Saturday, July 2, 2011

A Fabulous Bier For The Summertime

I went to Costco today, figuring on buying some things for a BBQ for this afternoon. I got everything I needed to pick up, including: rib eye steaks, corn on the cob, a sea salt mill with Mediterranean Sea salt, a pepper mill with peppercorns,  cherries and raspberries for dessert, and whatever else we needed grocery-wise. While shopping, my eye was caught by something I have not had in a long time being that I have not been drinking almost any bier over the past several months (probably less than 10 beers in the last 6 months). What got my attention was a stack of cases of Paulaner Hefe-Weizen Bier. At less than $25.00 a case (fuck thank you Bill Clinton for having the beer tax skyrocket and stay sky high - remember that one friends, this beer would be about $10 a case less expensive had he not created that tax) I figured I had best grab one. That is just what I did too, too bad I did not grab two.

Paulaner Hefe-Weizen Bier (also hefe weisbier) is one of my all time favorite golden brews. It is a product of Germany, brewed and bottled by Paulaner Brauerei in Munich. As they tell you on the label, it is brewed "...to the exacting standard of Reinheitsgebot, the Bavarian Purity law of 1516". Imagine that today, something made by the standards set for it 495 years ago! I can only tell you this, that has got to be one of the best laws ever because German biers are the best, and Paulaner Hefe Weizen is among the best of the best. This bier may well be my all time favorite although that is debatable depending upon which of my favorites is set before me at any given moment. That it is my favorite bier to drink in the summertime, when the living is easy, is indisputable- at least when I am still sober.

Paulaner Hefe-Weizen, as the name says, is a wheat (weizen) bier that also has yeast (hefe) in it. Of course, it also contains barley malt but wheat biers are made from at least 50% wheat malt. If you have ever imbibed an American wheat bier and thought this is not the bier for me because of an overly heavy and strong hopsy taste and then shied away from biers like the Paulaner Hefe-Weizen, let me just say - you do not know what you are missing. Most American brewed wheat biers are a far cry from those brewed in Germany and leave an awful lot to be desired. I have tried several and I could never quite understand how anyone could enjoy most American brewed weizen biers because they taste nothing like weizen bier is supposed to taste. How do I know how they are supposed to taste? Well, the Germans, if not the creators of wheat bier and I do believe they did create it, certainly are the master brewers of it and have made its production a both a science and an art. Paulaner itself has been around since 1634. You can bet they got it right! In my opinion, biers like Sam Addams, and other American brews, simply do not even come close to the essence of it! The only one that comes within even a country mile would be Blue Moon Belgian White but I think even that one is at least a mile off the mark.

I strongly encourage you to try this fine bier. Don't have a sip or even a full bier and then say, I do not like it and leave it at that. Sit back, crack one open, pour it very slowly into a tilted glass. Enjoy the aroma, check out the thick and cloudy consistency caused by the yeast, take a sip. Then take another and another. Make sure it is at least 50 degrees Fahrenheit or colder (I prefer mine pretty cold but up to 50 is okay). Then have a second and a third - make sure you are not driving or operating any machinery except a maybe a lounge chair.  Drink slowly, sip them, enjoy them. If you want, take a lemon wedge and crush it into the bier, I though prefer it nix zitrone! Then stop, sit back and think do you really prefer: Bud Light, or Amstel, or Budweiser, or Coors, or any variety of Sam Addams, or Harpoon IPA, or Chimay Ale, Guiness Stout, Heineken, Sierra Nevada Anything, or even one of my other best among the best - Ommegang Ale, or any other bier you can think of for a really hot summertime day. You may but for me this is the absolute best bier to enjoy on a hot summers day or night and I think you will at least agree it is one heck of a very fine bier!

This evening, in about a half hour or less, I intend to enjoy my third of the day with dinner. Besides being a fine bier on its own, it is also exceptional with a meal. There are not many brewers who can boast that their product is as good or better with a meal than a fine wine but weizen bier, especially hefe weizen bier, lends itself to the dining experience. That is especially true for things like steak, seafood, roasts of lamb or pork or beef, or things like stews, but it goes almost as well with a garden salad a soup and a piece of bread. With a liverwurst or sardine sandwich, both smothered with horseradish and spicy mustard on heavy Lithuanian Bread or Corn Rye, there is nothing better in my esteem. Tonight though, it will be enjoyed with rib eye steak, homemade German potato salad, homemade macaroni salad, corn on the cob, and fruit for dessert.

As a wise man once said - "Try it, you'll like it"! As my mom used to say: Good, better, best, never let it rest, until your good is better and your better is best Paulaner - Paulaner Hefe-Weizen (well maybe I changed that just a little from what my mom used to say but you get the idea). It is a great tasting bier. Enjoy it but it enjoy responsibly.

All the best,
Glenn B
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