Altenmunster Premium Pilsner


Oct 22, 2002


The Bottom Line Altenmünster Premium Pilsner--A decent beer, but difficult to recommend. An average performer for a German lagers; the $2.99/pint price is a bit much.

Altenmünster Premium Pilsner
Serve 8-10°C (45-50°F)

Brewed and bottled by the Privatbrauerei Franz Joseph Sailer in Marktoberdorf, Germany. Marktoberdorf is a small town in Bavaria, triangularly located some 70Km south of Augsburg and 70Km southwest of Munich. It lies in the heart of a heavily wooded and beautiful part of Southern Germany and within a 30 minute drive west of the Neuschwanstein and Linderhof castles of King Ludwig II.

The term "Altenmünster" literally means Old Cathedral. In Bavaria, many breweries are named after the townships that they were built in; or after local landmarks, particularly landmarks of architectural or religious significance; or after religious leaders and saints. The Altenmünster Brewery (Privatbrauerei Franz Joseph Sailer) also produces a strong, dark lager known as Franz Joseph Jubelbier and an interesting range of wheat beers -- Oberdorfer, for one -- and one of these beers is sold pre-mixed, half-and-half, with lemonade for hot weather quaffing.


The beer, marketed as Das Erlebnisbier in Germany --

Alcohol:  4.8% by volume.

Production:  Brewed in accordance with the beer purity laws of Bavaria: all natural ingredients -- malt, water, hops and yeast -- with no adjuncts, preservatives, or fillers. This Bavarian Pilsner is not to be confused by a similarly named style of beer, an Altmünster (from the Dortmund area).

Appearance:  Pours with a bright, pale-yellow gold color, active carbonation, and a thick, white-colored head of foam that settles fairly quickly.

Aroma:  A bit of wet cardboard in the smell, indicating that some oxidation had occurred.

Flavor:  Sweet malt body, fairly smooth with a mild hop profile. Somewhat zesty with a faint resinous tone, but finishes fairly cleanly. Pilsner beers from Bavaria tend to be dry and hoppy. This beer is simple and fairly unimpressive. I tried two pints, with consistent tasting notes, and found little to get excited over.

Price and Availability:  I purchased a couple of one-pint (16 oz.) brown-colored bottles having extremely thick glass walls and a flip-top seal for $2.99 at the Wine Exchange in Orange, California. Imported by Noble Union Trading Ltd. Company of Spring, Texas. I suspect that part of this beer's appeal to foreign consumers is the old fashioned flip-top seal -- a popular bottle style in Germany up until the early 1970's.

Recommendations:  Seems to be made to enjoy with some boiled Knockwurst or Bockwurst. Put some sauerkraut on the side and serve with a Brötchen (a hard, crusty roll) and that'll be lunch.

Verdict:  3-stars. A decent beer, but difficult to recommend. An average performer as far as German lagers go; the $2.99 price tag is a bit much for a pint. You are just as well off trying a Münchner Löwenbräu Premium Pils or a Spaten Pils (certainly easier to find). Other non-Bavarian Pilsners that are also easier to find and perhaps better performers: Warsteiner (in the state of Nordrhein-Westfalen) and Bitburger Pils (in Rheinland-Pfalz).

          Appearance: 4/5
          Aroma: 17/25
          Flavor: 33/40
          Body: 6/10
          Overall Quality: 15/20
          ------------------------------
          My Score: 75 -- 3 stars.


Although one of the most modern breweries in Germany, the brewery has a history spanning back to the year 1544 and has investment interests in a variety of breweries throughout Germany, including one that specializes in the production of Steinbier (where extremely hot, smoke-charred stones are dropped in the brew kettle to boil the unfermented beer) -- the Rauchenfelser Steinbier Brauerei in Neustadt bei Coburg. As many times as I have been to the beautiful city of Coburg, I've always missed the opportunity to visit the brewery.

Sailerbräu Franz Sailer
Schwendener Strasse 18
87616 Marktoberdorf - Leuterschach

On the web:
http://www.sailer-braeu.de/


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