Beer of the Week is sponsored by the Lion & Rose. Each week, we introduce you to a wonderful brew that’s a little bit different and well worth seeking out.
You’ve got to love a beer with a label depicting a monk getting ready to take a slug from a ceramic beer stein. And given the amount of flavor, vigor and zing in the bottle, there’s plenty to love beyond its good looks.
Now if you could only pronounce Franziskaner. Say Frahnz-is-kah-ner and you’ll be close. The style of the beer is pronounced vice-beer.
First a bit of history: This Germany brew’s history dates back to 1363, when brewer Seidel Vaterstetter was mentioned as the owner of the “brewery next to the Franciscans” in Munich, its website says. . The name Franziskaner derives from the nearby Franciscan monastery.
Over the years, ownership has changed hands a few times. In 1997, it merged with Lowenbrau; since then, it has changed owners a few more times. It is now made Spaten-Bräu. The one constant has been that it has always been made in Munich with the state of Bavaria.
It has also been a consistently good in recent decades, a most reliable wheat beer that is sure to taken the edge off the heat. That’s why we’re bringing it up now. With temperatures expected to get even hotter than usual this weekend, who wouldn’t welcome something icy and refreshing?
From the moment you pour the beer, your nose is greeted with a welcome scent of orange peel and coriander, which is a wheat beer’s magic at work.
The word Naturtrüb appears on the label, which probably doesn’t mean a lot to many of you. It’s German for unfiltered, which explains the cloudiness you’ll see as you pour it into your stein. The Germans prefer a tall glass for this beer, so plenty of head can develop plenty on top and you can enjoy its golden color, yeast sediment and all.
The flavors are fruity, with a touch of citrus, especially orange, mixed with spice, such as clove beyond the coriander. There’s a touch of other tropical fruits, such as banana. But what’s also noticeable is how smooth this medium-bodied hefeweizen goes down and how clean the finish is. Don’t expect too many hops or too much bitterness.
Some serve this with a slice of orange to complement that orange peel quality; others think that’s sacrilege and far too sweet. Do what you like. Just enjoy it.
Lighter fare is better with this beer, so try it with the Lion & Rose’s Beggars Pouches, pear-filled pasta with a series of cheeses, such as ricotta and Grana Padano, melted on top, or sun-dried tomatoes and chicken tossed with penne pasta.
And stay cool this weekend.