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Germany

Tastebud Twilight Zone

On our trips to Würzburg, we haven’t merely tolerated Distelhäuser’s beers, we’ve positively enjoyed them.

So, it’s been a bit confusing to discover over the last few months, starting with a casual “Ugh!” in a comment on this post, that they aren’t much rated by the locals nor other people whose opinions on beer we trust.

But how can this be? We tasted them without prejudice and both of us had the same honest reaction: yum. We’ve been back several times, too, and our opinion didn’t change.

It’s not even as if we unquestioningly love every German beer we try (Brinkhoff’s No. 1 and Brauhaus Kastel? No thanks.)

Perhaps the thrill of being on holiday, and in the sun, in a city as pretty as the Big W, temporarily dazzled us? It probably doesn’t hurt that we’ve almost always drunk Distelhäuser at the Alte Mainmühle, an ever-so-slightly upmarket, very picturesque pub-restaurant on the river, where the beer is always presented impeccably in the correct glassware or stone krug, cold but not too cold, and with plenty of zing.

It’s probably best if we just get back to Würzburg asap and give them another go.

12 replies on “Tastebud Twilight Zone”

It was in Würzburg last year I decided they are pretty lame beers. After a week of them I was glad to get out and I’d say their predominance was the main reason we drank so much wine.

Not that that was a hardship in, as you put it, the big W.

I’m sticking by our tastebuds on this one. I just remember everything they did was a good notch above the usual – not as wacky as some Franconian village breweries, granted, but some good flavours. I rather liked their wheatbeer, for example, and I’m not usually a massive fan of those.

It’s just so odd to find ourselves on our own on this one. No more hidden Distelhauser fans out there?

That recent Twitter conversation began when I posted “Right, first beer in a week. Distelhäuser Pils. I can’t get anyone else to drink the stuff, and still 7 bottles left. *sigh*”. Basically, I’d asked my good wife to get some crates of beer a month or so ago, and specified “no Distelhäuser”, as I know quite a few people who really dislike the pils. Of course, she came back with a crate of 20 (and some Rothaus Tannenzäpfle, which I much prefer) 🙂

I find the pils a bit rough around the edges at times, with a bit of a metallic tang, but not always. About half the neighbours who had some beers with me while working on the house don’t like it, and the other half find it ok. Actually, there’s a chap in the village who works for them, but I haven’t met him yet 😀

But yeah, it’s all a matter of personal taste. I really quite enjoyed the bottle I had last Saturday evening, but then I was really thirsty 😉 So, time and place certainly count!

I haven’t tried their other offerings, but I will.

Barry — time for one of your famous blind taste tests, surely? (When you’ve finished building your house, obviously.)

Was in Würzburg a month ago and I didn’t really see Distelhäuser there much, mostly it was the Würzburger Hofbräu that was served. We were there for a festival and the venue did serve Distelhäuser though I only tried the hefeweizen and while probably not so much in style – didn’t detect much banana or wheat – I enjoyed the citrusy aftertaste it had. Not the best of the bunch but definitely not as bad as say Valentinus.

On a side note, the place is wine country rather than beer country so the Germans not from around there claim that they do not make good beer there. Not an expert so I couldn’t really say. The wine was good though.

Stick to this motto: Try everything and judge for yourself/selves. Unterfranken is wine country, and you have no problem drinking very good wines there (esp. white), but that does not mean they do not have good beer.

I’m surprised that you’re surprised, so to speak! As is said in previous comments, it’s just personal taste. Just because you write about it (presumably in order to get people to give whatever-it-is a go) that doesn’t change. As you were! ps – Brinkhoffs is awful.

Leigh — it’s just the total disconnect between our experience (beer is excellent) and the buzz (beer is poor) that stopped us short — there’s such a gulf! Having said that, it’s not like there aren’t other beers we love/hate that others hate/love.

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