Sunday, 7 December 2008

Brauerei Hummel, Merkendorf

Another little collection, this time from the wonderfully named Hummel brewery from Merkendorf, also the home of Brauerei Wagner, the beers of which I mostly enjoyed, particularly their Märzen and Dunkel.

The Hummel Bräu Pils verges towards lemon yellow on the colour scale. It has a sweet, floral and slighly pineapple-like aroma, almost sherbety. The first thing I noticed on drinking this is the relatively low carbonation. There is a sourdough-like malt backbone which is sweet, but not overly so, as a gently citric hoppiness cuts it. I'm getting a sense that these are recurring attributes of Franken Pils, and I have to say I enjoy the combination. The body of this Pils is a little thin after a while, and this made it a little bit unsatisfying. Nevertheless, not a bad thirst quencher.

The Hummel Bräu Kellerbier has an orangey-yellow tone with a thin head despite a moderate carbonation. It has a swett orange aroma with a tough of light toffee. It has an alcohol warmth, or what feels like one, and a fullish mouthfeel with a finish heading towards dry. It has a decent hop bitterness that at one point I felt was in danger of heading towards that plastic/resin flavour I don't like, but in fact it built up to something akin to bitter orange peel.

I used to be a fan of Dunkel Weissbiers, so I was hoping the Hummel Bräu Weissbier Dunkel would bring me back to those innocent days. It didn't give me the trademark big fluffy head I was expecting. The bubbles seemed looser, so what head I did get didn't last long. This gave a faintly clovey aroma, but also hints of nutmeg, a bit of an all spice effect. The carbonation is quite low in fact, and the flavour a bit strange. A bit tangy, like the pith of an orange, but with a clove stuck into it. In fact, the more I drank of it the more like clove drops it got, with an up-front sweetness. I wrote cloves with chocolate orange. Interesting, but I'm not sure if I liked it.

The Hummel Bräu Märzen has a lovely deep amber colour with a slight haze. Worryingly, in this bottle at least, the haze has a kind of structure, like strands of haze in suspension. It brought to mind an explanation for the word "ropey" I read in Martyn Cornell's book; beer with a bacterial infection that left strings of jelly floating in it. It was precisely on the best before date, so I wasn't too worried about that. I have to admit though, my notes are very slim on this, and I only recorded that it has a firm malt backbone. I'll have to try it again with a clear head and hopefully without the stringy haze.

Another feature of these beers is that the labels all seem to be crooked.

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