A refreshing beer and a meal in the cooling shade of the beer garden: It’s a beloved rite of spring and summer that dates back to early nineteenth-century Bavaria. For several years, the citizens of Munich had taken to spending more of their time (and cash) during the warmer months at the beer cellars along the banks of the Isar, preferring these shaded chestnut groves to the stuffy inns where the beer was decidedly less fresh. Innkeepers were incensed and petitioned King Maximilian I. Joseph of Bavaria (1806–1825) to do something to stop these dastardly brewers from serving beer garden food.
Sitting here in 2020, in the midst of a still-unfolding pandemic, multiple summers into the era of hard seltzer, it feels like it’s been considerably more than two years since we conducted a ridiculously large blind tasting of 324 IPAs at Paste.
If you had asked me to cite some of my favorite beer styles in advance of that particular blind tasting, I don’t think there’s a shred of doubt that one of my first responses would have been modern, hazy IPA, or “NE-IPA” as we were more commonly calling it at the time. I had fallen in love with the style as much as anyone in the mid-2010s, watching the influence of pioneers like The Alchemist’s Heady Topper radiate across the country, gaining footholds on the East Coast first, before gradually being adopted everywhere. It was hard not to be charmed by the style’s easygoing disposition, fruit-forward flavors, lack of bitterness and continued evolution of the “juicy” flavor profile that had already been sought after in clear India pale ales of the period. It seemed like a clear reflection of changing consumer tastes, and I was excited to try new hazy IPAs from nearly every brewery I visited.
Kloster Andechs occupies a central place in the pantheon of German brewing. Founded by Benedictine monks in 1455, Kloster Andechs has been offering hospitality to weary pilgrims ever since. Now run by the Benedictine Abbey of St. Boniface in Munich, Kloster Andechs is the largest of the handful of bona fide monastery breweries remaining in Germany. It’s also one of the few regional German breweries with beers reliably available this side of the pond. (Even if you haven’t already tried the beers of Kloster Andechs, you’d probably recognize the label depicting a Baroque monastery surrounded by greenery.) Though Kloster Andechs still welcomes upwards of one hundred organized pilgrimage groups per year, the monastery plays host to scores more people who make the trek for a different reason: the world-class beer.
WEISSENOHE AT THE GATEWAY TO FRANCONIAN SWITZERLAND
Written by Franz Hofer for A Tempest in a Tankard
It’s a gloomy afternoon in late spring made slightly brighter by the cheerful yellow canola in full bloom and the several shades of green fields spread over the hills like a patchwork quilt. The bus from Forchheim has just deposited me at a nondescript crossroads on the highway. Tucked away in a hollow to my right, I spy the iconic steeple presiding over the monastery complex I’ve seen on so many bottles of beer from Klosterbrauerei Weissenohe. I’m in the right place.
I’ve been a beer writer for a half-decade, and only once have I brewed my own beer, and that was at Vine Park. I know the ins and outs of what brewers do on a commercial scale, but the closest I get to that at home is mixing Bud Light and Budweiser to make an elixir I call “Bud Medium.”
I don’t own kettles or a kegerator or even a large slotted spoon, so I’m not ready to go full-bore. Thankfully, Belgian kit maker Brewferm is there to help me bridge the gap. For just under $100, you can buy an all-in-one starter kit and have it delivered to your bunker (Amazon also sells them). I get mine in hasty time (nice work, Belgium!), but it sits unused for months before COVID-19 forces me into intellectual wandering. On the first day of my self-quarantine, I dig into it.
Tucked away in northeastern Bavaria on the Czech border, the Oberpfalz is home to Zoigl, a beer style brewed the same way it was a century ago. But Zoigl is more than a beer style. It’s an ethos upholding a tradition that has long since died out across most of Bavaria. For starters, Zoigl is brewed in a communal brewhouse, a brewing arrangement held over from medieval times. From there, the brewers transport the brew to their own cellars for fermentation before serving them in their Zoiglstuben for only a few days every month. Just look for the six-pointed Zoiglstern, the telltale sign that reveals where the beer is flowing.
And those Zoiglstuben! The Zoiglstube is more of a living room than a restaurant, a convivial place where every seat is full by late afternoon. It’s virtually impossible not to engage with other people. A steady stream of locals crowd in to swap stories or catch up on the news of the day, gladly making room for all who pass through the door. After a few Zoiglbier, we’re all locals.
We’re going back to basics with a Drew & Denny’s primer on all things water. Why and what you need to worry about and what you shouldn’t worry about! Water doesn’t need to be complicated to get results!
Have you heard the story about how IPA was invented in the 1800s because brewers were trying to figure out how to make a beer that could be shipped to India without going bad? They figured out that increasing the amount of alcohol and hops would help preserve the beer and a new style was born.
This story is not true. By the time I started working in the beer industry this myth had been widely debunked yet still spread. Those of us who know try their best to set the record straight.
In the same way it’s important to re-explore history, it’s valuable to re-examine how we talk about beer basics. Beer basics include ingredients and process, styles and flavors and pairing beer with food–what people need to know to start their journey as a beer geek.
A BELFAST pub is pulling out all the stops – and the pints – to keep spirits up for those living in lockdown with a door-to-door Guinness delivery service.
The Hatfield House on Ormeau Road in south Belfast has been delivering freshly-poured pints of Guinness to customers across the Northern Irish capital since the coronavirus pandemic prompted the temporary closure of all pubs.
Using a state-of-the-art van kitted out with a portable tap system, the service was created to help cater to those missing the distinctive taste of a perfectly poured pint of the black stuff.