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Rothaus Tannenzäpfle (349 of 1001)

Rating: 3.1

A new beer from the 1001 list now and the last of the relatively few on there that I tried when visiting Berlin last month, I had been hoping to check a few more off but it seemed that it was the same ten or fifteen beers in most shops I visited over the course of my weekend in the city. This one will be the 349th from the list that I’ll have reviewed here and is the second Rothaus offering from it, it follows on from their Hefeweizen that I tried back in November and quite enjoyed. My second in total from the brewery, this is a beer that I almost reviewed twice as it is sold under two different names in German with Rothaus Pils and Rothaus Tannenzäpfle seemingly used interchangeably (the 330ml bottles are Tannenzäpfle and the 500ml ones are Pils), hence the reason the photo attached to this post doesn’t use the Tannenzäpfle name. The beer itself is another that I picked up from a local shop in the Alexanderplatz area of Berlin when I visited over Easter last month, although I do believe that I’ve spotted it on occasion back in the UK so it probably shouldn’t have taken me this long to get round to finally trying it.

Appearance (3/5): This one was quite a light looking beer that sat a straw gold colour in the glass with a very clear body and a half centimetre head that was white and bubbly; not the greatest of starts but far from the worst too.
Aroma (6/10): Fairly light on the nose with some corn and a faint sweetness kicking things off before some touches of hay and the odd grassy hop started to come through. The nose was quite balanced and some freshness appeared with clean lager malts nearer the end but it was definitely edging closer to the basic side of things.
Taste (6/10): Corn and light malts again open things up here, there was some grassy hops that carried on from the nose but some touches of citrus also made an appearance here as well. I managed to detect some bread malts and a faint sweetness towards the end but again it wasn’t exact a complex pilsner.
Palate (3/5): Light-medium bodied with quite a fresh but ultimately light feel to proceedings, there was a nice earthy bitterness to the beer with moderate carbonation and a nice balance that made it an easy one to drink for the most part but it definitely wasn’t anything special.

Overall (14/20): This one was quite an average pilsner overall, definitely nothing special but quite an easy-going and sessionable one that went down quite quickly despite not being a stand out in the style either. It was quite a fresh offering with a lively feel and a basic sweetness that kept things ticking along. It’s probably not a memorable offering and I much preferred their Hefeweizen but it was an okay lager and it’s always nice to check off another beer.

Brewed In: Grafenhausen, Baden-Württemberg, Germany
Brewery: Badische Staatsbrauerei Rothaus
First Brewed: 1956
Also Known As: Rothaus Pilsner
Type: German Pilsner
Abv: 5.1%
Serving: Bottle (330ml)
Purchased: Alexanderplatz, Berlin, Germany
Price: €1.40 (£1.21 approx.)

Weihenstephaner Pils (348 of 1001)

April 27, 2017 Leave a comment

Rating: 4.0

Yet another beer from the 1001 beers list now, this one being my fifth review of a beer from it in a row now and this one is another that I managed to sample whilst on holiday recently. I picked this one up on keg at the Weihenstephaner Beer Hall in Berlin over Easter earlier this month, having visited the pub because I knew they’d have this beer available and because it is the last of the two beers from the brewery on the 1001 list that I still had to try, having first tried their flagship Hefe Weissbier back in May 2011. This one is actually a beer that I’ve been keeping my eyes open for since then and have found it online a few times already but every time I’ve attempted to place an order for it the beer has quickly sold out; finally I got my chance to try it in Germany though. The beer will be my 348th from the list that I’ll have reviewed here and is one of only two new beers from the list that I managed to try in German on my recent visit, a review of Rothaus’ Tannenzäpfle should follow shortly after this one.

