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Beer of the Week: Brooklyner Wheat Beer


How much do you like the flavor of bananas in your beer? If you do, you probably know about Wells Banana Bread Beer, which emphasizes its banana quality in its name. But if you pick up a beer that just calls itself a Bavarian-style wheat beer on the label and yet you smell a bunch of bananas from the moment you open the bottle, what then?

That was my reaction to Brooklyner Wheat Beer, which is also called Weisse Beer on some labels. An overwhelming scent of banana emerged as I poured it into the glass. A deep yellow, almost brown, filled the glass and was crowned by a light foam that slowly dissipated into a lacy ring. The hefeweizen was unfiltered, so it was slightly cloudy, yet the golden color gleamed in the light.

Take a deep sniff and you’ll notice there’s plenty going on under the banana, from honey and citrus candies to grass and wheat. But the banana is going to be the make or break element for many beer drinkers.

Many of those characteristics, including the banana, carry over into the flavor with the addition of a pleasant bitterness to cut a little of the sweet. They are further enhanced by a slice of lemon or orange. By itself, the mid-palate had a slight sour quality that the citrus would also temper leading to a lengthy wheat-filled finish. The mouthfeel is fairly full with plenty of fine carbonation.

This is a beer that speaks of summer and would be great with summer food, whether you pair it with watermelon or a green salad. Think of pairing it with simply prepared fish or roast chicken. And don’t forget the banana pudding for dessert; they’d be great together.

 

 

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Beer of the Week: Franziskaner Weissbier from Germany


 

 

 

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.

 

 

Franziskaner Weissbier

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.

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