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Brews & Views Bulletin Board Service * Brews and Views Archive 2009 * Archive through March 01, 2009 * Bad and Good news all at once < Previous Next >

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Joe Williams
Member
Username: Joewilliams

Post Number: 132
Registered: 03-2003
Posted From: 74.79.207.59
Posted on Wednesday, February 11, 2009 - 09:33 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Gents,

I recently got some good and bad news all at the same time. Since I believe in getting the worst over with first I'll share the bad news first. I have to walk away from my brewing for the next three years. Not so much as a drop of anything will be brewed in my house, a sad day for certain.

But the good news more than makes up for it. I'm going to Mannheim Germany for the next three years so I won't have much need to brew since good beer is everywhere in Germany. The army has seen fit to re-assign me to Germany for the remaining three years of my service so when I return I'll be a free man forever.

I suppose I can live through three years of being a paid tourist in Europe. Tragically my bride is only able to take a one year leave of absence from her job as a school teacher so I'll have to take a train to the Belgian breweries or maybe the Czech Republic and spend a weekend on my own. It's a rough life but after 22 years of service I suppose I've earned an easy tour to end it all.
 

Graham Cox
Senior Member
Username: T2driver

Post Number: 2083
Registered: 11-2004
Posted From: 68.32.253.156
Posted on Wednesday, February 11, 2009 - 09:39 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

My heart bleeds.

Take the opportunity to get smarter in a place where it's easy to do - that way when you get back to brewing you'll be that much better! Good luck and enjoy.
 

Bill Pierce
Moderator
Username: Billpierce

Post Number: 9943
Registered: 01-2002
Posted From: 24.150.192.193
Posted on Wednesday, February 11, 2009 - 09:51 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Is there any possibility at all that you would be able to live off-base? I have heard of members of the American military in Germany who brew on their own time.

At any rate, there is no shortage of good beer already there. Prost!
 

Vance Barnes
Senior Member
Username: Vancebarnes

Post Number: 3584
Registered: 03-2003
Posted From: 74.7.7.66
Posted on Wednesday, February 11, 2009 - 10:06 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

That beats the heck out of the places they've sent you the last few years. Not only were they dangerous but there was NO BEER! Guess they saw fit to make up for that now.

You'll have to keep us updated on your beer adventures in Europe. Which reminds me, where's Skot been lately? He hasn't toutured us with pictures of awsome beer in an aswome beer garten in Germany lately.
 

Skotrat
Advanced Member
Username: Skotrat

Post Number: 871
Registered: 07-2007
Posted From: 75.67.98.168
Posted on Wednesday, February 11, 2009 - 10:08 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

There is a fantastic Chinese Buffet in Mannheim !
 

Joe Williams
Member
Username: Joewilliams

Post Number: 133
Registered: 03-2003
Posted From: 74.79.207.59
Posted on Wednesday, February 11, 2009 - 10:10 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I know I'll end up in military housing while my wife's there with me but once she departs I'll have to rent an appartment on the economy. I've heard of guys who brew over there too, but to me its a matter of why.
 

Joe Williams
Member
Username: Joewilliams

Post Number: 134
Registered: 03-2003
Posted From: 74.79.207.59
Posted on Wednesday, February 11, 2009 - 10:11 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Skot, get me an address and I'll check it out. Should I expect a welcome or a broom if I mention your name?
 

Jeff Swearengin
Senior Member
Username: Beertracker

Post Number: 1240
Registered: 03-2002
Posted From: 216.97.167.75
Posted on Wednesday, February 11, 2009 - 11:33 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Good to hear Joe! Germany's going to seem like beer heaven after a tour(s) in Iraq. I have fond memories of my time stationed in nearby K-town. I still blame the Germans for leading me down this destructive path called homebrewing. After drinking their beer, the fizzy, yellow stuff never seemed quite as appealing.
 

Tom Gardner
Senior Member
Username: Tom

Post Number: 1154
Registered: 01-2001
Posted From: 71.56.208.229
Posted on Thursday, February 12, 2009 - 01:44 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Thanks for your service!
 

