Brauhaus Faust Zu Miltenberg, in Bavaria, is only about a 50km drive from where I live (I'm in the Dreiländereck of Hessen Bayern Baden-Württemberg, so can hop between Federal States with ease!), but I first encountered one of their beers in my former home of Münster, up in North Rhine-Westphalia. It's probably no surprise that Faust Pils is served in one of my favourite pubs in Münster, The James, as the owner's mother is from Miltenberg. At the time, Axel had just gotten in Faust Pils, and was as pleased as punch, offering me and a mate a free glass to try it. I have to admit, although we gave murmurs of approval, there was something odd, yet interesting about it. Slightly sour, with a funky aroma I wasn't sure was supposed to be there. I subconsciously crossed Faust off my list, until a couple of months ago, when Axel showed me an empty bottle of a rather interesting-looking IPA from Faust. Looking at their shop, they've quite a few specialist beers, but before diving into them, I thought I'd give their standard fare a proper run.
Faust Kräusen, subtitled Naturtrüb, didn't pour as hazy as expected. Perhaps a hint of haze. It delivers a zesty, lemony aroma cut with a thyme-like herbal highlight. Sweet, in a honey-like way. It said so on the label, actually, but I didn't expect it to be so remarkably strong, and certainly pleasant. A juicy-fruit quality slips in to the fore, and on the back, that herbal note suggested on the aroma comes in with a nice bitterness and a twist of black pepper, finishing with a long, resinous smack. Actually, this worked for me. It's certainly süffig and moreish, and feels like a bit of a mish-mash of beers. Despite my leanings away from resin flavours, I found this a charming beer, and one I'd gladly have several of.
And finally, the Faust Doppelbock Dunkel. At regulation 7% ABV, this Doppelbock is an appealing, bright, red-hued chestnut. Aroma-wise, it's a tad grainy, with vegetal (raw cabbage) overtones. Not massively appealing, but on the first few mouthfuls, it sets things right with really juicy malts carrying a vanilla-edged, strong caramel flavour, cut sharply with a carbonic edge, much like the Schwarzviertler, but this time also with, dare I say it, a trace of tartness. This is more of a fruity tartness, akin to raspberries, rather than something gone sour. It has a generally fruity backdrop throughout, redolent of raisins and green apple skins. All of this combined with a creamy mouthfeel makes this a rather moreish Doppelbock, devoid of the sticky sugariness that so often puts me off other members of this family. Served cold, it's immensely quaffable (did I just use that word?!), while a tad warmer, it's just as pleasant, but a certain huskiness appears.
Overall, I'm pleased with my Faust purchases (apart from the Pils), and at a little less than €1 a bottle why wouldn't I be? The rest of that order, though? Well, the specials are quite a bit more expensive, but we'll see if they're worth it soon...