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.