Jeff Rankert
Junior Member
Username: Hopfenundmalz

Post Number: 31
Registered: 06-2008
Posted From: 76.122.147.39
Posted on Thursday, February 12, 2009 - 02:07 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Joe,

You need to swing through Bamberg.
 

Skotrat
Advanced Member
Username: Skotrat

Post Number: 872
Registered: 07-2007
Posted From: 75.67.98.168
Posted on Thursday, February 12, 2009 - 02:12 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Joe,

Always a welcome... Next time I am over I will Buy you a couple rounds
 

Paul Muth
Intermediate Member
Username: Pjmuth

Post Number: 416
Registered: 10-2002
Posted From: 66.20.190.181
Posted on Thursday, February 12, 2009 - 02:20 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Joe,

I wish you the absolute best. I know the twists in your personal life can be a pain but that too will pass. I honor you!

I spent 4 years in Frankfurt, West Germany on assignment with the military from 78 to 82. I guarantee my finger nail marks are still all over the door jams as they dragged me out kicking and screaming - Noooooo - I don't wanna Goooo...!

The beer and everything else was just plain awesome. It didn't take me long to learn that I could drive to Italy in less time than for me to go to DC now.

Please enjoy your tour, stay safe and be well.
Again, I honor you.

Paul
 

Bob Wall
Senior Member
Username: Brewdudebob

Post Number: 2437
Registered: 11-2004
Posted From: 67.191.162.214
Posted on Thursday, February 12, 2009 - 03:19 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Joe,

I am sure you will enjoy your last tour in Germany. I never got over there when I was in, but I heard all the stories. Of course, back then the exchange rate was heavily in favor of the G.I.'s, which let to many wild stories of wanton debauchery. But with you being a senior NCO, you probably have all that out of your system by now for the most part.

With your age and wisdom, and the love of this craft, you are in a wonderful position to enhance your hobby by being immersed in a region that is jam-packed with rich tradition and history. I am certain that you will find ways to fill your free time in creative and constructive pursuit of the next un-tasted beer.

Have you been learning any German phrases?

Dieses Bier schmeckt wie Piss

und

Mag ich mein Gesicht zwischen Ihren massiven Brüsten reiben?

 

Hallertauer
Advanced Member
Username: Hallertauer

Post Number: 553
Registered: 03-2003
Posted From: 204.104.55.244
Posted on Thursday, February 12, 2009 - 11:25 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

**I've heard of guys who brew over there too, but to me its a matter of why.**

Hey Jeff, I home brew in Germany so I guess I can tell you 'why' we do it.

Germany has thousands of beers but absolutely no variety at all. It's basically all pilsner with the odd export (helles) thrown in. You will also have 15 wheat beers (dunkel and hell) to choose from. The difference between the wheat beers is even less than the pilsners. In Germany beer consumers are concerned with 3 things. Price, price, and price. It's not like Belgium where you can walk into a beer store and say that you have 30 bucks in your pocket and want to buy 1 case of beer. You will have no problem paying that much in Belgium for a premium beer. In Germany they will tell you that they have NO beer that costs that much. Of course wine is a different story. You can pay a crap load of money for ONE bottle of wine. There are NO hoppy pale ales to be had. You will find NO Belgium beer in Germany. (And NOT because of the rheinheitsgebot) It's just that Germans won't pay a premium price for a premium beer.

As far as finding alt and kölsch outside of Düsseldorf, you will only find the most insipid brands such as diebels alt and früh kölsch. If you want the flavorful alts and Kölshches you must go to Köln and Düsseldorf where beer culture is very much alive as well.

Also listen to Jeff and visit Bamberg and the surrounding area. That is one of the few places where they really have an outstanding beer culture.

If you are around the Frankfurt area and want to have a beer in a nice brew pub give me a shout. Also if you change your mind and need some info. about the home brewing scene, or need something translated, give me a shout.
 

