News, Nuggets & Longreads 6 Feb 2016

Here’s all the writing about beer and pubs from the last week that we’ve found most thought-provoking, from alcoholism to flat beer.

→ Mark Johnson’s long post about living with an alcoholic father and the subsequent cost to his own mental health is heavy stuff but also essential reading:

His attitude towards good pubs and good beers didn’t change or waver on those days out, but it was away from these that soon the house was filled with cans of Strongbow Super and bottles of vodka. I’d come home every couple of weeks to see an increasingly desperate situation. Yet everybody was too scared to say anything. We let it get out of control between us as a family with the subject only finally being approached from the first hospital admittance.

→ Richard Taylor at The Beercast has declared his list of UK breweries to watch in 2016. It’s well thought out and there are a couple of names on there that, if not new to us, weren’t especially on our radar.


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.

beer reviews Germany

Mozart comes but once a year

We’ve mentioned Alte Mainmuehle before. We love it so much that, when we’re on our hols, we now always try to stop off for lunch in Wuerzburg if it’s on the way. It has  great food, beautiful views and fabulous beer — the full range from local brewery Distelhäuser.

Breaking the journey back from Passau, we remarked to ourselves as we pulled into the station that only one thing could make it better — a new beer. We laughed. German breweries don’t introduce new beers, except to make them ‘Gold’ or add cola. But, what do you know, the beer gods seemed to have delivered, with Mozartbier being proudly advertised across town.

We didn’t realise how lucky we were, though, until we got home and researched it a little: it’s not a new beer, but is only available on or around the 5 June each year. How jammy are we?

It’s a cracker, too. Golden rather than yellow, conditioned rather than fizzy, it has an incredible depth of malt flavour — rye bread with added cereal — without being at all cloying. We wondered, with its name and slightly darker colour, if it was a nod to a Vienna-style lager, but it also struck as what we’d been looking for in a festbier all these years.