Tag Archives: German beers

Black Forest Michel

Black Forest Michel

Schwarzwald Michel 

http://shop.alpirsbacher.de/bier/schwarzwald-michel.html

Brewed by Alpirsbacher Klosterbräu
Style: Helles/Pale Lager
Alpirsbach, Baden-Wuerttemberg, Germany

Black Forest MichelAlpirsbacher Klosterbräu is a brewing company in a small town called Alpirsbach in the Black Forest region of Germany.

The company was founded in 1877 by Johann Gottfried Glauner who reactivated the former monastery brewery. In 1880 the company was passed onto his son, Carl Albert Glauner and in 1906 the company was renamed to Alpirsbacher Klosterbräu. The company was, and is,  continuously held by the Glauner family that is now in its fourth generation of ownership.

I have tried their products before, their big seller and award winning beer, the “spezial” lager, which was fine, and their Märzenbier which I liked. 

Other beers they produce have also won prestigious awards. Its Pils getting a silver in the World Beer Cup in 2014, and its Wheat crystal, Monastery Starkbier and Monastic Substance all picking up awards in the World Beer Awards

Review: 0,5l Bottle of Schwarzwald Michel: ABV: 4.8% vol 

Black Forest MichelSchwarzwald Michel translates as Black Forest Michel in English!

This beer is exclusively brewed for Edeka, a German supermarket giant, as a special thanks for all their years of cooperation with the company. 

Has an interesting label of what looks like a blond, blue eyed (“Aryan” cough!) German woodcutter.

On appearance got a very light golden colour, and a nice soft white head.

A good bit of carbonation, beer buzzing along, a lively beer.

Looks lovely as it has a nice colour and a decent sized head, good start.

Black Forest MichelHas a very nice aroma, it smells of malts and hops all light but fresh and fine on the nose.

The taste is nice and soft, and very easy to drink, really smooth and refreshing with its subtle flavours and light tastes. Can detect citrus, wheat, malt notes, and it is also a little creamy.

Nice and malty. The barley malts hitting the spot. 

Got lovely mouthfuls. Very nice to drink. Tastes like a decent lager. Nice, I like it. 

Citrus notes are quite apparent in this beer. 

Was tasty and very easy to drink. Excellent, loved it. Recommended

 

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Gralsburg Export. Cheaper than water

Gralsburg Export

oettinger-bier.de

Brewed by Oettinger Bier Gruppe
Style:Export Lager 
Oettingen, Germany

Got this beer from the Swiss Supermarket discount chain, Denner, who have been importing Gralsburg Export for many years from the Oettinger Brauerei in Southwest Germany.  It is one of the cheapest beers one can find in Switzerland.

Have reviewed Oettinger Export  and found it to be a very reasonable beer, certainly great considering the price. Nicknamed “Oetti”, the brewery is well known for producing vast amounts of cheap beer which can be easily got in all the major supermarket chains. Basically it is a German version of “stack em high sell em cheap”, and for people with only coppers in their pockets and students, well….. theirs are the perfect beers. They produce Gralsburg Export for Denner, but they also sell Oettinger Export on the market, so you can knock yourself out (literally perhaps) on cheap beer from Germany! 

Review: 500ml of Gralsburg Export: ABV: 5.4% vol 

The special beer that is cheaper than water, but as its actually German it is brewed according to those lovely purity laws we keep hearing about, so it cant be that bad, right?

On pour got a decent sized frothy head, with a nice golden beer appearance, looked very good.

Got absolutely nothing on the nose, zilch, nothing at all. On the second can, I did get some smells but again nothing to get too excited about. Got a bad smell like dishwater and also a very metallic smell. Too sweet, too yeasty.

Not much taste at all, big mouthfuls of nothingness, You are waiting for a taste, but it never comes.
Ok there is a slight hoppy bitterness, and you can get the sweet malts, but overall not much there of substance.

Bit difficult to drink, as its not smooth, and can get a taste of light washing up liquid, its not a nice beer to drink at all. Very soapy, and a real struggle to drink. Overall a big NO!

