While checking out the central markets I was able to sneak off from the hustle and bustle for the safe retreats of the aisles and fluro lit fridges of the Vintage Cellars. I am always looking for something new and Vintage generally do a pretty good job of having something. I managed to resist the purchase of a case of Asahi in order to add an etched Asahi glass and Wasabi peas bowl set. To make up for the decision to resist the overwhelming temptation to purchase and enjoy promotion goods I walked the path of wheat to Bavaria to enjoy one of Bavaria’s oldest wheat breweries.
The history of wheat beer in Bavaria is one which is quite interesting. Two-hundred years ago, wheat beer could only be brewed by the Bavarian royal family then, in 1872, King Ludwig II discontinued brewing wheat beer due to a steady decline in sales and presumably the quality and competition from lagers.
That same year, he sold Georg I Schneider the exclusive right to brew wheat beer. Thus, the Schneider Family saved wheat beer from extinction. Today, it is the oldest wheat beer brewery in Bavaria; wheat beer has been brewed there without interruption since its founding in the year 1607.
So here it is the taps of the Schneider Weiss, 1,2,5,6,7. I would have loved for the entire collection to be available but hey you gotta go with what you have going. So here it goes the review series of the Schneider Weiss and sons offerings to the wheat beer world.
Review one Tap one: The Mein Blonde Weiss
This is the classic wheat beer style. Pouring a beautiful hazy and dense golden colour with a lovely white fluffy head. It comes with a nice dose of spicy aromas, banana esthers and a hint of clove. It is nicely dry, a little too much for my taste but is accompanied by some lingering bitterness which falls away with some sweetness that tastes like passionfruit. It is a wonderfully balanced beer and a credit to it’s style. I can see why Schneider Weiss is held in such high esteem after tasting what is probably not my favourite style. Still if I was going to drink a blonde wheat beer this would probably be it. It is 5.2% which corresponds to 2.1 standard drinks to the 500 mL bottle so it is filling enough without shoving you into oblivion, even if you could drink wheat beers as a session beer which I cannot.
Tap 2: Kristall Mein
Clear yellow and long-lasting head it was full of strong citrus smells with orange being particularly prevalent. This beer tasted refreshing and with a dose of pineapple when I tasted it. The beer only had a bit of wheat driven dryness. It is a very easy drinking beer which is similar to the Tap One but was less in almost all departments, mouthfeel, spiciness, dryness. That is not to say this is not a good beer, it is. Still if you are not sure how you feel about wheat beers this is the one to start with. The perfect gateway beer for anyone who isn’t a fan of extreme tastes but certainly wants to taste some new styles.
Tap 5: Meine Hopfenweisse
This beer is the love child of Garrett Oliver of Brooklyn Brewing Company and Hans- Peter Drexler of Schneider Weiss. It is a hugely hoppy wheat beer, one of the more interesting wheat beers that I have tried. It looks extremely dense with a yellow colour and copper tinge. It is full of strong orange smells and bubblegum but you can get some funky sort of yeast flavours. It is also quite hazy, right off the bat you get a dose of the flavours and spice of a typical wheat beer before you get hit by the hops. It is extremely enjoyable and the grassy hops make it much more interesting. Please remember that this beer is a pretty potent one when it begins in at 8.2% so treat with caution.
Tap 6: Unser Aventinus
Billed as one of the original Dobbelbocks this dark ruby beer at 8.2 % or 3.2 standard drinks is a perfect match for a cooler winter night, a stew of mismatched meat and a roaring fire. When sniffing the beer I got a lot of burnt and extremely sugary bananas as well as a little plummy and a little malty. When I tasted it was a full mouthfeel and a little bit of a roasted maltness. In the end raisins and other amazing things like bananas and figs made this one excellent beer which has been my favourite from the Schneider Weiss and Son range. It’s dark nature, slight wheat dryness and complex taste results in a great beer.
Tap 7: Unser Original
The last and the original hefeweizen from Schneider Weiss and Son is amber coloured and holds a tight white head with good lacing. You get some orange and a little hint of vanilla, but I had a bit more than a touch of blocked nose so you maybe able to get a stronger vanilla scent when you sniff the fluffy white head of the beer. I found the beer to be quite dry after trying the previous beer Tap 6. The Unser Original has some cloves in the tasting but I couldn’t find the alleged nutmeg. The taste of this beer didn’t last overly but that was okay. I found it to be smooth and easy drinking certainly not as complex as the Unser Aventinus. This could partly be a mistake of my own doing as I drank taps 6 and 7 in the same sitting. Still it was highly enjoyable and I would be picking it up again off the shelf.
So this brings me to the end of the mammoth series of the Schneider Weiss and Son wheat beers. I have to say that out of the wheat beers I tried the beers from Schneider Weiss come out on top especially the Unser Aventinus. So head out and try them for yourself.