Monday, 15 June 2009

Mosbacher Brauhaus

Mosbach, a small town of around 25,000 souls situated on the south side of the picturesque Odenwald region, and close to the river Neckar, with it's multitude of castles -- the so-called Burgenstraße -- within one of which, Burg Hornberg, we had our wedding reception a couple of years ago. Why? Well, Mosbach is my wife's home town. It's a nice place, very pretty and lively in the summer, but pretty dead in winter. It has a few entertaining watering holes, and the Mosbacher Brauhaus might well be one. In all honesty though, in over 13 years of visiting Mosbach, last weekend was only the third time I'd set foot in the place. My drinking companion all three times was the artist Peter Langguth, and he always claimed that the beer was too variable for his liking. So the last time we were there was about three years ago! I thought it was about time I popped in again.

Established in 1996, a little outside of the old town, and partially hidden from the street by buildings in front of it, the Mosbacher Brauhaus is a brewpub with an open and airy interior, a reasonably sized beer garden and a terrace on an upper floor. They do food, although on this occasion we didn't try any (I do not count the plate of pommes that Peter ordered later in the evening!).

Sitting outside initially, we were told that the choices were limited to their Hell and Weizen (I had to adjust to ordering a Weizen instead of a Weissbier) as the Dunkel was out. Bloody shame really. I settled for the Mosbacher Hell to begin with, an unfiltered, pale gold beer. With a soft mouthfeel, it's quite bready with a touch of citrus and an earthiness that works quite well. There's a splash of bitterness to the finish, but it doesn't linger. The lasting flavours are lemonade-like. I don't know if it was the end of a keg, but a second one ordered later in the evening had a different flavour profile, with a very prominent orange-pith flavour. This could be the variability Peter mentioned. Still, even he said it was alot better than he recalled, and both were certainly easy-drinking pale lagerbiers.

The Mosbacher Weizen, a turbid, orangish hue, doesn't present much in the way of the classic clove or banana aromas, but is quite bubblegummy with a very slight hint that is reminiscent of chocolate. Hey, that's what I got from it anyway! The flavour is also not really what you expect, giving more of a slight chocolate-toffee impression while being fairly zesty. Quite odd, but not bad. I preferred the Hell this time around, although if i went back and ordered another I'm sure I'd have a different experience.

There were certainly more breweries in Mosbach in the past; up to 13 in the 19th Century from some accounts. Many of the books my wife has about the local history of the town (she's an archaeologist) have photos of the small guesthouse breweries which existed in former times, and in the Mosbacher Brauhaus there is a photo of a group of brewers from 1905, all nicely dressed and posed. The largest of these old breweries was Privatbrauerei Hübner which existed from 1878 to 1981, and which my wife recalls because of the smell. The old brewery restaurant/guesthouse now houses the Ludwig bar, and my wife recalls that the brewery buildings are where a carpark now stands, right behind Ludwig. The old malt house, or Alten Mälzerei buildings are now a cultural and conference centre just across the road. But that's another story.

12 comments:

The Beer Nut said...

Looks lovely. To hell with consistency!

I recently broke my one of that helles mug, which I nicked from a beer garden in Austria. I miss it terribly: I must nick another one somewhere. Odd that they don't have their logo on the front escutcheon.

Barry (Adeptus) said...

Actually, the logo is there, but has almost completely faded away on that mug. I guess they need to renew their stock. A bout of nicking might help that. I do own one of their weizen glasses from a previous trip. Hideous logo on that one, which appears different to the one on the helles glass.

I'll see if I can source a mug for you before my next trip back to Ireland.

Mark said...

Hell sounds pretty good to me!

Séan Billings said...

Consistency is definitely overrated. Consumer expectation of consistency is another thing we have the big boys to thank for and another factor driving flavour out of beer. It's easier the brew a flavour out of a beer than to keep it at a precise but noticeable level.

Those Germans certainly like their shiny copper clad brewing vessels, don't they?

Barry (Adeptus) said...

I guess it depends on the type of inconsistency. If it's inconsistency that veers wildly between good and shite, then it's not good for the consumer or the business (let's say, inconsistent in terms of quality), but if it's inconsistent in terms of having a natural variation of flavours between batches -- moving with the seasons perhaps -- but of a consistently good quality, then that's great and makes it interesting. Does that make sense? I like a bit of variety, but is there a fine line between quality and consistency, or are they two very different things?

I think the Brauhaus suffered from the former variety of variance in former times :D

They sure do love the copper. I guess it looks ore traditional, and is warmer looking than stainless in a pub setting. Unless you had an industrial-themed bar.

Oblivious said...

Very nice shiny brewing gear!

Oblivious said...

Also copper is good for fermentation.

Barry (Adeptus) said...

I think those ones are just copper-clad. You can see the stainless steel on the lower sections, and the hatches were all SS. All style, no substance :D

Russ said...

Thanks for giving me another place to add to the list for when we return to Germany in (hopefully) a couple years. The Brauhaus reminds me of the Neckarmüller in Tübingen--it's even on the same river!

Barry (Adeptus) said...

Tübingen is a lovely place as I recall. I was last there about 13 years ago though!

Leigh said...

That weizen looks pretty good - I actually like mine to look orangey rather than pale. And that bubblegum note sounds interesting.

Barry (Adeptus) said...

It was a really odd one, Leigh, and although those flavours sound interesting, it wasn't enough to make me want a second one that time. Like I said though, I imagine my experience will be different next time I visit!