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Old 08-20-2009, 02:16 PM   #1
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Default Back to Germany in November

I just booked the flight to visit my parents in November. I’ll be going w/o wife and kids which means I can visit lots of breweries. My flight goes through Munich and I made sure I have a 12hr lay-over flying there and a 9hr lay-over on the return. This means I can go to the city and visit breweries there as well as Weihenstephan which is close to the airport anyway. How cool is that

I’m all excited and this time I’ll do more research and planning which kept me from visiting many breweries when we vacationed there last year.

Kai
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Old 08-20-2009, 02:25 PM   #2
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I just booked the flight to visit my parents in November. I’ll be going w/o wife and kids which means I can visit lots of breweries. My flight goes through Munich and I made sure I have a 12hr lay-over flying there and a 9hr lay-over on the return. This means I can go to the city and visit breweries there as well as Weihenstephan which is close to the airport anyway. How cool is that

I’m all excited and this time I’ll do more research and planning which kept me from visiting many breweries when we vacationed there last year.

Kai
Awesome, eat some Sauerbraten and Kartoffelknödel for me!
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Old 08-20-2009, 02:33 PM   #3
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Dann mal viel Spass!

I have never toured a brewery over there - I wonder how enjoyable that would be compared to a microbrewery here in the U.S.
My assumption would be that it would be a little "dumbed down", focusing on educating a (fairly ignorant) public about the general process of beer making instead of the specifics of what makes the brewery stand apart in the marketplace. I would also suspect that they wouldn't be forthcoming with information on specific ingredients or recipes, given that those tend to be "family secrets" in a lot of cases. That is just my guess - it may be completely different. In any case, the excellent beer and passion of the brewers for the brewers would make up for any "secret-keeping".

What I would love to do is visit some of the smaller breweries that produce near-extinct styles of beer, like Berliner Weisse or Gose.

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Old 08-20-2009, 02:34 PM   #4
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Gonna teach them how to brew?

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Old 08-20-2009, 02:49 PM   #5
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Look forward to whatever makes it to BrauKaiser.

My one trip to Germany was right before I started homebrewing and I wish I would have visited a brewery or two. That trip was the last nudge I needed to start brewing. Ah...drunken "ein, zwie, trie, prost!" -ing at Hofbrauhaus Munich...then blowing into the on-site breathalyzer to see who 'won'.

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Awesome, eat some Sauerbraten and Kartoffelknödel for me!
...or Jaeger Schnitzle!
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Old 08-20-2009, 02:50 PM   #6
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I wonder how enjoyable that would be compared to a microbrewery here in the U.S.
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You make a very good point which I’m aware of. But this also applies to micro breweries. I have also been to micros in the US where I only got the dumded down tour. In general: the bigger the brewery the less the chances that the tour will be guided by knowledgeable brewing staff. As for ingredients, you should not go in there and ask what the grain and hop bill are, but you can ask in more general terms and infer the rest from what is common in breweries. When it comes to specialty malts for example, most or almost all breweries would use only a limited amount since each different malt needs separate storage and Germans don’t throw a lot of different malts in their beers anyway. When it comes to water you can ask where they get their water from and what they do to it. If they take it from the city water supply you can go to the city to get a water analysis. In mashing you ask what temp they dough in at and if they decoct. The rest times and temps are not important anyway since you don’t have their malt or equipment.

It all hinges on the availability of knowledgeable brewing staff and letting them know that you know your sh!t w/o making them feel dumb or trying to correct them. Paulaner has a great tour. It is guided by retired brewmasters and you get to have lunch with them. If you make sure you are seated next to them you can ask all sort of questions. I may even take that tour again just to talk to the brewer.

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What I would love to do is visit some of the smaller breweries that produce near-extinct styles of beer, like Berliner Weisse or Gose.


Gose is brewed where my parents live and I plan to visit one or both of the breweries.

Kai
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Old 08-20-2009, 03:39 PM   #7
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I spent 7 years in German and did manage to tour a couple of breweries. The one that stood out the most was Werner Brau in Poppenhausen. It was a smallish regional brewery, that since has been gobbled up by Wuerzburger Brau. I remember the tour being very concise in what equipment did what function and the overall process. Unfortunately I was not into brewing at the time and just wanted to see where the weekly racks of beer I received at my door step came from.

I did tour a couple of bigger breweries to include Wuerzburger Brau, Henninger Brau, and a couple more I do not remember.

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Old 08-20-2009, 04:59 PM   #8
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Kai, sounds like a great time. Any plans for touring Augustiner? I'd like to get a little inside scoop on their hops usage in the Lagerbier Hell... or are they too secretive to even give tours?

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Old 08-20-2009, 06:16 PM   #9
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I am looking forward to more AWESOME reviews and pic's!

I frequently reference your last trip's photos and reviews. Excellent stuff, and much appreciated!

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Old 08-21-2009, 03:21 AM   #10
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Sweet! I'm jealous!

I'd love to visit Germany sometime.

Have you ever made it to Zum Uerige in Dusseldorf? No so close to Munich, but just curious.

I'm finally getting back on the brewing horse tomorrow.......our move this winter and house related work this year has only let me brew once. It's terrible, but I think tomorrow will be the start of good run, especially with the upcoming hop harvest next week.

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