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Black Pearl Classic Porter

Black Pearl Classic Porter

Black Pearl Classic Porter

http://www.distelhaeuser.com/

Brewed by Distelhäuser Brauerei
Style: Porter
Distelhausen, Tauberbischofsheim, Germany

Black Pearl Classic PorterThe Black Pearl Classic Porter is produced by the Distelhäuser brewery in Tauberbischofsheim, a place I am not even sure is real! According to my good friend Google, it is a southern German town, and a small town at that, in the north-east of Baden-Württemberg on the river Tauber with a population of about 12,700.

The brewery was founded in 1811 as Brewery Womann, but since 1876 it has been owned by the Bauer family.

At the moment, 21 different beer specialties are being produced in Distelhausen according to the old traditional brewing methods of the region and, of course, in accordance with the German purity law (Reinheitsgebot) of 1516.

The Distelhäuser Brewery is one of the most successful breweries in Germany, measured by the number of awards for its products. Its Pils, Wheat Beer, Hefe-Weizen, Landbier, its export, are all amongst a bevy of beers that have won Gold, silver or bronze in the World Beer Cup. Too many to list.  

Review: 0,33l Bottle of Black Pearl Classic Porter: ABV: 6.6% vol 

Black Pearl Classic PorterTo note: the Black Pearl Classic Porter hasn’t won anything in the World Beer Cup!!

Comes in a nice bottle with a lovely looking logo, black writing on a nice yellow background. 

The appearance was one of a lovely frothy tan head, as expected a very dark black beer with hints of purple.
The head does die a death and eventually goes flat near the end.

Flat. Looks all a bit shitty really.

Has a really lovely porter smell, nice. Really good smell, not faint but striking of roasted malts, coffee, dark chocolate, light caramel. 

Black Pearl Classic PorterOn the taste side of things, found it very hoppy!!

Bit dry in the mouth.

Not much to taste, just the hops in the end.

All in the back end, hoppy, no coffee, no toffee, very disappointing, this is meant to be a porter after all. Could smell them on the nose but they vanished when it came to the taste!

Relatively smooth with the roasted malts, but it is a porter and you expect some of the porter tastes and characteristics, or at least I couldn’t detect them
Disappointing.

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Ratskrone Premium Pilsner,

Ratskrone Premium Pilsner, cheap supermarket fare

Ratskrone Premium Pilsner 

moninger.de

Brewed by Brauerei Moninger GmbH
Style: Pilsener
Karlsruhe, Germany

Ratskrone Premium Pilsner,Difficult to figure out where exactly this beer is from or who brews it, as its under licence and and specifically brewed for the German supermarket chain, Edeka stores, who are mainly based in Hamburg.  

I might be wrong, but I think it is brewed and produced mainly by the German Hatz-Moninger brewery from Karlsruhe, under license.  The beers are mainly sold in six packs and are popular amongst discount buyers!

Review: Can of Ratskrone Premium Pilsner: ABV: 4.7% (Some regions 4.9%)

Brewed according to the German purity law, like all German beers, but nice enough to remind us on the can! But its a very cheap discount beer bought from Aldi, so lets see……

Has the appearance of a clear golden yellow colour beer with a nice fluffy white head, ok looking, not bad.

Ratskrone Premium Pilsner,Good beery smell, grainy and malty 

Bit of a spicy taste initially, very sweet!!

Good enough mouthfalls I guess but overall not great at all, not much at all to get excited about.

Ok, but just too watery with little hint of alcohol, just a hint of the malts and grains. 

Not much taste, bit metallic in the end.

Tasteless overall, and bland. 

A discount beer, yes, but there are good discount beers out there so just cause its dead cheap doesn’t mean it should taste rubbish. 

This really wasn’t great. Avoid!

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Eichbaum Maibock  

Eichbaum Maibock

Eichbaum Maibock  

http://www.eichbaum.com/

Brewed by Privatbrauerei Eichbaum 
Style: Maibock / Helles Bock 
Mannheim, Germany

First question is naturally………. what the fuck is a Maibock?

