Friday, September 05, 2008

The Session # 19: Deutches Bier

Its hard to believe but yes its the first Friday of the month, and that means its Session Time. The theme this month is German Beer, but not just the beer, the culture as well should be discussed for this theme. The host are the folks over at lootcorp 3.0.
For this session I'm going to do something a little different, and something I've never done before. First things first the beer culture. I don't think that any country has the beer culture that Germany has, its very unique from those in Belgium or England, or even here in the US. To me its a family thing that makes it special.
Anyone that has read this blog for any length of time knows that I spent a few months living in Cologne Germany last year and got to experience this first hand. Living in Cologne I got to see the two faces of German Beer Culture. The first is that they love their beer, the second part of that is that they love THEIR beer, and sometimes this comes at the cost of experiencing other styles. I'll give you an example. Every bar/restaurant in Cologne served a specific Kolsch, usually from only one company, and maybe, maybe a pilsner. No other styles were really represented beyond the occasional Weizen offering. Having said that, they really loved their Kolsch, and could sit around a table drinking it for hours and extolling its virtues. Some of my favorite memories of my time there was of sitting in a Kolsch pub, drinking Kolsch, talking with my friends and the Kolsch waiter who would come by periodically to slam a new 0.2L glass on the table scratching out another mark on my coaster until finally having had a enough I placed my coaster atop my glass stumbling around the corner to my apartment. These were great times, times where I felt that we not only appreciated the fine beer but the better company. To make my point about German Beer culture being a family thing, let's look at another example. Taking really any Sunday you can see why they hold especially fond memories for me. These were the days when every thing was closed except for the pub's and restaurants. It was on these cold Sunday afternoon's that me and some friends would head to the pub for some Kolsch and maybe some goulash to warm ourselves up. We'd see lots of families here eating lunch dinner, or maybe just a snack of bread and cheese, sitting their all day with kolsch's in one hand and talking and just being together.
Seeing this family enjoyment is when I realized what may be biggest issue with American Beer culture. We see the pub independent from a family experience and I don't think that's the right way to look at things. Pub's can be a great place to relax the Sunday away with good food and a good atmosphere. I'll tell you one thing I'd much rather be doing that on Sunday then succumbing to our more commercialistic nature and shopping til I dropped.

Now for the thing I've never done before. I'm not going to post on a new beer. I'll point you all to the list of Kolsch's I've had and highlight one that I think is the best Kolsch in the states. The following is my entry from Saint Arnold's Lawnmower:
he Beer: The beer is Kolsch Style, so that obviously got me excited as I feel a bit of an expert on the style since my recent trip to the land of all things Kolsch. Having gone to a few of the wonderful Saturday tours at Saint Arnolds I have quite a few of their tasting glasses which are basically Kolsch style glasses, so that's what I poured this beer into. This version weighs in at 4.9% slightly higher than the typical Kolsch which is usually closer to the 4.5 mark. The beer poured a pale golden straw color capped by a typical thick white head. Plenty of tiny champagne bubbles rising to the top. So far so good with Kolsch Comparisons. Sweet malt and floral hops on the nsoe. The mouth was full and bubbly, more sweet malts being the predominant flavor with a nice crips hop bite from the Hallertauer variety used. If I could compare it to anything I had in Cologne it would be Pfaffen. A bit sweeter than the typical Kolsch but still a very fine example. Here's what the folks at BA had to say.

I still say that this one is by far the best Kolsch I've had in the States.
Head on over to lootcorp and see what other folks are writing about.

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