It wasn't all apfelwein in Frankfurt. We found a little time to visit three brewpubs, none of which particularly excelled in the beer sense, but were pretty competent in that subdued style German hausbrauerei seem to adopt. Two though had very fine beer gardens which were a delight to spend time in on such a hot summer day. It also reminded us, in the second case in particular, of the need to sometimes at least, separate beer from the occasion. This was all about drinking beer in the summer, outside with your friends. Can you think of a better way to sup?
Far along the U Bahn line in a quiet town, Oberursel, the first beers of the day were consumed in a perfect courtyard setting under a beating sun. Alt- Oberurseler Brauhaus had decent enough pils with just enough hop to refresh, while the opalescence was thankfully subdued. The weizen was however bang in the middle of the style and a very decent drink, more of which would have been consumed if we weren't needed elsewhere. To me wheat beer is a perfect summer drink, especially as they did in this case, when they manage to get a balancing bitterness into the clovey, spicy, banana dominated sweetness of wheat.
Bavaria Brauerei models itself on Bavarian beer. Really? Yes! They even had a keller bier which Nick our resident in Franconia pronounced as OK+ and the usual dunkel, pils and weizen. They were pretty good with the dunkel possibly the pick of the bunch. We ate hearty German food there and enjoyed a perfect couple of hours with charming waitresses (regrettably not bedecked in dirndls, but you can't have everything) the buzz of conversation, the clink of cutlery on plate, sunshine dappling through the trees and that feeling that you could happily spend hours there in this timeless German tableau. I'd say drinking beer in a German beer garden or keller has to be one of my favourite ways to do so.*
On Sunday, the more subdued and urban Frankfurter Hausbrauerei was the destination. With probably the slowest service I've ever experienced anywhere (and we were the first customers), we supped the usual dunkel and pils, which were just "all right". Well, two out of three ain't bad!
* The Germans have a word for this - "Gemütlichkeit". This connotes the notion of belonging, social acceptance, cheerfulness, the absence of anything hectic and the opportunity to spend quality time. Thanks Wikipedia. I couldn't put it better and it describes our day perectly.
A bit of a CV. Tandleman is a veteran beer lover, local CAMRA Chairman and activist, beer writer, beer reviewer and pursuer of all things good in beer. He lives in the North West of England and London. Despite his CAMRA membership, he does not limit himself to cask conditioned beer, though he believes that cask conditioning, when done correctly and appropriately, brings a quality to beer that is hard to equal by any other kind of presentation. He is a strong supporter of Northern methods of beer dispense and avidly detests poorly presented beer and dislikes pasteurisation. He regularly visits Germany, has conducted corporate British and German beer tastings for CAMRA at the Great British Beer Festival where he has worked for years on Biere Sans Frontieres and was Deputy Organiser at CAMRA's very successful National Winter Ales Festival in 2009, 2010, 2011 and 2012 and at the Manchester Beer and Cider Festival from 2013 to date. He admires good brewers wherever they are and has travelled extensively in pursuit of good beer to drink.
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