Beer Tasting, 29 Dec. 2014, Dusseldorf Germany

During our recent visit to Germany, we were invited to a party at our friend Franzi’s flat in Düsseldorf on Dec. 29th to celebrate the holidays with some of her friends. She also wanted to use this opportunity to do some beer tastings and took us to one of the local liquor stores earlier in the day. This was like walking into beer heaven in Germany for me. Trinkgut as shown in the picture actually had rows and rows of bottled local and regional German beers. We had a great time picking out the beers to try that night and below is the reviews of the one’s we were able to try. One thing that should be noted is that the beer prices in Germany are considerably lower than in the states, most of the 22oz. singles like the ones pictured were no more than $2-$3/each. I also noticed that there were only 3 or 4 beers available in cans (6 or 12 packs), and not refrigerated. I did ask one of the brewers that we spoke with on the trip about the lack of can’s and there was no real good explanation for it, other than cost of materials must be prohibitive, or the lack of production/canning facilities. Or, I am thinking that it’s just that German’s are used to bottled beers, as that’s how it’s always been and they rarely change their habits when it comes to beer consumption.

The party was a lot of fun, the food was just amazing and we all had a great time trying the beers and learning about them. I want to thank Franzi and her friends for providing us such a great time that night.

Grevensteiner Landbier
C&A.Veltins • Kellerbier / Zwickelbier • ABV: 5.2% • IBUs: ?
10 SRM with a lighter cloudy unfiltered appearance. Bottled conditioned and pours with a frothy head that disappears quickly. Landbier is similar to helles and weizen combined if you are not familiar with it. The nose has slight vegetable and herbal on the front and distinctive yeasty from the unfiltered body. This lager is well balanced with the piney/green hop bitter is balanced with a nice malt build. The yeast does linger on the mid and back.

Fiege Bernstein
Moritz • Vienna Lager • ABV: 4.7% • IBUs: ?
11 SRM with clear pour, light head that disappears quickly. Foam lattice sticks to the glass edge in small patterns. The nose initially has light malt and oats. The front mouth is sharp hop esters with grassy and pine notes. Cut grass is what lingers on the dry mid and back with a caramel sweet high note as it fades. Overall, this is similar to “hoppy pales” commonly found in the US and somewhat middle of the road.

Schwarzer Abt
Neuzeller Kloster-Brau • Schwarzbier • ABV: 3.9% • IBUs: ?
Sweet oats on the nose, a full bodied dark Schwarzer with a solid head and really clingy lattice all around. The head is a darker tan color. 28ish SRM, with dark red hue. There are little to no hops present in the profile in this over powered roasted malts and toasted oats sweet-syrupy beer. Overall this has way too much sweetness for everyone that tried it. It got such low ABV, it’s like “maltz bier” non alcoholic biers for kids.

Wintertraum seasonal ale
Leikeim • Dortmunder / Export Lager • ABV: 5.4% • IBUs: ?
Beautiful white full head, 3 SRM lighter yellow hue, crystal clear. Little yeast and sharp aroma on the nose. The beer presents like a lite ale or Pilsner on hop , soft hops and a low malt profile. There is a slight spice of cinnamon and grassy sharpness on the mid. Overall this is a little similar to a Czech Pils.

Bolten Alt
Bolten Brauerei • Altbier • ABV: 4.8% • IBUs: ?
Light tan colored fully formed head, slight roasted sweeter malt on the nose, 21 SRM and clear body and mid amber hue. Lots of malt on the front. Full mouthfeel of oats and sweeter burnt sugar. Sharp dry bitters do present in the mid and after taste. The overall take on this is an average Dusseldorf Alt with enough body to keep your attention. There is a group consensus on the drink-ability of this Alt… “das ist gut…”

Oscar Maxxum Alt
Oscar Maxxum • Altbier • ABV: 4.8% • IBUs: ?
This Alt pours a full frothy head that lingers and leaves a nice lattice on the glass. Slight sweet malts and sugar nose. Full body malts on the front with hints of dried plums and tobacco and dried herbs. Balanced dry hop profile exist in the full rounded body. Sweet butter and more dried fruit are on the back with slight hints of raisin and nuts that linger. Overall, a really full bodied and clean finishing amber Alt.