Appearance (4/5): A light to golden amber colour that has a very clear body and quite a large, foamy head that sits about two inches tall in the glass initially. There looks to be a creamy texture to the head and it is bone white in colour as well as having good retention over the opening few minutes, with only a touch of the initial height lost and there is plenty of good lacing on the sides to make up for this anyway.
Aroma (7/10): Not an overly strong beer on the nose, not compared to the brewery’s wheat beers anyway but there was at least some good malts and lager notes in the early going alongside a few grassy hops and some citrus. There was a faint bitterness nearer the middle of the beer before some subtle sweetness showed itself but overall the beer was quite light and fresh on the nose with some spice and the faintest of coriander notes seeing things out.
Taste (7/10): Following on well from the nose, the taste is quite a fresh one but it is also quite light with some grassy hops and a touch of citrus opening things up. The coriander from the end of the nose is again present but shows itself earlier this time, there is some lemon coming through too but there wasn’t much in the way of a standout flavour really; it was still quite a nice beer though.
Palate (5/5): Smooth and very crisp, this one was exactly as a pilsner should feel with lively carbonation and a great balance that was helped by the fact that none of the flavours were particularly strong. There was some fizz and a slight hint of bitterness from the middle on which made it an incredibly easy beer to drink and one that was quite effervescent too.

Overall (16/20): Another excellent beer from Weihenstephan and up there with some of the best pilsners I’ve tried, mainly due to the fact that the beer looked good and had an excellent palate; the taste and nose weren’t bad either but nothing was really a standout from them. The beer was incredibly easy to drink with an excellent balance from the start and some nice sweetness at times that worked well with the subtle bitterness that featured throughout the beer. It’s a beer that could probably have benefited from being just a touch stronger, particular with the nose but it was very pleasant from the start and one that I’d definitely have again.

Brewed In: Freising, Germany
Brewery: Bayerische Staatsbrauerei Weihenstephan
First Brewed: 1908
Type: German Pilsner
Abv: 5.1%
Serving: Keg (500ml)
Purchased: Weihenstephaner Beer Hall, Berlin, Germany
Price: €4.60 (£3.90 approx.)

Sierra Nevada Nooner Pilsner

April 22, 2016 1 comment

Rating: 3.75

My ninth beer from Sierra Nevada now and despite this being a brewery that I’m quite a big fan of, particularly their flagship Pale Ale, it will actually be my first new one from them since trying their Porter for the first time back in September of 2014; this one is long overdue then. Their Nooner Pilsner is a beer that I’d initially assumed would be a session IPA given the name (obviously minus the ‘Pilsner’ part anyway) but even after learning it was a pilsner a while back it has been one from them that I’ve been eager to try. It should be noted that one of the reason I likely thought it would be a session IPA for was because the brewery did release a Nooner Session IPA as a limited release in early 2014. Anyway, I finally stumbled across it in both bottles and in cans when I made a recent trip to the Whole Foods Store in Giffnock over the weekend and in the end I opted to try the canned version of the beer as it’ll be the first I’ll have reviewed (or even tried) in a can from the California-based brewery. The beer also appears to be a well-regarded one online and alongside occasionally appearing on my Instagram feed, the beer is currently ranked as the 20th best German style pilsner on the BeerAdvocate website. Hopefully this is another great beer from the brewery that will inspire me to hunt out some more offerings from them that I’ve yet to try, including their Bigfoot Barleywine and Harvest offerings which are two that feature on the 1001 beers list from the brewery that I’ve still to find.

