially the weizen and export: full-bodied, clean, rich, complex, only the best micro beers can equal them here and Licher is (I checked after) an old-established commercial brewery: in other words the standard there is so high it is equal to only what our best micros can do.

    The hop character of these beers, including the others I mentioned, seems to share something in common and is different from the character of Pilsener Urquel. It is mineral-like, spicy and with a kind of earthy complexity. I recognise it in muted form in imported canned and bottled beers but it seems best in the fresh local draft beer. Warsteiner offers the same quality, so does the excellent Spanish Estrella Damm, the main draft beer in Barcelona, but not as full-bore (I found) as in the Licher Export.

    I can imagine what the beers must be like from yet smaller breweries and gasthauses let alone unfiltered lagers and other specialties.

    The barmen at Frankfort airport seemed amused one would order beers to compare the taste and more than that to leave some of them unfinished! In a culture where good beer is bred in the bone, one doesn't usually articulate the merits of the drink, but I articulated since that is how I learned about it. (I suppose something similar can be said about bourbon although that is different I think).

    One barman told me that rarely did anyone specify the pils or the export (Dortmund-style, broadly) of Licher even though the menu read Licher Pils/Export. I said how do you decide what to give them? He said if I'm pulling a beer from the pils tap and someone orders "a beer" (ein bier) I'll pull the next from the export tap since they are similar in character (which is true). He did say sometimes people will specify one or the other, but in terms of strength, they'll say e.g., "I'll take the stronger one". The Export is about a 1/2% stronger in ABV than the pils and I thought was richer and more hop-emphatic. But the quality of the bready German malts was evident too, heavier than I'll usually encounter here even from microbrewers but very tasty.

    It was enjoyable to try these specialties - or what to me are specialties - and one day I will pursue these investigations "in situ".

    Last edited by Gillman; 01-03-2008 at 14:18.



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