7 Apr 2014

On the Piss in Bavaria - Part 2


You should read the first part before this one. I'm not joking.

With jolly bellies, we left Schneider-Weisse and headed headed to Essing, enjoying the gorgeous Bavarian countryside as we cruised along.
Essing is a pretty, small village, most of which can't be more than a couple hundred metres across, as it's crammed between a creek and a (limestone perhaps?) cliff.

The day was on full spring when we parked in front of the Brauereigasthof Schneider and we went straight to the deck in the back of the building. An idyllic setting, really. I picked the Bock of the house, which was a bit too thin flavoured for my taste, but I didn't care, I was like a pig in shit.
While we were sipping our beers and chatting, Líbor went to get something from the car and when he came back, he said he had bumped into the owner and brew master of Schneider Brauerei, who had agreed to show us around his brewery.

It has absolutely nothing to do with the one with had left about an hour before. A coincidence of names, which isn't so surprising, given how common the surname is. It's also a much smaller brewery than the other one – between 2,000 and 3000 hl/year. The brewery has been in the for six generations (if I remember correctly), with a seventh pretty much guaranteed as the son of the current owner is training to take over the business. The 5hl copper brewhouse is beautiful and looks like it's been around for a couple of generations, too. The rest was pretty standard, open fermenters, lagering tanks and a space to bottle condition their Weissbier.
After the visit, we went back to the deck to catch up with our drinking. Dunkles for me this time, it was a beauty. I would really like to know what those who say German beer is boring are drinking; it might be that they haven't been to Germany, or their palate is wasted after tasting DIPA's, BA Imperial Stouts and what have you. I swear, if someone had told me we were staying in Essing and that Dunkles was the only beer I'd drink for the rest of the weekend, I wouldn't have complained much.
But we were on a mission, those two barrels weren't going to deliver themselves to Au. We also wanted to visitar one more brewery before getting to our destination. While I squeezed a second Dunkles – what a lovely beer, really – we decided that the one in Riedenburg would be our next stopover.

It took us longer to find the brewery than getting to the town. Actually, I found it right away, but those three Czech čuráci wouldn't listen to a pajero from Argentina and we drove aimlessly around Riedenburg. Still refusing to listen to me, we stopped to ask directions to an old geezer who said he didn't anything about a brewery – more likely, though, he was so pissed he didn't remember.

We did make it to brewery in the end, but I don't know why we bothered. The beer garden looked like it was open for the season yet. We walked towards what appeared to be a taproom in the main building. It was actually a gift shop (I could swear I saw an IPA, but who wants to drink IPA with so much lovely dunkles and helles?), which was also closed (everybody pisses off at noon on Fridays in this part of the world – maybe we should learn a couple of things from the Germans). The only one there was a bloke in an office, attentively watching a computer screen – likely some of that weird fetish porn Germans like so much – who told us there brewery had a tap in the centre of town and gave us directions there.

It was Zum Poste, an unremarkable gasthof located near the main square. We took a table outside. I ordered a Helles, which I'm sure would have been much better without the tinfoil note that dominated the first half of the pint.
It was getting late and there's little holding us back in Riedenburg. It was time for the final leg of the trip. We arrived in Au by dusk and parked by the Schlossbrauerei – gorgeous building, indeed.
I made the mistake of volunteering to take one of the barrels down to the impressive Schloss Bräukeller – located in what used to be the floor maltings. I regretted every second, though it reminded me why I don't go to the gym – it would hurt. Nothing that some beer wouldn't be able to take care of.
Helles Naturtrüb. What a glorious beer! Imagine you are listening to your favourite music while napping in a hammock under ancient, leafy trees, but only better. The first one went down very quickly, and the two that followed didn't spend too much in the glass. I went through the other of house's beers – Hollerdauer Weisses, Auer Dunkles, Hollerdauer Dunkles and Baronator – all very good, but it was the Naturtrüb I kept coming back to.
We also had food, lots of food. We shared two starters, a beef salad that, unlike other beef salads I've seen that have a few pieces of meat over a lot of veggies, had a few pieces of veggies over a lot of meat, delicious stuff; and Obatzda, a great beer snack served with pretzels. For main course I had Rahmschwammerl mit Semmelknödel und gebratenen Kräutersaitling, which was every bit as big as it sounds; the sort of thing that could give a militant vegan a stroke just by looking at it. Saying it was delicious wouldn't do it justice. I'm sure German has a word to describe that; lemme see, völligverdammtwunderschönen, that sounds about right. It was a völligverdammtwunderschönen meal through and through. I had some difficulty finishing that mastodontian piece of animal with the works, but finish it I did, and I felt my gut would explode if I made any sudden moves. No problem, schnapps came to the rescue – a couple of times – together with some more of that Naturtrüb.
It was a great evening, and the perfect coda for a great day. One of those magic beer moments where beer is just another part of the whole, as it should always be, as far as I'm concerned.

We made our way to the hotel somewhere around 11, feeling that life was beautiful, and, certainly, a lot less drunk than we would have been without so much food. And yet, we knew that the following day would be a lot more intense, but you'll have to wait to know about that one.

Na Zdraví!

Disclaimer: When we asked for the bill, we were told that dinner was on the house. Thanks a lot.

5 comments:

  1. I love Schneider in Essing. Beautiful spot and lovely beers. I agree, I don't understand why some think German beer is boring.

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  2. I know some Americans who don't enjoy a crisp craft lager. I love Pilsners and Helles during the summer and at appropriate times of the night; I find them refreshing and palette-cleansing. However, because of the negative association with Budweiser, Miller, and Coors, some Americans swear off the entire type altogether.

    As a beerphile, I would never. The above combined with the fact that German beer is uncommon in the States may explain some of the dislike over here.

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    1. Beervana put it extremely well a few days ago. I don't think you can truly appreciate Central European lagers without coming here, as the stuff you get there is a: not really the most interesting and b: has traveled way too much for its own good.

      I like almost every style (haven't acquired the taste for sour beers quite yet) and there are times that I fancy something strong and/or really aromatic, but it's pale lager what I drink every day, and I love it.

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  3. There are several breweries in Regensburg, which one did you visit?

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    1. It wasn't Regensburg, it was Riedensburg

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