Eichbaum Maibock  A Bock is a darkish, malty, lightly hopped ale first brewed in the 14th century by German brewers in the town of Einbeck. It got its name  “ein Bock,” meaning “Billy Goat” in German as people mispronounced the town of Einbeck, and for that reason you will often see goats on the beer labels of bocks. It is usually a strong lager from 6% to as high as 12% ABV.,  sweet, and lightly hopped. The beer should be clear, and colour can range from light copper to brown, with a plentiful off-white head. The aroma should be malty and toasty, possibly with hints of alcohol, but no detectable hops or fruitiness.The mouthfeel is smooth, with low to moderate carbonation and no astringency. The taste is rich and toasty, sometimes with a bit of caramel. Again, hop presence is low to undetectable, providing just enough bitterness so that the aftertaste is muted.

A Bock is historically associated with special occasions, often religious festivals such as Christmas, Easter or Lent. Bocks have a long history of being brewed and consumed by Bavarian monks as a source of nutrition during times of fasting.

Several substyles exist, including maibock (helles bock, heller bock), a paler, more hopped version generally made for consumption at spring festivals; doppelbock (double bock), a stronger and maltier version; and eisbock, a much stronger version made by partially freezing the beer and removing the ice that forms.

Eichbaum Maibock  As for this beer, the Eichbaum Brewery was founded way, way back in 1674 by Jean de Chaine from Southern Belgium, originally as a small brewpub, and while the exact location changed, its home and heart has always been in the city of Mannheim, a southern German city touching the Rhine. The name Eichbaum came from the German translation of his family name.

All was going well for many years until the Nazis got into power. As the company had a substantial Jewish shareholdership, they were all expelled and the company was nationalized. WW2 resulted in the company ceasing to produce any beer. But after the war, the company reopened and did well since they were the main beer supplier for the American army that was now based in Germany at that time!

Since the 70’s the brewery has changed ownership many times but nowadays it is operated as a private brewery, Eichbaum GmbH & Co KG.

Today, the brewery is one of the largest and most efficient breweries in the Baden-Württemberg region of Germany. Not only is it the oldest company in Mannheim but it is also one of the most modern. State-of-the-art brewing and bottling technologies make for an annual output of 1.8 million hectolitres, resulting in more than 16 different beers produced annually for its every widening market.

Review: 0,5l Bottle of Eichbaum Maibock: ABV: 7.2% 

Eichbaum Maibock  A Maibock, also known as helles bock or heller bock, is a lightly coloured beer, less malty and drier in the finish to a regular bock, and has a spicy or peppery taste coming from the hops. Colour can range from deep gold to light amber with a large, creamy, persistent white head, and moderate to moderately high carbonation, while alcohol content ranges from 6.3% to 7.4% by volume. The flavour is typically less malty than a traditional bock, and may be drier, hoppier, and more bitter, but still with a relatively low hop flavour, with a mild spicy or peppery quality from the hops, increased carbonation and alcohol content. 

Has an interesting logo of a big goat, that’s the billy goat representing its name “Ein Bock”

Appearance isn’t the best to be honest. The head does die in seconds and it has a general appearance of a flat beer with no lacing.

Having said that the beer does have a lovely golden colour, and it is a very clear beer with some small carbonation going on.

But head is shit, really no head, it fizzles away quickly, falls flat.

Eichbaum Maibock  Get a lot in the bottle though.

A nice sweet smell, pleasant on the nose. I got malts, and some caramel, and a bit of a general lager smell. It was nice on the nose. 

No standout tastes.

Got a caramel taste, bit bitter sweet in the aftertaste, not much in front end. Very boring beer, dull. Not nice at all. Certainly not a session beer.

Very hoppy and bitter. A struggle to drink.

Can’t feel the alcohol, no kick. Very dry in the mouth

Very dry cardboard. Too hoppy for me, yuck, what a disappointment.

