Craft Beer Advent Calendar – Day 8

Beer 8

Today’s beer is a special one.  It comes to us from the Weltenburg MonasteryBrewery in German and is called “Weltenburger Kloster Anno 1050.” For those who may not know, the Weltenburg Monastery is the oldest monastery brewery in the world and the second oldest brewery.  The main reason for the popularity of the Weltenburg Abbey Beer is due to the high art of brewing: they follow the brewing tradition of the Benedictine monks and also must follow the Bavarian purity laws.

Bavarian Purity Laws were established in 1487 when Albert IV, Duke of Bavaria promulgated it.  The law specifies three ingredients – water, malt (barley) and hops – for brewing beer. The law was established to make eliminate competition between brewers and bakers for rye and wheat.  Limited the grain to barley they made certain that there would be affordable bread for citizens.

The law was replaced by the provisional German beer law in 1993 which allowed other ingredients such as yeast, wheat malt and cane sugar, but would no long allow unmalted barley. One of the reasons yeast was never included in the original text is it wasn’t until the 19th century that Louis Pasteur discovered the role of microorganisms in fermentation.  While the change from the original law allowed for brewers to use different ingredients, many German breweries still follow the original law and brew using the strict method laid out within it. Weltenburger Kloster (Weltenburg Monastery) is one of those breweries.

Before refrigeration it was nearly impossible to brew beer in the summer due to the hot weather.  Brewing ended with the coming of spring and most beers were brewed in March (Märzen).  These brews were kept in storage until the end of summer where they’d be brought out and served with the remaining bottles served at Oktoberfest.  Because of this tradition, it has become a beer associated with the Oktoberfest.

The beer we are trying today is called a Märzen beer. This style of beer originates in Bavaria around the 16th century and is also known as an Otoberfest beer. The style is characterized by a medium to full body, malty flavor, and clean dry finish.  I’m excited to try this one. Let’s get to the beer!

Rating: 80/100

Appearance: Clear, medium copper amber colour that pours with about two fingers of head which dissipates leaving a thin cap.
Smell: caramel malt, floral notes from the hops.
Taste: Honey sweetness with hint of lemon and just a hint of bitterness on the finish. Different than other similar style beers but still very tasty.
Mouth feel:.Coarse mouth feel, medium body, perfect carbonation.
Overall: A very tasty brew overall.  Excellent flavors that meld perfectly together to give you a really fresh, crisp and refreshing beer.  This would be the perfect summer beer.
Do I like it: I very much liked this beer.  It is different than what I would normally seek out, one of the reasons I love this calendar.  The flavor profile of this beer is just fantastic. It is sweet and smooth while at the same time being crisp and refreshing.  The sweetness is not overwhelming but rather a good compliment.  Very good beer from this, the second oldest brewery in the world!

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