Guten Morgen Cal Poly. Und wenn Sie mich bis später nicht lesen, guten Tag, guten Abend und gute Nacht. Ahh the German is all coming back to me now. More or less. Alright, what we’re gonna do right here is go back — way back — in time. We’re going to sample two beers from the brewery that claims to be the oldest in the world. The world!
For those of you who have so diligently been keeping up with these past few weeks of extensive beer ramblings, today I will cut you a break with a short, to the point (for the most part) and straightforward article. That said, gehen wir!
If you haven’t guessed it by now, today’s beer samplings are from a brewery located in Germany, or as some of you probably know it today, Die Bundesrepublik Deutschland. No, that is not an English “die” but rather a German “the.” This brewery is called Weihenstephaner. That’s right, Weihenstephaner. Wow. The two beers to be sampled from here are the Hefeweissbier and Korbinian.
But first, how about a little more on the “oldest brewery in the world”? The Weihensephaner Brewery can trace its roots all the way back to 2300 B.C.! Just kidding. Really though, it goes back to 1040 (C.E.), when the brewery was licensed by the city of Freising. During this time it was on the property of an abbey that had previously been a monastery under various different churches. Tons of history there, right? Right.
The Hefeweissbier is your typical unfiltered, wheat beer. What this means is that the yeast used for fermentation is left suspended in the beer, rather than filtered out as it is in most beers. This leaves it rather cloudy, and full of that delicious, yeasty flavor — if you’re into that sort of thing. Light and malty with not a lot of hoppiness, this is a smooth, tasty, relatively sweet beer. This is a classic Bavarian-style brew, sure to delight any hefeweissbier fan. It is not for those who don’t enjoy the unique full-yeasty flavor that accompanies it.
The Korbinian, a doppelbock (double bock), is a very strong, dark lager. When I used to think of lagers, I would think of Budweiser and Coors. The Korbinian is a completely different kind of lager. It is dark, thick and flavorful. With hints of caramel, this is another sweet, malty, none-too-hoppy, tasteful delight. Possibly named after Saint Corbinian, the founder of the monastery that eventually came to be Weigenstephaner, the Korbinian is not only full of flavor, but also full of history.
But wait, there’s more! So, you like beer. Me too! Crazy. And on top of that, I also like food. Thus the combination of the two would be, to say the least, desirable.
From my informant at Central Coast Brew, I discovered that Morro Bay Chamber of Commerce is having a Chili Cook-Off and Beer Fest in March. Still, this is something for us food eaters and beer drinkers to look forward to. And don’t worry, as the joyous date March 13 approaches, I will remind you all of the event. Can’t wait to hear more? Just check out its Web site.
Folks, that’s all I’ve got for you today. If you’re looking to get back to your roots and try a traditional wheat beer, head on out and grab a Weihenstephaner Hefeweissbier. If you get your lager fix from chugging watery, skunky beer (I’m lookin at you, Natty) out of red cups and wonder if you’re missing out on something, know this: you are. Of course, as we learned, lager is just an identification of brewing style, not a group of beers that share a common flavor. Still, if you’re looking for something darker but not too bitter, then the Korbinian may just be for you.
Now, many of you may have gotten in a few fights over beer preferences. Heck, some family feuds were started with disagreements over beer and go back generation upon generation. One thing our greatest of grandparents could always agree on, however, is that someone needed to be sober to drive the carriage home. So don’t be afraid to be sober driver for a friend, even if they do like Pabst.