Dan Listermann
Senior Member
Username: Listermann

Post Number: 6532
Registered: 03-2004
Posted From: 65.29.223.32
Posted on Thursday, February 12, 2009 - 12:09 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

"Germany has thousands of beers but absolutely no variety at all."

A revelation and disappointment at the same time. Next time, it is Bamberg for me.
 

Bill Pierce
Moderator
Username: Billpierce

Post Number: 9945
Registered: 01-2002
Posted From: 24.150.192.193
Posted on Thursday, February 12, 2009 - 02:37 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

"Germany has thousands of beers but absolutely no variety at all."

Which leads to a marketing question (I realize that as craft beer drinkers we are outside most marketing equations): if the product is essentially the same, what determines which brand consumers choose?

When I was in Germany (20-odd years ago now) I recall there was a small brewery in virtually every town of more than about 20,000 people. The "value-minded" (i.e. cheap) drinkers Hallertau refers to bought their beer by the case in returnable bottles directly from the brewery, where it was ridiculously cheap compared to what I now pay for beer here in Ontario. I agree that one brand was virtually indistinguishable from another. Almost all were of uniformly high quality, although a bit boring by our standards.

I have heard that many hundreds of these small breweries closed in Germany over the past 20 years. I'm wondering how German drinkers' loyalties are changing. At least in the past they were very resistant to buying beers from megabrewers such as InBev and Heineken.
 

Joe Williams
Member
Username: Joewilliams

Post Number: 135
Registered: 03-2003
Posted From: 74.79.207.59
Posted on Thursday, February 12, 2009 - 02:53 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I was in Darmstadt from '95 to '98 and there was still a brewery in Darmstadt and one down the road a few miles in Fungstadt and so on. I hope I won't be disappointed with the selection when I get there this time. Even then some the younger beer drinkers had fallen prey to the Budweiser marketing plan of drinking the beer of the future. Not that bitter stuff your grandpa drinks. I lived in a first floor appartment on the economy near a school. I kept my beer on the balcony to save space in the house. I came home one day and caught some kids stealing my wife's budweiser but they didn't touch the Darmstadter pilsner that was right next to it.

Either way, I'm not afraid to pay a premium price for a premium beer and I can figure out train schedules so I can travel to places where it's possible.
 

Hallertauer
Advanced Member
Username: Hallertauer

Post Number: 554
Registered: 03-2003
Posted From: 204.104.55.244
Posted on Thursday, February 12, 2009 - 03:17 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

**if the product is essentially the same, what determines which brand consumers choose?**

It's advertising and if a brewery supports the local soccer team etc. then they will buy that.

Joe Darmstadter pilsner is still available. Also you are right when you say that the kids are NOT drinking what their dad's drank. They are even dumbing down the pilsners and serving them in clear glass bottles. If you see them in clear glass, they are targeting the under 35 crowd who do not like anything bitter. Here is an example of one such product although most of the breweries are offering this product now.


Beck's Gold was the winner of the alcoholic beverages category for Germany chosen by the purchasing directors of the top 50 retailers in the country. It is a mild and refreshing beer that distinguishes itself from ordinary premium beers with both its taste and its unique UV protected flint glass bottle, which lets its light golden colour shine through even though the product is not actually a 'light beer'.Beck's Gold however is aimed at those who prefer a refreshingly tangy, mild and light taste and the brewer was recognised in the award for reinventing an existing product to target a new audience of young, trendy and affluent beer drinkers.

The kids are also into mixing coke and beer and sprite with beer. So much so that the breweries make this for them and they don't have to do the mixing themselves.
 

Bill Pierce
Moderator
Username: Billpierce

Post Number: 9946
Registered: 01-2002
Posted From: 24.150.192.193
Posted on Thursday, February 12, 2009 - 03:19 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I keep hearing interesting things about brewpubs and tiny breweries in northern Italy. Joe, I'd be planning getaways to Turin, Milan and Brussels on your holidays.
 

