Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Weihenstephaner Original!

If you take the hipster point of view with beer, you will have some distinct advantages and disadvantages. By looking for beers that no one has ever heard of, you will undoubtedly find some great ones to share, as long as you don't mind wading through some terrible beers. The downside of this "anti-mainstream" view is that you will miss out on the classics, the beers that people have been emulating for as long as they have been around. Effectively, what I mean is that there can be a reason why people all drink a certain beer.

Weihenstephaner is one of the classic German light lagers. The name is derived from the Weihenstephan Benedictine monastery, where the monks brewed the beer. If you find yourself in Germany, particularly in Bayern (Bavaria), you will be able to find this beer all over the place. You will notice, though, in many of the bars, that they will only have beer from a particular brewery. This is still a prevalent thing. Most bars will have a kind-of allegiance to a certain brewery and only serve their product. This is unfortunate if you are a sedentary-style drinker, but actually kind of fun if you are looking to explore more of the city (and you should). Getting back to my original point, just because you can find it everywhere doesn't make it a bad beer. The Germans know what they like and those beers have thrived. Weihenstephaner is one of those.  

Now, what if you throw the Budweiser card at me? Tons of people drink that. Does it make that a good beer? First things first, I will always trust the German public over the US public when it comes to beer. They were making and drinking beer when that was safer than drinking the water. I think they had enough time to perfect it. Second, not to be very harsh, but Budweiser is a bastardized version of a Czech (Bohemian) Pilsner. It was changed in a few ways (like adding rice to make it lighter) to make a beer that was "offensive to no one". They were trying to sell beer to the US market, a market unfamiliar with beer. Beer is certainly an acquired taste, so the best way to sell a lot is to give it a lighter flavor. Today, the American palate is changing. Craft beers are becoming a bigger market. Still, notice that each brewery has a flagship beer that makes them most of their money. Usually, drinking a brewery's flagship is a good way to see what that particular brewery is all about.  

I have strayed drastically from the Weihenstephaner. For that, I apologize. It is a delicious, crisp, light lager. It is practically perfect for any and all beer drinking situations. It has a grainy, malty flavor, with just a hint of bitter hops to keep it from being too sweet. It is a standard 5.1% ABV, so it is light in color, average in ABV, and medium in taste. It is great if you want a beer that tastes good, yet you can still drink it by the liter, which you absolutely should. 

Glassware: Stein, Mug

Synonym Beer: Spaten Lager

If you want me to look at a particular beer, drink, place, or have anything to say to me, email me at monksandmalts@gmail.com. Buy my pictures here: http://fineartamerica.com/profiles/robert-rizzolo.html. You can send me cool photos too, if you like and I will make a post up for you. 

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