Friday, February 15, 2008

Beer of the Week

We've been talking about lagers this week, and briefly touched on the golden pilsner and pale lager styles that dominate the tastes of the beer drinking world. Many American beer snobs don't want to give these styles the time of day, perhaps having been soured to the style having come of beer drinking age in a country full of mass-produced flavorless light lagers. But a well made pilsner or golden pale lager is a thing of craft brewing beauty, and one needn't look further than the German pioneers to find a delicious example.

Paulaner Bräuerei of Munich, named for the founder of an order of beer making monks, has been brewing beer since the 1600s. Paulaner is probably best known for their "Salvator" (latin for "saviour") doppelbock. In fact most German (and some American) doppelbocks still use the "-ator" suffix to denote the doppelbock style.

Besides it's legendary doppelbock, Paulaner also produces a Pils (pilsner), a delicious weiss, and an oktoberfest märzen that might now rival the Salvator in popularity in America. Paulaner also makes a delicious Munich style helles (pronounced "Hell-us"), known in America as "Paulaner Original Munich Lager" that is our Beer of the Week.

The Paulaner Lager pours a beautiful rich golden color with a minimal head that leaves some lacing as you drink it. It smells fresh, crisp, and clean, with a hint of malt, and a trace of fresh cut grass type hop aroma. Being this is a pale lager, the aromas are faint, so take a sniff before you start to drink it.

The taste is surprisingly malty and rich, with a nice medium-bodied mouthfeel. The carbonation is lively, dancing around your palette. Its 4.9% ABV, combined with its crisp finish, makes this is a beer you could certainly "session" (drink many a pint) with. That said, please quaff in moderation.

If you have a friend that is a macro drinker, and you want to introduce him/her into the larger world of delicious beer, Paulaner's lager might be a good introduction. It has better ingredients than most American macros (no rice or corn in here), has a more complex malty taste, but yet is still a beer you can have a few of and not be overwhelmed. Here's to the Germans for creating the perfect "everyman" beer.


Links of Interest:

(I would put the link to the Paulaner website here, but having visited it, you won't really get to much info from it unless you can speak German. Even the "Facinating Facts" section of the English website version is totally in German.)

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