Did I mention I was last week in Sweden? I know I did mention, but I think I omitted the fact I crashed a Systembolaget store and got all those Swedish beer cans for my collection. I actually had to buy a new suitcase to be able to bring them home as the post has funny opening times and I couldn’t find where to get a carton box to save my life. I didn’t mind it, though, sacrifices are expected. Of course, the Systembolaget - state monopoly alcohol stores - sell also foreign beers so I got also some non-Swedish goodies, but now it’s all about Sweden. Except that I just realized the above picture includes also three Danish Carlsbergs… oops, sorry for the mix-up. Uh and I have another two cans in my fridge for later consumption, another mix-up… sorry they are simply too many and I got confused. Eh. To come back to the beer advent calendar: the 11th day brought out a good fruity weizen, a bit sweet and a bit sour and a bit bitter, so I totally enjoyed it. It’s also rather light and if I only had another one…
Brotha From Anotha Motha is a Bavarian-style Hefeweizen on rotational release. This marks my first experience with Widmur Brothers. I would first like to thank the Frank Creative design firm of Portland, Oregon for their thoughtful donation. Aromas blend the classic Pilsner grain quality together with hints of wheat and biscuit malts. Moderate sweetness is detected. Hops pull in a faint accent of lemon which melds to funky, fruity yeast that smells faintly of banana, clove, and vanilla.
The palate opens in smooth, sweet wheat while gentle grain flavors begin to unfold. Crisp carbonation pairs with a mild citrus element like lemon. Floral yeast blends a sort of wild flower character together with clove. Submissive hops emerge from behind in an herbal, leafy touch with suggestions of sage. Fruity highlights close in a blend of flavor similar to star fruit and orange. Muted bitterness settles, then closes with a clean mouthfeel.
Overall, I think this is a good domestic take on a traditional style. Drinkability is superb, because the sustain is incredibly short. On the downside, I think it ends up a bit too watered down. You all know this isn’t my go-to style, but it’s always refreshing to return to the foundations of beer. Widmur gave this a good shot. I’m satisfied.
Portland, Oregon – more breweries than any other city in the world
This information comes from AAA’s magazine, Via, and if you’re a Portlander, you can believe it. There are brew pubs scattered all over the city, primarily on Portland’s edgy and hip east side. Doing a pub-crawl is a pretty common activity on a weekend night or afternoon, and you have as many as 51 to choose from!
Widmer Brothers Brewing Company happens to be one of my favorite breweries, and their Hefeweizen is one of my favorite beers.
Hefeweizens and Wit-beers are my soul drink of choice. Heres a great selection of east coast brews that are hard to find out west.
The purple bottle, called “Midas Touch” is a profoundly interesting crafted ale, brewed after a much more ancient style. Being brewed with barley, honey, white grapes, and saffron, it is probably the most unique ale ive ever had and probably the most unique beer as well. At nearly 10% alcohol by volume it packs a punch too!
The best bakery and beer hall in Austin. Normally those two things do not go together, but on 6th Street in Austin, Texas they do. There is a perfect marriage between the suds of the local beer on tap being poured, and the aroma of rising dough. Whether you are looking for a quick latte and freshly baked pastry at the Bake Shop (we recommend the Tiger Claw) or grabbing a Live Oak Hefeweizen on tap and snacking on a artisan sandwich at the Beer Hall, there is something for you. It is a great destination for a large group, because you can park at the large picnic tables on their large patio. Easy Tiger always has special events going on, for example this month they have a Pappy Van Winkle Flight on February 20th and 21st. Beer vendors consistently debut their newest casks and kegs at Easy Tiger, which they tend to get exclusively.
Joining the Mug Club, gets you exclusive access to their Reserve List, as well as some Easy Tiger merchandise. Grabbing a house made sausage before a heavy night of drinking on 6th Street is always a safe bet at this Bake Shop and Beer Hall. Easy Tiger by far has one of the best happy hours in town with $3 sausage links, $3 pretzel and beer cheese, and $3 select local craft beers.
At the end of the day though what makes Easy Tiger so special, is some the beautiful loaves of bread you can find in the bake shop. So good they are sold all over town at various Whole Foods locations. They have options that are tough to find, simply because they are tough to execute: such as Miche (Pain de campagne) and Levain Batard. These crusty and chewy loaves are not the super buttery and soft breads that Americans are used to, but these are more traditionally what you find a bakery in France. Don’t get me wrong the Ciabatta and Baguette found at Easy Tiger are just as delicious, just not as hard to find.
This lives up to all the hype. One of the best Hefeweizens in the world is brewed in Texas. That’s not as strange as it seems though. [PN]
From the brewer:
“Modeled after the classic wheat beers of Bavaria, our Hefeweizen has a cloudy, straw-colored appearance with a thick, creamy head. It is fermented with an authentic Weizenbier yeast strain which imparts delicate notes of clove, vanilla and banana which harmonize perfectly with its mild refreshing tartness. Together these flavors create the perfect thirst quencher to beat the Texas heat.”
our combination of three malts: a wheat malt, pilsner malt, & crystal malt
after grinding the malts, they were added to an enormous pot of hot water & heated to create the mash
once heated to a certain temperature, we removed a third of the mash & heated it separately, creating the decoction mash, which enhances the flavor of & adds complexity to our resulting beer
the hot decoction is returned to the main mash, raising the temperature & enhancing the beer’s maltiness
after heating the mash once again we strained out all the malt & transferred the liquid, called wort, to another kettle. while heating & circulating the wort, we added the hops
next, the wort is transferred into the fermenter. by passing it through a heat transfer device first, we can almost instantly drop the temperature of the hot wort down to a temperature that will not kill our yeast
happy & bubbling yeast is added to the fermentor & the entire thing is sealed up to ferment
after a month of waiting, it’s time to bottle! this is actually a batch of dunkel that we had brewed about a month before. after fermenting for the 3-4 weeks, the yeast & other sediments had settled, so we opened a valve at the bottom of the fermentor to let it out
dextrose, a priming sugar, is added to the fermented beer just before bottling. during another period of fermentation in the bottle, the dextrose will add carbonation to our beers
the brew is funneled into bottles
& a lid is pressed & sealed into place
in just another few weeks the beer will be tasty & bubbly- just in time for the holidays ^o^
The Zurich airport, now in full Christmas attire, opened a beer bar not long time ago. Please understand this is no trivial thing, in a world where beer is mostly looked down. The many shelves offer only 8 brews (many from small local breweries) in such an orderly manner that it looked to me like a cold storage area. I guess this very small offering is also the reason the beer selection is rather unimpressive - they wanted to stick with average tastes, the safe side probably. The average Germans won’t complain for sure. I’m expecting to pass by in another couple of days but in such an early morning that I won’t benefit (yet again) from this offering. Yes, flying abroad soon again, compromising even more my German beer calender - which I will not carry along please understand. Today however I’m still around and enjoying another Hefeweizen, this time from the Eichbaum brewery. Nice fizzy cloudy beer here, fruity and not sweet at all (but not sour either), I enjoyed it. It also tastes somewhat familiar but I’m too tired to check the previous days for the possible candidate… 2:30am here and the clock will ring in 4 hours. Vacation is near though.