Sierra Nevada Nooner Pilsner

Appearance (4/5): Pouring quite a bright looking, golden amber colour and topped with a large, thumb-sized head that’s white and foamy looking with a few bubbles at the sides. Retention is pretty good for the style with is slowly receding over the opening thirty seconds to a minute and leaving a nice, thick lacing that does eventually turn a tiny bit patchy.
Aroma (7/10): Initially a fresh smelling beer, this one opens up with some nice Saaz hops and a couple of grassy notes along with touches of hay and bread malts. There was a nice balance on the nose with some biscuit and dough smells blending well with the slightly herbal notes and faint citrus that featured from about the middle onwards. Whilst it wasn’t a particularly complex beer on the nose, it was a pleasant enough offering with some touches of spice and a light sweetness seeing things out.
Taste (7/10): Following on from the nose, this one is again quite a fresh beer but with the some biscuit and earthy malts coming through a little stronger here and the Saaz hops showing not too far behind. There was the herbal flavours from the nose and some freshly cut grass as well as touches of dough and grain. There was some citrus flavours down the stretch, in particular some lemon that provided a nice tang before a bit of spice and light bitterness seen things out.
Palate (4/5): Light-medium bodied and fairly fresh, this was a moderate bitterness running through the beer and I got some nice spice plus a faint citrus tang from about the middle on. The beer was quite well carbonated and lively with a decent balance and a fairly dry second half; nice stuff from the brewery without setting the world alight.

Overall (15/20): This one was a very nice pilsner and one that, if I’m honest, grew on me the more I drank of it, it was fresh, lively and well-balanced with a nice mix of hops and light malts that worked well to give the beer quite a refreshing and easy to drink feel. Whilst being far from the best Sierra Nevada beer that I’ve tried so far, it was a decent beer in its own right and one that went down particularly well as the first beer of the night for me. Not an overly complex tasting (or smelling) one from Sierra Nevada but a well executed pilsner that I’d be happy to pick up again.

Brewed In: Chico, California, United States of America
Brewery: Sierra Nevada Brewing Company
First Brewed: 2014
Type: German Pilsner
Abv: 5.2%
Serving: Can (355ml)
Purchased: Whole Foods Market (Giffnock)
Price: £1.79

Firestone Walker Pivo Pils

October 28, 2015 Leave a comment

Rating: 3.95

My seventh Firestone Walker beer now and what will be my fifth from this year alone, Pivo Pils is the brewery’s German pilsner with a hoppy Bohemian twist. Currently rated as the seventh best German style pilsner on the BeerAdvocate website, the beer is one that was introduced at the brewery’s brewpub in late 2011 before being launched to a wider audience in 2012 and has already picked up a couple of awards in a few short years including gold medals at both the 2013 & 2014 Great American Beer Festival’s as well as a bronze at the 2013 California State Fair. This Firestone Walker offering follows on from July’s Double Jack and Wookey Jack offerings and will be my second can from the brewery after I tried there Easy Jack IPA back in June of this year. Pivo Pils will also be my sixty-first beer to hail from California making it by far and away my most visited state when it comes to beer and one that is quite a distance ahead of my second most visited, Colorado from which I’ve tried twenty-two beers thus far.

Firestone Walker Pivo Pils

Appearance (4/5): A very light, lemon yellow tinged amber that it topped with a centimetre tall, foamy white head that manages to hold well over the opening minute before fading ever so slightly but not disappearing completely. It’s not a bad-looking beer but it’s definitely a lot lighter than I’d beer expecting, even for a pilsner.
Aroma (7/10): This one starts with some nice lemon and floral notes before some earthy hops and a few pilsner malts make an appearance. It’s quite a fresh smelling beer with some touches of bitterness and a bread like aroma around the middle. Some background citrus and juices start to come through after that with a faint yeast smell towards the end.
Taste (8/10): Fresh tasting with lots of citrus and lemon flavours coming through alongside some Czech hops and a slightly floral taste. There’s some biscuit malts and grassy flavours in the mix around the middle before some sweetness and a light bitterness sees things out.
Palate (4/5): Smooth with a slight tang and a medium body that features crisp, strong carbonation. The beer has a very slightly dry feel to it but seems quite fresh and is certainly an easy one to drink.

Overall (17/20): Quite a light feeling, fresh and almost fluffy tasting beer that was very easy to drink with a great citrus and lemon taste and crisp, clean finish. There was definitely more hops coming through than is usually the case with a pilsner but it wasn’t overloaded in any way, there was a nice balance to the beer and it was one that I enjoyed with just the right amount of bitterness coming through and some touches of sweetness in there too; great stuff.

