Breakfast is the most important meal of the day, and if you come to Munich, Germany you will enjoy a breakfast like no other. I had a lot of "beer moments" on a trip to Germany in 2005, but one particular experience was much more than a moment, it was a beer epiphany. If you ever walk the Marienplatz, which is the massive pedestrian walk way in downtown Munich, and you stop at Tal 7, you will find Weisses Brauhaus. This is the Munich outlet for the G.Schneider & Son Brauerei brewers of the world class Schneider Weisse and the beer I am reviewing today, Aventinus Dunkle Weizenbock.
Please allow me to digress. Like all the beer halls I was to visit in Munich, Weisses was, and is, a very special place, with a grand scale, but a very cozy and inviting atmosphere. It was 9AM on a cold Sunday morning, and I was ready for my first beer. I immediately ordered SchneiderWeisse, and waited for our dirndl clad waitress to return with a coffee for my friend, and a beer for me. Beer for breakfast? Yes, beer for breakfast. While this might seem shocking here in the US, it is a normal practice for Bavarians to have beer for breakfast, which they will match with a delicious, mild sausage known as weisswurst. At Weisses Brauhaus, you can only order the weisswurst up until Noon and then they stop serving them. So make no mistake, this is a breakfast sausage, and weiss bier is the beverage of choice to enjoy these white beauties with.
When they finally come out you will be presented two(or more depending how many you want) steaming links of weissewurst. They are served in a silver bowl with a lid, and they will continue to steam in hot water and parsley, until you are ready to dig in. These sausages are white in color, and you actually spit the casing, peel it off, and enjoy the mild flavored veal sausage inside. On the table you will find baskets of fresh baked pretzels, which are without a doubt the best pretzels you will ever taste. The texture of these pretzels are amazing, the inner arms hard and crunchy, the outer rings soft and chewy and salted to perfection. Served up with a sweet and tangy mustard, they are truly to die for, but then it only gets better. Your waitress will quickly return with a fresh glass of beer, in my case Aventinus.
Aventinus is a dunkle weizen bockbier or "dark wheat bock beer" by style. It is one of the most complex and amazing beers that you will ever taste, and beer geeks world wide sing its praises. I have enjoyed this beer countless times here in the US, but to experience this one fresh vom fass at Weisses was an almost spiritual experience. This beer is brewed with up to 60% dark wheat malt, along with a very distinctive ale yeast strain that produces estery aromas and flavors of clove, banana, and apple. Being a bockbier, this beer has strong aromas and flavors of alcohol, and packs quite a punch at over 8% abv. It was a phenomenal beer to match with my breakfast of sausages and pretzels, and one of the most amazing beers to ever pass my lips.
Aventinus pours to a beautiful, murky and opaque, deep caramel color, with a big, tall, rocky white head, and a vibrant carbonation. . The nose on this beer is very complex, and packed with character. Aromas of sweet malt, nutty malty, clove, and aromas of ripe banana flood the nose. This is paired with peppery hints of alcohol. The palate is smooth and round on the tongue, with big sweet and caramel malt flavors, some tart wheat malt flavor, and an underpinning of estery fruit. Aventinus finishes with more complex and delicious, malt and fruit flavors, then ends with a slightly warming, malty and clove spicy finish that lingers.
A true master piece of the brewer's art, this beer fresh vom fass was a truly special beer. If that were not enough, around 10am, a lederhosen clad Ompah band walks in, sets up at a table directly behind where I was seated, and strikes up the music. The combination of the atmosphere, food, music, happy people, and of course beer, was without question one of the most, or perhaps even, the most amazing beer drinking experiences of my life. I was living, breathing, seeing, hearing, touching, smelling, eating, and drinking Germany. Something I just could not experience if all I did was go to my local beer store,and buy a bottle of Aventinus. My friend, a veteran of Munich beer halls, commented to me, "This is not done for tourists you know. Look around you. There are no tourists in here. This is what Bavarians do.". If you ever decided to venture to Germany, a trip to Weisses Brauhaus is a must, and Aventinus is a must try. I enjoyed a few liters of this beer, as well as Schneider Weisse. We had such a great time, we didn't get out of there until about Noon, and to say I left blissful, is an under statement of a life time. For more information about this beer and the brewery visit their website at:http://www.schneider-weisse.de/