Tuesday 20 April 2010

Schefflenzer Haustrunk Pilsner

The bigger drink store near my wife's parents home has this corner where it looks like "special" beers normally get stacked. Over the years I've recognised that it tends to be the likes of Schmucker, Dachsenfranz, Köstritzer, Krušovice and, well, dark beers like Schwaben Bräu Das Schwarze (more on that anon). Not all that special, really, but now and again something I've never seen pops in. Kulmbacher EKU 28 was one, but I drank all six bottles over the holiday without taking a single note. At 11% they go great with a fine cigar though! Another crate that caught my eye was filled with little 33cl swingtops with a simple-looking black and gold label: Schefflenzer Haustrunk Pilsner. I get tired of Pilsners very quickly, but reckoned I'd buy one at least. Then I noticed the ingredients listed "fine yeast", and true enough, there was a thin layer of sediment in the bottom. There was nothing on the label to tell me if it was unfiltered or if it was added after filtration, but it did prompt me to buy a clutch of them, just in case.

Undisturbed, Schefflenzer Haustrunk Pilsner pours golden and lively. Poured gently, it comes out crystal clear with a steady stream of bubbles and a tight, lasting head. It has a sweetish aroma, with suggestions of citrus and light pine.

It's really quite malty, without being overly sweet, and that light, fresh pine hoppiness cuts through it, leaving a lingering, gentle-yet-assertive bitterness. Juicy and refreshing, it's certainly moreish.

With a bit of a shake, the yeast lifts up and gives the beer the expected haze of a Naturtrüb Bier, and the bubbles seem that little bit less lively. And it does change the flavour ever so slightly, adding what I felt was a slightly soapy feel, taking the assertiveness off the edge of the hops and perhaps somehow letting lemony flavours come out a little more. I could of course have been completely imagining this, but there you go.

Overall, I liked this a lot. A charming little beer, and very drinkable.

For some reason, I assumed this was from a Bavarian brewery at the time of purchase, and it wasn't till later that I realised it came from a small town (Schefflenz, duhhh) about 14km Northeast of my wife's home town. In fact, we'd driven through part of Schefflenz (it's split into three, Ober-, Mittel- and Unterschefflenz, with the farm brewery in the bottom one). Brauereihof Egolf's website leaves a lot to be desired, but it's also kind of charming to see they make ice cream, smoked ham, have a guest house and also sell insurance. If they had an undertakers it'd complete the set! Whichever of those I'll need, I'll be making a point of visiting next time we're down that way.

Their site also tells me that there are only five places selling their bottled beer, Getränke Oess, where I got mine, being one of them. Serendipity.

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