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Insel-Brauerei Baltic Ale

Insel-Brauerei Baltic Ale

Insel-Brauerei Baltic Ale

https://www.insel-brauerei.de/

Brewed by Rügener Insel-Brauerei GmbH 
Style: Strong Ale
Rambin auf Rügen, Germany

Insel-Brauerei Baltic AleThe Rügen Island Brewery is a Craft Beer Brewery in Rambin on the island of Ruegen, the biggest island of Germany (in itself not that big, only 926.4 km² big).  Surrounded on most sides by the Baltic sea, the area is characterized by diverse shore line landscapes with many lagoons, beaches and and white chalk cliffs. The brewery is unique in that it is smack bang in the middle of nowhere, at one with nature right in the heart of the island. But it is a new tourist attraction to this wild area, as it offers visitors a guided tour of its magnificent modern brewery, has a beer garden for beer tasting, and store to buy their extensive collection. 

Founded in 2014 by Markus Berberich, who formerly worked as Managing Director at the Störtebeker Braumanufaktur in Stralsund.  These contacts and his twenty year experience in the beer industry helped him no end in setting up his own brewery in the picturesque island. 

The brewery produces a variety of different beers which, unlike most breweries, are brewed not in steel tanks, but in open fermentations, and always using natural hops. In addition, the company relies on bottle fermentation. The bottles are wrapped in paper to protect the beer from lightning, and cause it also looks cool (or at least that’s what I think!). Its most popular beers are the Island chalk (champagne ale), its Sea Maiden (Sauerbier) and the one I reviewed, the Baltic Ale. In 2016 the brewery won in the World Beer Awards for its IPA, voted the best in the world, which goes to show how good these beers really are!

Review: 0,33l Bottle of Insel-Brauerei Baltic Ale: ABV: 7.5%

Insel-Brauerei Baltic AleBottle comes in a very nice well wrapped light brown paper with a nice picture of an eagle on it. caught the eye and that’s why I bought it as it looks well cool. Also explains on the package how the beer won gold in the London 2016 World Beer Award for the category of “beste deutsche brauereri” (Best German Brewery)

As for “Baltic Ale”, I could be wrong but I am assuming it is regular ale that is developed with a Russian/Baltic tinge? Stronger than normal. But it could also be because the brewery is near the Baltic sea! 

On pour, fuck me a shit lot of carbonation, well carbonated. Calm down big boy!

But thankfully its all ok as it leaves a nice golden coloured beer that has a nice sized frothy head, and lots of good lacing.

Colour does get a bit cloudy and hazy after a while, but overall it is a decent looker.

Insel-Brauerei Baltic AleDidn’t get much of a smell, pretty faint but was yeast, fruits and coriander.

Lovely initial taste. GORGEOUS in fact!

A light wheat beer taste for me. Smooth enough. Nice relaxing beer, got the yeast, the hops, the citrus.

Lovely smooth beer. Nice beer to relax on a Friday after a hard long week.

Really good. Aftertaste is sweetish. Excellent! Lots of well balanced flavours

Hops not too discerning and manageable, low bitterness. Alcohol well hidden, pleasant to drink.

Liked it, and am very interested in trying out some of their other brews………Recommended. 

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an excellent Eco-friendly beer

Höss Allgauer Ökobier, an excellent Eco-friendly beer.

Höss Allgauer Ökobier Helles Export

https://www.hirschbraeu.de/allgaeuer-oekobier/

Brewed by Privatbrauerei Höss der Hirschbräu
Style: Helles
Sonthofen, Bavaria, Germany

Allgäuer Ökobier  which translates as Alpine Environmental Beer, is a German beer brewed by the privately owned brewery of Hirschbräu, Bavaria, situated in the Alps and belonging to the Höss family.

an excellent Eco-friendly beerThe brewery was founded way back in 1657 when Hans Pope was awarded a “Bräustätt” (“brewing law”) for 30 guilders and set about to brew his beer. In 1859 Josef Anton Höss buys the brewery and since then, the Hirschbrauerei in Sonthofen has been owned by the Höss family.

