Wednesday, 24 September 2008

Crash Landing Landbier

I always reckoned I liked Landbier. At least I seem to recall that I've liked most of the ones I've tried over the years without thinking about them too much (I've never kept notes till now). I tasted the two I am about to describe on two different nights, a Monday and Tuesday to be exact, but there were definite similarities.

The Frankisches Landbier from Ebensfelder Brauhaus is a golden yellow, and while it looked like it was going to be a gassey sod, it was all show and it settled down into a smooth, low carbonation. The aroma was very faint, so I gave up trying. It started with a gentle lemon tartness and a slightly fruity character, but this was spoilt for me by a resiney, plastic-like aftertaste. It had a warming alcohol feeling too, but no depth. Not particularly enjoyable.

Very similar to my experience with Frauendorfer Premium Landbier (those two words just don't sit well together anyway) from Brauerei Hetzel in Frauendorf. It looks very nice with its rich amber hue, and a faint orange aroma, but for me the dominant taste was, again, a resiney plastic, right on the front of the tongue, sitting on top of a watery sweetness. Sure, there's a quite nice caramel sweeetness while it's going down, but the aftertaste kept spoiling it for me

I'm worried that it's a hop variety or action that I'm just not liking, but they both left what I found to be an unpleasent taste up front. But maybe they're just not nice beers!

However, they both use hop extract, like the Siegel Pils where I got a similar taste. It was suggested to me on ICB that brewers here in Germany should know all about the use of extract (but at least they say when they are using it), but to me it didn't necessarily mean bad tasting beer. But maybe it does if you are sensitive to it? In future I'll taste first and then look at the label!


Tandleman said...

I've always found landbier somewhat hard to define. It does seem to me to have wateriness as one of its dominant features though, as well as a distinct lack of hoppiness. I guess really I don't rate in that highly.

I doubt if hop extract is the main issue with this style. It goes deeper than that, but maybe I just haven't had an outstanding one.

Adeptus said...

Yeah, the German "subtypes", for want of a better expression, can be pretty broad. I've had some landbier which are far from watery (I'll post one soon from a local brewer which is in a different spectrum to the two in this post), and quite satisfying so I'm not writing off the entire type. I usually associate them with a sweeter taste, and certainly less hopped. Simple country fare in a way. That's one of the interesting things about German beers; lots of beers called the same "style" but being completely different. It's a bit of a lottery sometimes though! :)

I'm certainly not saying that hop extract is something to do with the style though (I can't recall having a Landbier that used extract before), just these two examples which I found disappointing. The flavour I got off these is only the third time I've encountered such a strongly unpleasent plastic resin taste, with the other example also happening to be a beer (a pils) that used only hop extract. I was wondering of "that taste" is related to the use of extract, and if so, am I just sensitive to it?