A few weeks ago I saw a posting for a beer tasting at the Jameson pub here in Cologne. I finally participated with a friend of mine last Thursday, and it was pretty cool.
The tasting was hosted by Wolf Heisig, who owns the Braukunstladen Köln here in Cologne. Mr. Heisig was quite knowledgeable and imparted some interesting facts about beer on us.
The agenda was pretty straightforward; 7 different beers over about 2 hours.
The first beer on the menu was the Sour & Salt from Brekeriet.I liked it. It was definitely sour, but I have had more sour ones than this one. It looked clear or opaque, depending if you got the top or bottom half of the bottle (since every bottle was split between 2 people). Some sediments made their way to the bottom, which was why my beer was much cloudier than my friend’s, since I got the bottom half of the bottle.
The next up was the Honig Bier (Honey beer) from Lahnsteiner.It definitely had a honey taste to it and it reminded me of mead. I am sure if you like mead, you would like this. It wasn’t quite for me, though, and I didn’t end up finishing it.
The 3rd beer was the Blue Throat Pils from Wild Animal.This is from an Australian who currently lives in Germany, but will go back soon, meaning that this will likely become an import item in the near future, and therefore, more expensive. I dunno about this one. Later, when we had the Superfreunde, the others said that beer and this one were very similar. I didn’t think so, as our blue throat was very zesty. Not sour, but it strongly reminded me of shaved lemon rinds—I fear our bottle may have not been as good as it should have been. It was also super foamy, but at least that was consistent across all our bottles.
He had a lot to say about every style of beer that we drank and it was cool to hear all the history of the various beers. One neat fact was how the discovery of beer was practically on accident. In some way or another, people managed to develop farming and grow grains. The grains would sometimes be mixed with water, and due to natural yeasts floating in the air, fermentation would occur, resulting in beer. It wasn’t typically as strong as our modern day beers, maybe only around 1-2% alcohol, but it was enough to make the water more sanitary, so it actually tended to be the drink of choice, since other drinks, like water, were often contaminated and would be more likely to make you sick.
Number 5 was the GPA from Superfreunde.
I have always liked pale ales, and this German pale ale was no exception. I thoroughly enjoyed this one, but I unfortunately failed to take a photo, which is a shame because its logo was in a really cool, simple, black and white style like that of the zeta beers.
The second to last beer was an Imperial IPA from Ale Mania.
A fun play on words; “Alemania” is Spanish for “Germany,” and dissecting it into Ale Mania is just fitting for anyone who has a mania for ale. This was my favorite of the bunch. A really strong, hoppy, and bitter beer that was simply a joy to drink.
The cherry on top was the 3 Bean Stout by Lervig.
This one was pretty wild. It was more than 10%, and you could definitely feel the alcohol as it went down. It had the classic coffee and chocolaty tones a stout normally has, so nothing too groundbreaking, but still delicious. T’was an excellent beer to end the evening on and I could really see myself coming in after a long day in the snow on a cold, winter day and enjoying one of those by a fire. Fun fact: there is no legally required “use by date” since the alcohol percentage is over 10%, meaning it can be shelf stable for quite a long time.
The tasting ended up taking more like 3 hours, which was fine. We had many good discussions and got to drink our beers in peace. Afterwards, I went home with a good buzz. Sharing 7 beers with one other means that everyone drank a little over a liter of beer each, but that all ranged from 5-10% alcohol. I actually had to go home and take apart my kitchen to remove the dishwasher, since a new one was being delivered, and although I was a little intimidated doing it while decently buzzed, it was luckily much easier than I feared it would be. But I digress. The beer tasting was very fun, informative, and most importantly, tasty. I have actually had his website bookmarked for quite a while now, so I should definitely get around to visiting there sometime soon.