Category Archives: Beer Notes

Löffel’s Mühlen Gold Export

Löffel's Mühlen Gold Export

Löffel’s Mühlen Gold Export

Why are organic beers so bad?

Edit: One of the bullet points from the philosophy page on their website: “Quality management according to DIN ISO 9001:2008”. Not the best catchphrase to bring up at a bar.

Altenmünster Brauer Bier Hopfig Herb

Altenmünster Brauer Bier Hopfig Herb

Altenmünster Brauer Bier Hopfig Herb


I really hoped “hopfig herb” meant “interesting”, but that was not the case.

Köstritzer Schwarzbier

Köstritzer Schwarzbier

Köstritzer Schwarzbier

This was probably the first dark beer I tried. I’m going to have to try it again, because the Internet reviews of this beer are different from what I remember. I remember a fairly bland beer, with practically no redeeming qualities. But I think I was judging it back before my mouth realized it was going to have to change. So I’ll give it another shot.

But for now, I’ll say it was an oddly light-tasting beer, with a weird, burnt flavor.

Stuttgarter Hofbräu Malteser Weissbier Kristall

Stuttgarter Hofbräu Malteser Weissbier Kristall

Stuttgarter Hofbräu Malteser Weissbier Kristall

This may have been the second Kristall weisbier I’ve tried. I don’t really remember the beer, but I do know it was just “okay”. Stuttgarter Hofbräu is a very large brewery around here, and most of their beers are “okay”.

It has a monk on the front though. Everybody loves a good monk picture.


Lammbrauerei Hilsenbeck’s Brunnenbier “naturtrüb”

Hilsenbeck`s Brunnenbier naturtrüb

Hilsenbeck`s Brunnenbier naturtrüb

It’s a little difficult to figure out what the name of this beer is. The website uses all the words above, plus “Gruibinger”. But it doesn’t matter. Skip this one.

I had high hopes, because the bottle and label look nice. But it was boring.

We drank it in a bar located inside the climbing gym. Pretty great, right? You can see the climbing holds in the background.

Franziskaner Weissbier Naturtrüb

Franziskaner Weissbier Naturtrüb

Franziskaner Weissbier Naturtrüb

I don’t like weissbiers, as a general rule. But I will grudgingly admit that I like this one. The type of yeast they use gives it a nice banana aroma. And that is just delightful.

This beer also seems to avoid the god-awful metallic taste that is pervasive in so many hefeweisens. Thumbs up.

By the way, the Stuttgart train station is in the background. The station is starting to feel like Penn or Grand Central Station to me. Every time we return to the city from a trip, the station makes me feel like I’m home. It’s nice that we’ve been here long enough for that to happen.

Original OeTTINGER Export vs Pils

Original OeTTINGER Export vs Pils

Original OeTTINGER Export and Pils

I drank these beers a few months ago, while we still lived in temporary housing. I wanted to nail down the difference in taste between an Export and a regular Pils. The Export is meant for export, and is pasteurized or somehow otherwise preserved to have a long shelf life. The pils is theoretically fresher.

Looking back on it, this was probably not the beer to do it with. It wasn’t particularly good. Bland. Typical pils, but leaned toward the not-so-great beers. And while I think I could tell a tiny difference between the two (more in smell than flavor), nobody cares. Seriously, nobody cares. If you make the conscious decision to pick up one of these beers from the store, you have no business being all pissed off that you accidentally got the Export, when you meant to get the pils. They’re the same.

The Export was slightly darker, I think. But again, nobody cares.


Lidl Grafenwalder Grapefruit Heffeweizen-Mix

Lidl Grafenwalder Grapefruit Heffeweizen-Mix

Lidl Grafenwalder Grapefruit Heffeweizen-Mix

Lidl is something of a “discount” grocery store, located near our apartment. This caught my eye because I like grapefruit juice, and Alissa likes Radlers (which are a combination of hefeweizen and lemonaid). So a product that combines hefeweizen and grapefruit juice? Winner!

No. Not a winner at all. The plastic bottle should have given it away. Man, this was really hard to drink. I sometimes sip a beer while I’m at my computer, and I usually get through the beer before I know it. This product made me question my beverage choice every time I took a sip.

“Okay, I don’t want any more. That’s enough.”

“Why did I take another sip?”

“Really? Again? Am I on automatic pilot?”

“Ug. That was not good. How much of this do I have left? Wow, that’s almost still full.”

“I can either accidentally take another sip, or I can get up and pour this down the drain.”


And so on. I finished it. But I was not happy about it.

Wichtel Hausbrauerei

Several days ago, a friend emailed a blurry photo of a sticker on the back of a white van.

Wichtel on a Van

Spy Photo Evidence

That photo was taken with a cell phone through the window of his car, and in tiny letters under the logo, you can barely make out “hausbrauerei” (brew house). Naturally, he became my hero.

Using various hacker tools (“google”), I figured out where they were located. So Alissa and I took a 7 minute train ride out to Feuerbach to visit. The place was really big, with tons of outside seating. The inside was decorated with hop plants and bags labeled “Wichtel Malt” and neat old-style bottles. They had these cool cooper kettles mounted inside, but I don’t think they’re in use.

Handsome Copper Kettles

Handsome copper kettles, with casually thrown grain bags sitting around.

We only tried their two regular beers; the pils and the dark weisen. The pils was pretty good. The first sip was all “woah, this is delicious”. The 300th sip was all “hey, you’ve been drinking that for a while, maybe switch to something else”?

So I switched to the dark weisen. I’m a little conflicted about what to write. On one hand, it was very weird-tasting. A lot of dark weisen beers taste burnt (in a not-especially-good way), and this beer was no different. But it wasn’t simply a pure burnt flavor. It was almost like they also burnt the hops, just to introduce something different. A secrete sauce, if you will.

On the other hand, I would like to congratulate them on creating a beer that isn’t like all the other beers around here. It was worth a 0.3 liter serving (0.634013 US pints) to experience something new. Next time we go, I hope to try the seasonal beer.

Downstairs, you can see the actual brewing area. Looks less like good ol’ fashioned brewing, and more like professional German engineering.

Wichtel Brewing Room

Located right across from the bathrooms, for all your joking pleasure. Just kidding. This isn’t Bud Light.

A major part of the food they serve is “Wichtelkuchen”, which I believe is a play on the word for “german-style-pizza-but-not-really”. Anyway, it’s similar to a NY thin crust, but without tomato sauce. Mine had sauerkraut on it, because I chose the option representing the most German of German-ness. Pretty delicious.

By the way, we’ve been here for four months now!

Ulmer Münster Hirsch Bier Urhell

Ulmer Münster Hirsch Bier Urhell

They look delicious.

The beer was pretty okay. I’d buy it again, but it probably isn’t as special as those berries beside it.

I found them while we were walking around yesterday evening. Alissa made it clear that I should not be eating wild berries, but what does she know? She’s never even tried to eat wild berries. They could be amazing!

I looked them up when I got home. Here’s a picture I took of the bush that they came on.

Delicious, delicious unknown berries

I think they’re Elderberries but we’ll never know for sure. Alissa made me promise I wouldn’t eat them. Unless I call my mom and ask first. But I can’t call my mom, because I’m afraid she won’t understand how amazing these berries might be. Moms are never good about that.

Dad? We have to convince Alissa quickly, because the bushes outside are teeming with them! The season is going to be over soon! Think of all the jam I could be making right now!