Brewed In: Paso Robles, California, United States of America
Brewery: Firestone Walker Brewing Co.
First Brewed: 2011
Type: German Pilsner
Abv: 5.3%
Serving: Can (355ml)
Purchased: Brewdog.com
Price: £3.00

Christoffel Bier (298 of 1001)

May 13, 2015 1 comment

Rating: 3.85

The seventh Dutch beer from the 1001 beers list that I will have reviewed now, a bottle of Christoffel Blond as it is commonly known despite the fact that the label simply reads Christoffel Bier. This is a bottle that I managed to try whilst in Amsterdam early last month at Café De Spuyt on my last night in the city and after a lengthy delay I’m finally getting round to adding the review here. First brewed in 1986, this one was the first beer that the brewery produced and was brewed by brewmaster Leo Brand who had previously studied at the Weihenstephan brewing university in Munich before working with that brewery for a number of years which is probably why this first brew is a German influenced pilsner. The beer itself takes its name from the patron Saint of the town of Roermond where the beer was originally brewed, although production has recently moved to Belgium and the De Proef brewery in Lochristi.

Christoffel Bier (Blond)

Appearance (4/5): Clear blond in colour with a tiny bit of haze in the body and a fluffly looking head that is white and slgihtly foamy, managing to leave a touch of lacing on the sides of the glass too.
Aroma (7/10): Floral on the nose and quite fruity with a light bitterness along with some pleasant grassy hops. There is a slighty sweet aroma to the beer with a bit of citrus and some Belgian style yeast before some bread and faint malts round things off nicely. This one smells very good for a pilsner despite not being the most pronounced on the nose.
Taste (8/10): Floral tasting with some nice hops adding a bitterness upfront and a few grassy flavours making an appearance too early on. The beer was sweeter than I had expected going in with some background fruits such as orange making themselves known alongside some good citrus flavours and some touches of spice towards the end.
Palate (4/5): Smooth and quite crisp on the palate with a lively feel that comes through thanks to the the strong carbonation. There is a slightly sweet feel to the beer with medium bitterness and a great balance on top of a light-medium body; the beer also seemed quite refreshing too.

Overall (15/20): This one was a very nice pilsner that went down very nicely despite almost seeming more like a Belgian pale ale than a German style pilsner at times, perhaps this was a result of the Belgian yeast that made an early appearance on the nose but I can’t be sure. The beer had an excellent balance with a solid fruity backing and plenty of flavours to keep you interested as well as remaining refreshing and easy to drink throughout. There was definitely more hops than I was expecting and the finish was quite a dry one but overall the beer was very good and well worth trying.

Brewed In: Roermond, Limburg, Netherlands
Brewery: Bierbrouwerij Sint Christoffel
First Brewed: 1986
Known As: Christoffel Blond
Type: German Pilsner
Abv: 6.0%
Serving: Bottle (330ml)
Purchased: Café De Spuyt, Amsterdam, Netherlands
Price: €5.50 (approx. £4.07)

Astra Urtyp

April 12, 2015 Leave a comment

Rating: 2.6

One of several beers that fall under the Astra umbrella that I managed to try in Germany in February this year now, this was the only one I managed to bring back with me though after I found a can in one of the airport shops on my return leg. Being one of the main beers in Hamburg means I’ve tried this beer more than I’d have liked over the past year on my two visits to the city but until now I’ve never given it a proper review. Originally brewed by the Bavaria – St Pauli brewery that was formed in 1922 by a merger of Bavaria Brauerei (1897) and St. Pauli Actien-Brauerei (19862), Astra is a beer most commonly associated with the St. Pauli football team whereas Holsten beers are normally associated with their local rivals Hamburg SV – despite the fact that both beers are now brewed by the same company. After the brewery was threatened with closer in 2003 the city of Hamburg bought it before selling it a year later to Holsten who where in turn bought by Carlsberg who closed the originally brewery. From what I remember, this beer isn’t anything special and there’s certainly better Hamburg brewed beers out there but at least it’s another one I can check off now that I’ve given it a proper review.

