Beer Review #6: Onkel Herbert Rhabarber Weisse

Summer is coming to an end and I decided to finish my “Beers of Summer tastings” with Onkel Herbert Rhabarber Weisse, a Berlin-style White beer. IMG_6697

As one might not suspect from the name, the Berliner Weisse is originally not from Germany’s capital but was developed in the 17th century in Saxony-Anhalt by a Halberstadt brewer as a unsuccessful copy of a popular beer from Hamburg. Berlin brewers took this new recipe and continually changed it until it had developed into “Berliner Weizenbier” around 1700 and the obscure style quickly became the favorite drink for Berlin locals.

The name Weisse actually means white not wheat and has precious little to do with the known wheat beers from Bavaria! Although both beers are brewed with wheat malt and mainly fermented with top-fermenting yeasts, the Berliner Weisse is different to all other German beer-styles due to its acidic nature. This characteristic develops during fermentation with a mixed-culture of the top-fermenting yeast and lactic acid bacteria.

The acid, a higher carbonation and a low alcohol content make the Berliner Weisse Germany’s most refreshing beer style which is especially enjoyed during the summer months.

Onkel Herbert Rhabarber Weisse is brewed in Düsseldorf and is, with its 4.4 % ABV, slightly stronger than a traditional Berliner Weisse. Instead of adding syrup after fermentation rhubarb puree was already added during the brewing process.

Already when pouring you can see the beers nice pale yellow color and, not as might be expected, a pink coloring. The pale, large, white head has large pores and fades within a few minutes.

The aroma is clean, fruity-fresh and there is a fine citric-acid and a little lactic-acid with notes of ripened cheese or sour dough and some fresh mandarins.

There’s a delicate raspberry flavor in the first sip. The fruity flavors merge with the light wheat taste. Lactic acid contributes to a discreet hay aroma, which is not too aggressive. Then the fruity rhubarb flavor comes to the fore, giving the Weisse a harsh, dry but still fruity finish. The mouthfeel is pleasantly tangy and makes the beer fresh as it should be.

Conclusion:

For the current fluctuating temperatures Onkel Herbert Rhabarber Weisse is just ideal to drink – although I can always recommend as a refreshing Berliner Weisse year round!! The taste is (especially without added syrup) certainly something that probably many need getting used to but one should at least have tried once or twice.

In this sense: Cheers!

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Beer Review #5: CREW Republic Munich Summer

Whether you are a local or a visitor, in the summerIMG_6546 everything is all about the beer gardens in Munich. This 200-year-old tradition is just as typical as Weisswurst and Lederhosen.

The CREW Republic Munich Summer is as one might expect, not a wheat beer, but a light Golden Ale or Summer Ale. This beer style is especially popular in the warmer summer months and hot temperatures because Summer ales are brewed with light malts and subtle hops with lemon aromas and fermented at slightly higher temperatures to bring out the fruity ester notes of the yeast.

Already when pouring you can see a slightly hazy, golden body with a finger wide pored, soft white head which dissipates slow and leaves moderate lacing on the glass.

The aroma has slight Amarillo grapefruit notes accompanied by resin and a light, sweet malt aroma. The first impression is repeated in the taste: the first sip highlights slightly sweet and some creamy malt aromas, followed by subtle fruity citrus and pine notes.

The finish is pleasant, a bit dry and a low hop bitterness. The creamy light body has a soft, moderate carbonation and the flavor lingers for a little while.

Conclusion:

Overall, the CREW Republic Munich Summer is a very solid, mild and refreshing golden ale with pleasant dry-hopped Amarillo aromas. Very tasty and recommened!

Beer Review #4: Anchor IPA

There are several theories and myths as to how and when exactly India Pale Ales (IPAs) originated. A well-known story is as follows:IMG_6501

It is said that IPAs developed in the 17th century out of necessity as the British Empire settled with the help of the British East India Company in India and began to set up their trading stations on the west coast of India. The popular beers this time were no match for the long voyage and were bland and stale in India. A man named George Hodgson solved the problem of rotten beer by raising the amount of hops and alcohol and so the beer was less susceptible to bacteria! The recipe with the higher hop content led to the India Pale Ale (IPA) as we know it today.

Also, two centuries ago, Britain dispatched mid-19th during the gold rush in the United States, their IPAs to their colonies to California. The men came to “see the elephant”. “Seeing the elephant” is a phrase that is attributed to this period and describes the pursuit of happiness and adventure, by the Exciting and exotic.

In 1975 Anchor Brewing Co. brewed with their Liberty Ale and it became the first “modern American IPA” which the Anchor IPA is based on. It was brewed with barley malt and three hop varieties and dry-hopped with six different aroma hops which give it a great flavor and character.

Already when pouring, you can sense its full body. The IPA has a nice clear dark copper color and a creamy, light beige foam head which stays long and leaves nice lacing.

The flavor is deliciously fruity, floral and hoppy. I smell citrus, lemon grass and pine.

The first sip is sweet, medium to strong bitter and slightly sour. It has a medium-heavy body, a subtle creamy texture and a pleasant CO2 content. The IPA tastes like a fruit cocktail of passion fruit, lemon, lime and lemongrass and is supported by a caramel malt flavor. The finish is rather bitter and slightly lemony-fruity.

Conclusion:

With its 6.5% ABV Anchor IPA is very drinkable and goes well with the still warm late summer temperatures. As a Hophead (hop lover) and avid IPA drinker the Anchor IPA reflects exactly what I expected: An aromatic, interesting and exotic IPA with lots of character!