The brewery has won in the World Beer Cup, in 2012 for its “Double Deer”, and in 2014 for its “Hirsch Gold”, so clearly the brewery knows what it is doing. It also exports to over 20 countries all around the world.  

Of course, this beer is brewed in accordance with the “Bavarian Reinheitsgebot” of 1516, which states that beer can be brewed only from water, malt and hops. But on this occasion as a special Eco friendly beer, it is with the purest Allgaeuer water, the best hops from organic farming and, of course, organic malts from ecologically controlled cultivation!

Review: 0.5l Bottle of Höss Allgauer Ökobier Helles Export: ABV: 5.2%

Comes in a lovely looking brown bottle with a fliptop and a nice looking picture of a barley farmer at the harvest in front of some Bavarian scenery. It has the certified BIO sign signifying its eco friendliness and shows that all its products are produced and grown without any chemical fertilizers. Ökobier standing for Eco Beer!

an excellent Eco-friendly beerHad a nice frothy head and a golden yellow colour. Very clean and clear, looks great.

Has a nice lagery smell, faint on the nose but got malts, grains and fruit

Nice taste, was very smooth. Liked it a lot. Got a nice wheaty malt taste.

Not much aftertaste, goes down pretty smooth. Light malts, and the barely all noticed, and all well balanced. 

Also nice from the few swigs I took from the bottle, very pleasant. 

Thinned taste of barely perfect, just in the background.

Perfect for a session, a good light drinkable beer, nothing amazing but does the job on a hot day.

A really excellent light tasting beer and I strongly recommended anyone to check it out. 

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Valentins Hefeweissbier

Valentins Hefeweissbier

Valentins Hefeweissbier

http://valentins-weissbier.de/

Brewed by Park & Bellheimer AG Brewery 
Style: German Hefeweizen
Pirmasens, Germany

Valentins HefeweissbierBrewed by Park & Bellheimer AG Brewery  from the small city of Pirmasens (pop:40,125) in the Rhineland-Palatinate, Germany, near the border with France, and named in honour of St Valentine (The guy in the bottle!), patron saint of lovers everywhere, but I have no idea if he was big into his beers.

Review: 0.5l bottle of Valentins Hefeweissbier Premium: ABV: 5.3%

Valentins HefeweissbierShould be served in a Weizen glass, that is if you have one. I dont! 

Brewed in the great traditions of monastic brewing and of course the Bavarian purity law of 1516.

Frothy on pour which settles very well. Hazy golden-amber colour

Decent sized white head and maintains throughout. Not a bad looking beer.

Nice balanced and pleasant smell of your typical weisbier of yeast, wheat, clove, and banana as well, albeit all smells were a little faint.

On taste has all the typical Hefeweizen tastes but on a very low level. Light yeasts, malts, the cloves, the wheat, and banana flavours.

Valentins HefeweissbierNice creamy mouthfuls. Creamy. Not much standout taste though, very subtle flavours. Not really bitter or strong aftertaste.

Very nice, inoffensive and well rounded, and very smooth, VERY SMOOTH. I’d imagine it would be a nice beer to pair with some good food on a nice hot day.

Nice on the tongue and finishes light and smooth,  very drinkable for me at least who isn’t the biggest fan of weisbier’s! An OK beer. 

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Stortebeker Schwarz bier

Stortebeker Schwarz bier

Stortebeker Schwarz bier 

https://www.stoertebeker.com/

Brewed by Störtebeker Braumanufaktur
Style: Schwarzbier/Black beer
Stralsund, Germany

Störtebeker Braumanufaktur is a German Brewery, founded in 1827, situated in the small city of Stralsund, near the Baltic coast. 

Originally called Stralsunder, they changed their name in 2011 to Störtebeker Braumanufaktur in homage to the German pirate Klaus Störtebeker, whose name apparently means “empty the mug with one gulp” in Low Saxon, easy known Klaus’ favourite hobby then!