Astra Urtyp

Appearance (4/5): A light golden colour that boarders amber and is topped with a centimetre tall, foamy white head that holds surprisingly well for the style. There is a small touch of lacing on the sides of the glass and the beer is quite clear with a lot of visible carbonation.
Aroma (5/10): Light malts and some corn on the nose initially, here is quite a basic aroma to this one with some light, grassy notes and a few earthy hops as well but there not much else going on really.
Taste (5/10): Lager malts and grassy hops kick off the taste with this one, there is a background biscuit aroma too and some corn sneaking in alongside touches of grain. Again this one is fairly basic and definitely seems more pale ale and pilsner to me but at least it’s drinkable, even if only just.
Palate (2/5): Smooth on the palate but also quite light and thin with average carbonation and a few watery patches. The mouthfeel is a clean one with a light bitterness sneaking in throughout but as with the taste and smell, this one is nothing special.

Overall (8/20): This one turned out much as I remember from drinking it in Hamburg on numerous occasions over the last year and is quite an average beer, even for a macro pale lager with very little going for it. As I’ve said, it at least remains drinkable throughout but it falls well short of being a good beer with more skunk than I’d have liked (even from a can of the stuff) and a very basic taste and smell.

Brewed In: Hamburg, Germany
Brewery: Holsten-Brauerei AG (formerly Bavaria-St.Pauli-Brauerei)
First Brewed: Former brewery since 1922
Type: Pale Lager
Abv: 4.9%
Serving: Cam (500ml)
Purchased: Hamburg Airport (Germany)
Price: €2.50 (£1.83 approx.)

Jever Pilsener (293 of 1001)

February 19, 2015 Leave a comment

Rating: 2.6

A new German beer from the 1001 beers list for me to check off now, this beer is actually one that I tried a few times last year whilst in both Berlin and Hamburg but for one reason or another it was a beer that I never managed to properly review at the time. With that in mind and the fact that I will be visiting Hamburg over the weekend, I opted to grab a bottle when I spotted it in Whole Foods through in Giffnock the other week; my thinking being that if I review it now then I won’t feel obliged to do so again when I’m in Germany again. The beer itself is said to be quite a dry and bitter one and whilst I do remember drinking it a few times previously, it’s not a beer that I remember much else about really but it was available absolutely everywhere.

Jever Pilsener

Appearance (3/5): Light golden coloured and clear looking with a white, foamy looking head that sits about a centimetre tall and holds quite well over the opening minutes.
Aroma (6/10): Quite bitter with a lot of cereal and grain plus some grassy his coming through as well. The beer is clean on the nose with light, earthy malts and a touch of skunk rounding things off.
Taste (4/10): Clean tasting with a lot of cereal, grain and a little bread as well. There is a grassy hop backing with lager malts and a few spices right at the end.
Palate (3/5): Really dry and incredibly bitter, some skunk -like patches come through as well and the beer has quite a harsh palate with a fair amount of grain as well. Jever is quite light bodied and there is a moderate amount of carbonation too.

Overall (8/20): I found this one to be quite a poor beer when I tried it again here, it was actually terrible in places with far too much bitterness coming through and a really dry feel that didn’t help matters at all. The body was a thin one but this wasn’t anything too serious, it was the taste that was the real problem here with very little to it at all. I don’t think this one will be a beer I go for again when in German this weekend now.

Brewed In: Jever, Lower Saxony, Germany
Brewery: Friesisches Brauhaus zu Jever
First Brewed: 1934
Type: German Pilsner
Abv: 4.9%
Serving: Bottle (500ml)
Purchased: Whole Foods Market (Giffnock)
Price: £2.39