Saturday, 9 July 2011


Beer is not doing well in Germany. Volume sales are falling year by year, and everywhere there is talk of "brewery death". If the falling volume sales are the sweating that presages the onset of bubonic plague, then the enormous pus-ridden buboes under the armpits can be seen in the fact that young people, the beer drinkers of the future, just don't seem enthusiastic about beer. You can forget about the hip speciality beer bars you find in many European or American cities, packed with young dudes sipping IPAs and imperial stouts - a German beerhall or beer garden can often seem like a retirement home.
To outside observers, the reasons are skull explodingly obvious - German beer, with a few notable regional exceptions, is simply not very interesting. As a reaction, the hideous Gorgon known as the Biermischgetränk has been spawned. Of course mixing beer with lemonade has been around for ages and in many countries - except it's normally only what you would drink if you're under 14 or are going to be driving. Mixing beer with cola is, as far as I know, a uniquely German idea. That's right, the country which is proud of it's misnamed "purity law" will then go and mix the fruits of the brewer's labour with cola.
Because of Germany's stupid laws dictating what is allowed to be put in beer, when a brewer makes a honey beer, they can't actually call it beer, and so have to borrow the Biermischgetränk label.

If you're going to name your beer after a God, then it's by far the best idea to choose a dead one.
Although this is described as a Biermischgetränk, it's actually a perfectly normal honey beer brewed in the same way honey beers are brewed the world over. The bane of non-standard beers in Germany is all too often oversweetness, and sure enough this has a slight cloying element.
Credit to Odin-Trunk though for trying something different. I might well get a few more of these in for the hot summer days.

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