A copy of the 1516 German beer
purity law, the Reinheitsgebot
Sunday, February 10, 2013
TAP 6 Unser Aventinus – Schneider Weisse Brewery – Kelheim, Germany
After a brief stop in Poland, we’re bringing it around to the birthplace of great beer…Germany. But you may ask yourself why do the Germans put so much love and care into their beer…especially traditional German Beer. The answer is really simple…the Reinheitsgebot, the German Beer Purity law enacted by Wilhelm IV of Bavaria on April 23, 1516. In short, the law stated, “the only ingredients used for the brewing of beer must be barley, hops and water. Whosoever knowingly disregards or transgresses upon this ordinance shall be punished by the Court authorities’ confiscating such barrels of beer, without fail”.
I know, I know…what about the yeast? Well, at the time, brewers did not know of its existence. Yeast and wheat were later added to the list, and the law remained in effect until…wait for it…1987!
Does it seem extreme? Look at the folks over at Dogfish Head. They’ve experimented with countless ingredients, and no one would argue with their success. But back in 1516, water wasn’t exactly the purest. So to protect consumers, the law was established. To this day, certain traditional breweries in Germany are still using this recipe for success, but many have gravitated towards a more modern approach. THE SCHNEIDER WEISS BREWERY IS NOT ONE OF THEM. They continue to brew wheat beer according to the law, and it produces some of the purest brew around. Now that we’re done with the history lesson, let’s take a look at TAP 6, the Under Aventinus.
Deep and complex – for big and relaxing moments by the fire.
Dark-ruby colored wheat doppelbock with a creamy fine head. Strong notes of ripe bananas, raisins and plums meet liquorice and roasty aromes. Full-bodied and warming, with a well-balanced and smooth finish. The ideal companion for hearty roast meat, venison and also fruity chocolate desserts, “Kaiserschmarrn” (pancakes), “Elisenlebkuchen” (christmas cookies) or blue cheese.
Oldest wheat doppelbock of Bavaria. Since 1907.
Wheat doppelbock 8.2% ABV
Original gravity: 18.5%
The wheat beer specialists of the Schneider brewery are regularly awarded at international competitions. This proves that they are justly considered as world classics. A unique variety of distinguishing wheat beer specialties is being brewed at Bavaria’s oldest wheat beer brewery strictly following the Reinheitsgebot.
Now that is what Beer is supposed to taste like. Crisp, clean, and pure, that is all that you taste. A lot has changed though. This particular version…The TAP 6, bills itself as having overtones of bananas and plums, which are noticeable when sampling, but it would seem that the addition of these flavors would contradict the law. I suppose that in the world of beer marketing, you have to evolve with the times. But in the end, I was really hoping for something pure…not a pure company with pure intentions. I wanted pure beer according to the law. It was still a great brew though, and if you get a chance to grab one, I highly recommend it. Enjoy.
8/10 – Wunderbar
Impressions of the Schenider WeisseBrewery (In German)