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Beers & breweries of Baden-Württemberg

Posted: Sat Jun 17, 2017 1:56 am
by ajk
Most places I've been in BW serve two styles of beer: Pils and Hefeweizen. Radler is also served. Here, the beer portion of the Radler is Pils, unlike in Bayern, where it is Helles. Radler Süß is two parts Pils, one part limonade — a soft drink somewhere between 7-Up and carbonated lemonade. Radler Sauer is two parts Pils, one part sparkling water. The blending is done at serving time.
Another style of beer I've seen frequently in BW is Export. I've always thought of Export as being a slightly stronger and more bitter version of Helles. But Helles is isn't served here, unless you pick it up from the liquor store. And while Export seems to be about 10% stronger than the Pils, the hopping levels are much lower — closer to Spezial Helles levels. Perhaps the Export style came over from Bayern (was exported, the same as to anywhere else) and Helles never did. I'd be interested to hear from natives or anyone who has researched this style.
I've already written about one of my favorite breweries in the region, Hoepfner, which produces a long list of traditional German styles as well some that are unexpected. Another larger production brewery that I've been enjoying is Rothaus, which is owned by the state of Baden-Württemberg. Their Pils, Hefeweizen, and Radler can be found at many establishments throughout BW, especially in the Black Forest region. The Pils is remarkable for its almost Czech-like balance, with plenty of malt character to stand up to the bitterness (no diacetyl, though).
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But there are two other, smaller breweries that I became instant fans of while here. One is Andreasbräu, which has a brewpub in the village Leopoldshafen. The unfiltered Pils and Hefeweizen were remarkably fresh-tasting — the same character we strive to get out of our beers, and at profound levels. The traditional German Wurst, Schnitzel, and Flammenkuchen are good, too.
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Closer to the city of Karlsruhe are several restaurants owned by another small brewery, Vogelbräu. I've had a few pivotal beer-drinking experiences in my life — those that change the way you think about a particular style and cause you to pursue new directions in your brewing. Drinking Vogelbräu's Pils was one of those experiences. It's also unfiltered and loaded with the fresh grain character we enjoy. But even more compelling is the late hop character, which is much more pronounced than any Pils I've had in the past. Mind you, the bitterness is at normal German Pils levels — it's just the aroma and flavor that are so much more prominent.
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In planning this trip, we included a couple of weeks in Bayern, which I have been thinking of as the more beer-focused portion of the trip. Having been to Bayern, I know it will be. But I didn't expect Baden-Württemberg to have such a robust beer culture and such outstanding beers.

Re: Beers & breweries of Baden-Württemberg

Posted: Sat Jun 17, 2017 4:09 am
by Crunk
Thank you for the walk through, now I know I should have jumped in your luggage, I'm glad you had good and safe trip.