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Brewsround – Week 15, 2020

A glass of Schönramer Hell at Foersters Feine Biere in Berlin

Good beer writing has a way of transporting the reader to a pub, brewery or city or filling the senses with the tastes and smells of a drink they hadn’t even heard of five minutes earlier. That’s exactly what these articles have done for me this week and will hopefully do for you too.

I love Berlin but one thing I miss about the UK is the pubs. And the Old Fountain as described in Jonny Garrett’s latest article for Pellicle is just the kind of place I wish I had waiting for me around the corner.

Today it’s the best pub in its postcode, with eight perfectly kept cask beers, 12 keg lines, and a fridge filled with curiosities. In the corner, an open kitchen sizzles, clangs and hustles its way through service, cooking sausage and mash, beef burgers you can’t get your chops around, and sticky toffee pudding. It’s come a long way since the Whitbread house the Durrant’s took over in 1964.

I’ve never been to Norway. I’ve never brewed. And I’ve never tasted a beer infused with Juniper. Yet somehow, reading Lars Marius Garshol’s account of a brew day in Ål in eastern Norway I felt like I was there with him.

Sverre strapped down the fermentor with blankets so it would keep warm, while his mother said pleadingly: “And no peeking before tomorrow!” It sounded like Sverre opens it up too often for her liking.

It’s not new by any means but this piece about ‘Cantillon’s Bomb Shelter Beer Cellar’ I discovered via a tweet from Eoghan Walsh is too good not to share.

I had the idea to have an aging/maturation project like this when I visited the Pommery Champagne house in Reims a few years ago. They have great cellars full of many thousands of bottles of champagne, aging in beautiful conditions. I wanted to do something like that with Cantillon, but we don’t have the space at the brewery for such a project. So I thought to ask the city of Brussels if they wanted to collaborate on such a project, and they quickly agreed, as they liked the idea.

The beer world has seen several positives coming out of the coronavirus. One is that beer geeks feel now is the time to raid their beer stash and drink something they’ve been saving for a special occasion. Evan Rail reports on this growing craze for Vine Pair.

Around the world, there’s a widespread trend of beer lovers digging into their collections and consuming some truly special bottles, complete with a trending hashtag.

Happening right now, it’s time to #drinkyourcellar.

If you don’t have the patience for ageing beers, then Boak and Bailey might have the solution. They’ve written about ‘Beers salvaged from the junk shop shelf’. And it’s got me thinking about the possibility of getting my hands on some old Berliner Weiße.

In this set, all of which we reckon date from around 1980, give or take, there were two good ‘uns and, sadly, one total dud – not a bad strike rate.

As Meat Loaf sang, “Two out of three ain’t bad”.

If #lagerislife then drinking Schönramer Hell is the definition of living your best life. Joe Stange’s profile of Privatbrauerei Schönram for Craft Beer & Brewing was published on the first day of Biergartenwetter in Berlin. As I read it, I sat at my desk salivating. 

The Hell, meanwhile, is simply addictive. It is a pure expression of light, sweet malt but with a touch more bitterness—a soft, smooth bitterness, mind you—than any Munich helles. And while it starts lightly sweet, it finishes dry, leaving you wanting more. And more. And so on.

It is highly probable that a pint of this exceptional Helles at Foersters Feine Biere will be my first drink at a bar when they are allowed to open again.

Joe and I aren’t the only ones enamoured with Schönramer. The beers are so good that they can become an obsession in fact. Andreas Krennmair posted a captivating thread on Twitter that demonstrates just how much German Chancellor Angela Merkel loves the brewery. Look how many Merkel outfits were inspired by Schönramer beers.

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