Review: 0.5l Bottle of Stortebeker Schwarz bier: ABV : 5% 

Stortebeker Schwarz bierA “Schwarzbier” or Black beer uses lager yeasts to ferment (as opposed to ale for a porter) and traditionally starts with an initial hint of roastedness, is light tasting, and has a clean finish, while a porter or stout for example is thicker and a lot more bitter in the taste. All this is important to know before trying these kind of beers least you be disappointed! 

Lovely looking bottle, logo of a ship, really well done and stands out. 

As expected got a striking black colour on pour, but also interestingly some shades of dark red. Got a porter style tan head, which was large and very creamy. Head maintains well. Some nice lacing. Not a bad looking beer.

Lovely initial smell, was really pleasant, of roasted malts, some fruits and sweet coffee. Also got some dark chocolate on the nose. A nice balance of rustic smells. Good start.

Stortebeker Schwarz bierOn taste is very similar to porter, and very, very smooth. No real feel of the alcohol, at least initially. Nearly too smooth for my liking as I do like to feel some alcohol now and again, especially in a slow burner like this. No bitterness.
Safe, nothing extraordinary
Black chocolate found. Tastes light. Nice though all the same. Caramel taste apparent as well.
Nice large mouthfuls.
It is a nice beer to drink and I did enjoy drinking it.

Strong in the end, after the two bottles. Good and can do the business, but not going to set the world alight in terms of strong tastes as it is a little thin, but if it just added a bit more it could be a stand out beer as it does lack a little depth or flavour, a pity

I see they won the best black beer in Europe, a “European Beer Star” in 2010 and 2011. Frankly, that is taking the piss, lol!

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Alpirsbacher Klosterbräu Klosterstoff

Alpirsbacher Klosterbräu Klosterstoff

Alpirsbacher Klosterbräu Klosterstoff 

https://shop.alpirsbacher.de/bier/klosterstoff.html

Brewed by Alpirsbacher Klosterbräu
Style: Märzen / Oktoberfest 
Alpirsbach, Baden-Württemberg, Germany

Alpirsbacher Klosterbräu is a brewing company in a small town called Alpirsbach in the Black Forest region of Germany

Alpirsbacher Klosterbräu KlosterstoffThe company was founded in 1877 by Johann Gottfried Glauner who reactivated the former monastery brewery. In 1880 the company was passed onto his son, Carl Albert Glauner and in 1906 the company was renamed to Alpirsbacher Klosterbräu. The company was and is continuously held by the Glauner family that is now in its fourth generation of ownership.

The company has an annual turnover of 22 million euros (2014), and its big seller, its “spezial” lager, won the prestigious World Beer Award in 2013. Read my review of that beer here

Other beers they produce have also won prestigious awards. Its Pils getting a silver in the World Beer Cup in 2014, and its Wheat crystal, Monastery Starkbier and Monastic substance all picking up awards in the World Beer Awards

Review: 0.33l flip top bottle of Alpirsbacher Klosterbräu Klosterstoff Märzenbier: ABV: 5.9% 

Alpirsbacher Klosterbräu KlosterstoffBottle with a cool flip top, lets open the beer from the Black Forest. 

On pour got a lovely crystal clear golden colour and a nice white head that appeared. 

Nice bit of carbo, bubbling away.

Head does thin out but maintains and the colour does fade a little, not as sparkling on pour.

Got a lovely initial smell of malts, all really pleasant on the nose but faint. But I also detected some hot spicy aromas which was interesting!

Alpirsbacher Klosterbräu KlosterstoffNice big mouthfuls. Tasted wheat, grain, malts, altogether not a bad taste at all and very smooth.

Very smooth, must be the good waters from the streams near the Black Forest, I guess! 

Good creamy mouthfuls, soft on the tongue.

A Good beer that was lovely and smooth.

Not particularly hoppy, to me at least. Easy to drink, refreshing, and very well balanced. It is not going to set the world alight, but I liked it. 

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