Thursday, December 4, 2008

Travels in Germany : 2008

Our Head Brewer, Doug Hindman, is visiting relatives in Bavaria in early December, taking in the local sites, sounds, and, of course, some of the local beer culture. Check back for updates on his trip north from Munich to Franconia, considered by many to be Germany's "Beervana," with over 300 operating breweries in an area barely twice the size of Rhode Island (8,800 sq. mi.).

Here are a few photos from a visit on Dec. 3 to the Griesbräu brewpub in Murnau, Germany, located about 60 kilometers SW of Munich.

The brewers here brewed a nice Weihnachts (Xmas) Weizenbock as their seasonal beer that went very well with the "Brez'n."

The Ur Dunkel was good too, a bit sweeter than the Weizenbock but quite delicious and perfectly paired with potato salad and red cabbage.

The pub had two really interesting features: a "Bierbrunnen" (beer fountain) and a "Fass" delivered to the patrons' table.

The "Bierbrunnen" is a tap on the wall that customers can use to freely re-fill their glasses whenever they get thirsty. This works great for gatherings of large groups, since they can purchase the 25L (6.6 gallon) keg in advance and help themselves to more beer throughout the evening. Besides that, the presentation of the tap on the wall was very tastefully done.

The other table service option offered at Griesbräu was a 10L "Fass" or 2.6 gallon keg of Keller (cask-conditioned) beer delivered to the table.

A staff person from the brewery, together with a guest, taps the keg with a mallet and patrons can then pour direcly from the tap at their leisure. This seemed to really amuse those at the lucky table and provided a great opportunity to talk about the particular style of beer being served (in this case a Helles) and how cask-conditioning or kellerbier differs from normal beer.

So far on this trip we've tasted, in addition to Griesbräu beers, Paulaner Hell, Augustinerbräu Weizen and Dunkel, Erdinger Dunkel Weizen, Max Josef Jubiläums Export, and Reutberger Hellesbock.

Still to come are Erdinger Urweisse and Reutberger Kloster Biere Export Dunkel along with visits to Lammsbräu, an organic brewery in Neumarkt, Tölz Biertempel, a hop farm near Neustadt, and a malt house in Erlangen.

As a brewer, you've just got to love this country!

1 comment:

Kerry said...

The group keg is really intersting. Todd showed me a photo of a place that he was at in Spain that there were taps at the table. Have a safe and brew-tastic trip, Brewie!