13 September 2008

Max's German Fest, Part Zwei

Walked in at 1:30 pm. Already gone: Weltenburg's Hefeweizen Hell and Barbock Hell, and before my eyes someone kills off the Uerige Dopple Sticke firkin, with the Reissdorf Kolsch firkin dying minutes later. (As always, because of varying keg sizes, the speed with which a keg is kicked isn't necessarily reflective of a beer's popularity. >:-) )

Next to fall: Bahnhof Berliner-Style Weise, an odd duck as the lightest beer by far here @ 3.1%. Dang, that was next on my "to-do" list.

I'm sipping my way through the Schlenkera Rauchbiers after a stupendous Weltenburg Wintertraum. The Wurst Platter is back up to full strength after an emergency resupply. Highly recommended.

12 September 2008

Max's German Fest, opening moments

Well, it's not the riot of the Belgian Fest, thankfully. I was #2 of three folks in "line" when the door opened at 11:05 am.

As advertised, 50 German drafts, 76 bottles on the menu. Notes on the blackboard: The following drafts did NOT make it in on time: Einbecker Schwarz, Weiheinstephaner Vitus and Korbian, making the presumptive draft list 47. Let's count:....................................................................... I'm counting 45 tap handles and one gravity-feed keg, and the spot where the Weiheinstephaner (I swear, that's a sobriety spelling test) duo is missing is conspicuous.

First beer for me to start: Grutbier in a bottle (see earlier post on why I love this one). I've noticed a price variation here; some retail outlets have this at $9 a bottle while it's here today at $6.

Bottle-sharing already with #3 In Line: Innstadt Dopplebock Extra 500ml flip-top, 7.2%: tasty interpretation, malty without being coyingly sweet like some.

Reissdorf Kolsch (gravity-feed/firkin, 4.8%)--bright as a polished bell, pale golden, nose of a heavier grain bill........ rich body..... this one's elusive. Great flavor compared to most pale lagers, and a rich mouthfeel without being too chewy or hoppy. Well-balanced, dry and almost woody finish.

First boot of beer ordered at noon, a litre boot of Spaten Oktoberfest......

Note: the sausages platter offers "Knockwurst, Bratwurst, Weisswurst, Bauernwurst, and Bierwurst", but they fell victim to the same fire at Binkert's, the sausage maker in Rosedale (the only German-style sausage maker in Maryland), as everyone else did, including the German Festival and Brewers' Art. The platter's still there, but not quite as impressive a line-up.

Weltenburg Hefeweizen Hell: 5.4%: hazy blond, weisse/wit nose, nice grassy and peppery dry hefe character.

Aktien Steingardener Dunkle Weisse (bottle): dark amber, bright, VERY sweet and rich, almost Bananas Foster with that underlying banana-clove atop a caramel malt palate.

Aktien Hefeweizen Anno 25 (bottle, 5.3%): pale golden, good head retention..... a rich, heavy, sweet body without being especially sweet in itself, a hint of citrus and wood tannin in finish.

Aktien Kaufbeurer Tänzelfestbier (bottle, 5.8%)--golden, terrific light malt nose....... a half-hour later, still trying to figure this one out. Zesty, citrus notes on the front of the sip, weizen flavor/body, powdery/yeasty, slightly spicy on the finish, but still too easy-drinking. This needs an ale yeast for complexity.

Okay, I didn't intend for this to become a one-brewery tasting, but with what's being shared amongst us, that's what it's turned into: Aktien Buronator Dopplebock (bottle, 7.5%): dark caramel color, bright, a hint of nut and fruit flavor amidst all the foamy sweet malt/bock character.