Doppelt Gehopft Herb
Warsteiner Brauerei • Pilsner • ABV: 4.8% • IBUs: ?
Wow, skunk bier. Bright yellow 4 SRM, full head with white lingering lattice foam. Skunk herbs and wild yeast on the nose. Really unappealing and spoiled on first taste. There is a lot of bitter and rotted sharp herbal hops with no malts to balance this lager. Similar to Rolling Rock or Becks in the “horse piss” family of beers. Suggest that you avoid this beer at all costs.

Rotblondes Original
Duckstein GmbH • Altbier • ABV: 4.9% • IBUs: ?
Bright white full head. Notes of toasted oats and sweeter caramel malts on the nose. Slight dry mid and back with subtle dry hop esters and a full woodsy grain build. Rounded and balanced.
Karmeliet Tripel
Brouwerij Bosteels • Tripel • ABV: 8.4% • IBUs: ?
Full bright white head and quick flat head. 3 SRM with a beautiful light yellow hue. Nose holds pepper, banana-ish yeast esters, and full on wild yeast on the front and mid mouth. Carbonated from the bottle surprisingly lasts throughout the mouth. Overall, straight up alcohol kick with this Belgium Triple, 9+% ABV.

Munchner Kellerbier (Anno 1417)
Hacker-Pschorr Bräu GmbH • Kellerbier / Zwickelbier • ABV: 5.5% • IBUs: ?
Pours a nice small bubble head that clings to the glass. 5 SRM with a slightly darker yellow color. Slight herbal hops on the nose with a lager yeastiness present. The initial mouth feel is mid-sharp floral and yeast esters reminiscent of a Pilsner. The mid and back have mild grass and floral bitters. It has a carefully thought out malt and hop balance. This helps the thin character and approach considerably.

Störtebeker Bernstein-Weizen
Störtebeker Braumanufaktur • Hefeweizen • ABV: 5.3% • IBUs: ?
Pure white full foam head, 3 SRM with a clear filtered body. Lingering lattice clingy head as the beer settles. Yeasty bananas and soft peppers on the nose. This “Amber Weiss” has no bitters, soft but full mouthfeel, clean approach, sharper lingering esters bring the yeast to full presence. Overall this hefeweizen flavor profile is true to Reinheitsgebot while presenting a unique opportunity to enjoy a crisp refreshing beer.

Pott’s Pilsener Edelherb
Pott’s Naturpark-Brauerei • German Pilsener • ABV: 4.8% • IBUs: ?
This pilsner pours with a full head, leaving a small lattice and sticky bubbles on the glass. 4 SRM bright white head and mid-yellow hue. Typical pilsner nose with slight herbal and dry hops. Dry and bitter ester forward mouthfeel. The mid and back mouth has a really grassy bitters. Subtle malt build that is secondary to the sharper hop profile. The overall appeal is in the true German Pilsner taste and feel.

König Pilsener
König-Brauerei GmbH • German Pilsener • ABV: 4.9% • IBUs: ?
Full fluffy white head, clear 3 SRM, brighter yellow hue. Typical pilsner yeast and ester bitters on the nose. Slight herbal and dry mid and back mouth that is common with German Pils. The sharp grassy and yeast palette is throughout. This Pilsener is one of the better standard measured German Pilsen to judge others against.

Niederrhein Alt
Bolten Brauerei • Altbier • ABV: 4.8% • IBUs: ?
This alt pours with a light tan head, foam does linger, 19 SRM with a decent, clear, amber hue. The nose is light malts and lighter sweet sugars. The hop profile comes in on the mid and back. Sharper grassy and herbal dry yeast and hop esters on the mid and slight herbal on the back masked by sweet malts. Overall the dryer bitters linger and make this not a beginner Alt for mild beer drinkers.

Kürzer Alt
Brauerei Kürzer • Altbier • ABV: 4.8% • IBUs: ?
This alt pours with a white pillowy head, low carbonation, clingy lattice of foam around the glass. 23ish SRM with a nice filtered amber color. Medicine herbal nose with sweet post quaf. Sharp hop esters with distinctive herbal, grassy appeal on the front and dry lingering on the back along with strong tobacco and burnt sugars. Almost medicinal qualities. This is a full bodied bier that has a distinctive hop and malt balance which leans to the malt on grain build.

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