For years now we have sold Tegernsee Spezial at the Great British Beer Festival. As a consequence, each time I go to southern Germany, I promise myself I'll go there, to the source, to see the place for myself; each time, I overlook it and don't, but this year I did. Train from Munich to Tegernsee, five of us on a Bayern Ticket and I was sorted. Set in gorgeous countryside, Tegernsee is a large lake, 2,500 ft above sea level and about 12 miles from the Austrian border. It is more than a bit nice and it has a rather good brewery when you get fed up of all that lakey gorgeousness.
The brewery and beer hall are pretty damn big. One thing the Germans don't do by halves is beer and beery things. (Well they do do half litres, but you get my point I'm sure). The Tegernsee Brewery's record of beers sold in one day is 3600 litres. They won't run out of beer either. They keep 14,000 litres chilled and ready to go. As I said, they take their beer very seriously there.
We normally sell Spezial at the GBBF, but I started, as we all did, on the Helles. Clean, herbal and very drinkable. But that wasn't my mission. No Sir. Spezial was required and procured. It was indeed special, with a more full bodied and bitter taste and dangerously drinkable despite being 5.6%. It made the rain, which temporarily marred a lovely day, all the more bearable, particularly as we were under cover. Well most of us were. I seem to recall Tyson got a bit wet. Collateral damage if you like.
It wasn't exactly a sentimental journey, but it was along those lines. Go there if in the area. It is very highly recommended.
Being an hour outside Munich, the beer was around a euro cheaper too.
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. He also judges beer at both the International Beer Challenge and the World Beer Awards.
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