Jeff Rankert
Junior Member
Username: Hopfenundmalz

Post Number: 32
Registered: 06-2008
Posted From: 76.122.147.39
Posted on Thursday, February 12, 2009 - 03:39 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

In reply to Hallertauer, I lived in Wiesbaden in 98-99, and found out quickly that one gets tired of nothing but Pils. There are some that are better than others, and I liked Koernig and Jever, or most pils from the north.

To get good alts, you go to Duesseldorf.

We refered to Wiesbaden as Germany's beer wasteland - when compared to Bavaria, and Koeln, Duesseldorf, etc. The Rhinegau wines, however, changed our notions of German wine.
 

Skotrat
Advanced Member
Username: Skotrat

Post Number: 873
Registered: 07-2007
Posted From: 75.67.98.168
Posted on Thursday, February 12, 2009 - 03:46 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

"Which reminds me, where's Skot been lately? He hasn't tortured us with pictures of awesome beer in an awesome beer garten in Germany lately."

There has been an internal freeze on all non billable travel since September...

I have not been on a plane since October 2008 and it is such a very strange feeling after 8 straight years of potentially 100% travel for work.
 

Skotrat
Advanced Member
Username: Skotrat

Post Number: 874
Registered: 07-2007
Posted From: 75.67.98.168
Posted on Thursday, February 12, 2009 - 03:53 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Here Vance...

we can dream...

From last summer:

Beer School

Rothaus Weiss
 

Dan Listermann
Senior Member
Username: Listermann

Post Number: 6533
Registered: 03-2004
Posted From: 74.83.191.159
Posted on Thursday, February 12, 2009 - 05:03 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

And I was shocked to see green bottles in Germany. Is nothing sacred?
 

Jeff Rankert
Junior Member
Username: Hopfenundmalz

Post Number: 34
Registered: 06-2008
Posted From: 76.122.147.39
Posted on Thursday, February 12, 2009 - 07:16 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I learned the hard way to avoid cases of bier with dust on the bottles, and to not buy the case on the top of the stack. Yes, you can get skunky bier in Germany.
 

Joakim Ruud
Senior Member
Username: Joques

Post Number: 1346
Registered: 10-2005
Posted From: 84.208.79.179
Posted on Friday, February 13, 2009 - 02:43 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

It is funny. Very many Germans have a skewed view of their own beer knowledge, and so it is sometimes hard to discuss beer with them as a foreigner.

I went to three brewpubs in Berlin. In two of them, the beer (one weizen and one pils) was obviously infected. To such a degree that anybody knowing anything about beer would never drink it. Yet all around me, people were happily knocking back pint after pint. It was strange.
 

Bill Pierce
Moderator
Username: Billpierce

Post Number: 9950
Registered: 01-2002
Posted From: 24.150.192.193
Posted on Friday, February 13, 2009 - 03:00 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

The ignorance of many beer drinkers seems to be universal. I can think of more than one brewpub where the beers have very noticeable diacetyl, yet, as you say, the customers consider it a normal part of the flavor.
 

Jerrod Scott
Junior Member
Username: Jrod

Post Number: 30
Registered: 02-2008
Posted From: 71.38.81.63
Posted on Friday, February 13, 2009 - 11:41 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Joe--not to be stupid but my buddy used to brew in housing at Ft. Carson. Are there new regs or was he out of line in the first place?
 

Dave Witt
Senior Member
Username: Davew

Post Number: 1249
Registered: 03-2003
Posted From: 68.57.245.38
Posted on Saturday, February 14, 2009 - 12:19 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Joe,

Good to see you are getting out of the danger zone, so to speak. I appreciate what you and the rest of the military are doing. Enjoy these next years and then get back to brewing here soon.
 

Vance Barnes
Senior Member
Username: Vancebarnes

Post Number: 3585
Registered: 03-2003
Posted From: 74.7.7.66
Posted on Monday, February 16, 2009 - 07:34 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Sorry to hear your beer, er work travels have been curtailed Skot. But right now it's better to just be employed and not sweat the small things.