We’ve had blander beer


The Brauhaus Joh. Albrecht is just behind the Rathaus in Ham­burg. It’s in an extreme­ly mod­ern build­ing which looks like the head office of an insur­ance com­pa­ny from out­side. Inside, though, it’s actu­al­ly very cosy with low light­ing and thou­sands of Christ­mas baubles hang­ing from the ceil­ing in gar­lands.

The oth­er thing that put a smile on our faces when we entered was an over­whelm­ing and deli­cious aro­ma of mash­ing malt. It’s one of those smells, like fresh cof­fee or bak­ing bread, that makes you feel con­tent­ed. More brew­pubs should pump it out.

The beers them­selves were just about OK. Mess­ing is a pale, cloudy lager, described as hop­py on the menu. It real­ly isn’t. Like the Brauberg­er beer in Lue­beck, it was yeasty in a good way, but with­out a huge amount else going on.

The Christ­mas beer, Nick­el, was a dark brown, sweet malty brew with a full body and a thick tan head. It remind­ed us of a slight­ly fizzi­er, less fruity, less bit­ter Old Peculi­er. In oth­er words, inter­est­ing, but not one for the ages.

Kupfer, a dunkel, was the bland­est of all – a sweet­er ver­sion of the Mess­ing tast­ing most­ly of caramel.

Final­ly, their weizen was a big, car­toon-like Bavar­i­an wheat beer with a huge bub­blegum flavour which, to our mind, made it the best of a medicore bunch.

Nonethe­less, all were way bet­ter than Brinkhof­f’s No 1, our bench­mark for bland­ness in Ger­man beer.

6 thoughts on “We’ve had blander beer”

  1. I’m jeal­ous 😀

    You do seem to be describ­ing teh aver­age Ger­man brew­pub. Do you notice a same­ness in the offer­ings dur­ing your trav­els?

  2. We’ve not been to that many alto­geth­er but we’ve cer­tain­ly become aware of the ubiq­ui­ty of the sweet, bland hazy zwickl. I don’t mind them only brew­ing the same few styles but wish they’d chuck a few more hops in. It’s often only their fresh­ness that stops them being down­right bad.

    Did­n’t you post some­thing a while back about some Ger­mans of your acquain­tance who found a fair­ly ordi­nary beer ‘zu herb’?

  3. I have been, but the beer t is so for­get­table that I have just about delet­ed it from my mem­o­ry banks. I think you know my feel­ings on most Ger­man brew­pubs, so I won’t raise my BP this ear­ly in the day.

  4. They even had a Joh. Albrecht pub in Oslo, but it was prob­a­bly ahead of its time. I can­not be both­ered to look it up, but I think they had one in Amman, too. Prob­a­bly blown to pieces by now.

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