The Vitus by Weihenstephaner near München, Germany is an excellent beer! As a home-brewer, I just bought a yeast variety from this fine brewing institution. Today, as I brew beer, I think fondly of Bavaria and the great beer brewed there. Bavaria brings to mind a few very distinctive styles, of which the wheat beer is the one that seems most inspiring. Brewed to drink during the winter, this 7.7% ABV Weizenbock is a strong wheat beer for sure. The flocculent yeast brings strong flavor, aroma, and the estery character to this beer. When I tasted this beer at the Tap-House Munich, I was blown away at the full and delicious flavor of this brew. It made me think of everything German I have ever tasted, and for a second I thought I could speak German too. Anyway, this beer, as well as my last adventure in Germany was great, and I hope you get a chance to taste this winter favorite of Bavaria! Prost to the Vitus, ein ausgezeichnetes bier!
Today’s Year of Beer painting is Leinenkugel’s Original, also known as “a Leine” by those who love it. This beer is a classic American adjunct brew that really hits the spot when you’re thirstin’ for a clean lager on a hot day. This brewery has two brewing locations, but 95% of the beer is made at the original and larger Chippewa Falls location. The brewery started in 1867 by Jacob Lienenkugel, a German immigrant from Meckenheim, Germany, and John Miller. Starting out very small, brewing up only 400 barrels of beer and hand delivering every cask by horse and carriage. Leinenkugel found the Upper Midwest the perfect location for growing brewing grains and hops and produced a fine American beer that would prove to make his German ancestors proud. In 1884 John Miller left the Leinenkugel operation. Leinenkugel’s is a story of brewing success, surviving Prohibition by making soda water, and an alcohol-free brew known as “Leino.” Good thing a handful of breweries kept on through the dark times of Prohibition, or Americans would not have known how to make good beer on that glorious day December 5 1933, only a scant 80 years ago, when Prohibition ended.
To sipping a “Leinie” on the lake, on a late hot afternoon, late in the Fall when mosquitos are gone and crickets are the only sound other than the tink of your boat as it gently sways in the evening breeze, and knowing that this perfect feeling has been enjoyed by generation after generation!
The original painting sold. You can purchase a limited-edition print at my Etsy Shop.
Beck’s! The most American German bier! Is it Reinheitsgebot? Tastes like it is! I really like this beer because it tastes just like it should, instead of other contract brews failing miserably. I will not mention them here, but look out in your tasting adventures for beer labeled as import, but not from the country you expect. What can I say about Beck’s other than it is good and less expensive than other imported German beers. The marketing is pretty cool for Beck’s. In previous years labels were designed by guest artists like Yoko Ono, Jeff Koons, Andy Warhol and many others. I think this is one of the coolest beer projects… for obvious reasons.
To Beck’s, the bestest bier in all ze world… right after Schitzengiggles! (Beerfest movie reference).
You can purchase this painting, or a limited-edition print at my Etsy Shop.
Today’s Year of Beer painting is Bitburger, Germany’s number one imported draft beer. I like this pils because is has more flavor than some of the more balanced German pilsners. It is what Miller Lite wishes it was. If Miller would only drop all that corn and stay true to the Reinheitsgebot purity laws then it too could possibly be as good as Bitburger, well Miller would have to add a few more hops as well. The brewery in Bitburg makes seven times as much brew as Sierra Nevada Brewing Company! I drink this one when I am feeling nostalgic for German style pils, because it is an excellent example of this style. There are only three others that I can remember that were as high on my list: Berliner Pils (not to be confused with the Berliner Weisse), Einbecker Pils, and Garley Pils. Too bad you can’t buy any of them but Bitburger here in Alaska.
Ein prosit dem Reinheitsgebot alles Malzbier!
This original oil painting sold, but I painted a different version, and it’s available at my Etsy Shop.
Today’s Year of Beer painting is Spaten Optimator, chillin’ in the streets of Deutschland. On my first trip to Germany I went to Münich (München) with only weeks until my 21st birthday. I was enjoying drinking legally overseas, my first introduction to bars and a pub crawl. I pretty much only drank dunkles (dark) bier because I thought helles (light) or pils was boring. On my second trip my wife and I went to a small town in the middle of Germany to visit her family in a town called Seesen. I couldn’t find any good beer because I was shopping at the local grocery market, but then we discovered the drink (getränke) shops. The drink shops in Germany stock beers that are really popular across the country, or available within about 100 kilometers of the store. All the empty bottles are returned to the brewery for refilling. Germany has an extensive brewing history, but unlike the U.S., most beer there is crafted in Reinheitsgebot tradition, so it’s almost impossible to find hop-forward ale there, however you will find a perfect pils after perfect pils.
Ein Prosit! Ich Liebe Bier!