Hopping Across The Sea #BrewedAwakening

By / Wine + Drinks / September 5th, 2018 / 9

It’s not too often that I have a beer in Europe that I enjoy that reminds me of American microbrewed beer. I don’t go to Europe to drink North American beer. I understand that some beer enthusiasts there want to drink beer like that brewed in the New World (i.e. way hoppier and morebitter than any traditional local beer), and that’s cool, but I don’t. When I’m in Europe I usually want the classics. They are classic for a reason.

A few nights ago I was enjoying great food, ambiance, local wine (from the fantastic Georg Breuer) and beer in the Rüdesheimer Schloss, Breuer’s wine garden on the famously narrow Drosselgasse alley in Rüdesheim, near the Rhine river. It was a blast. There was live music (if a bit cheesy), bratwurst and potatoes, schnitzel and cabbage. All the good things.


I started with a Gude Pils, brewed not far from there by Privat-Brauerei Schmucker. It’s an easy drinking pils, good but not exciting. I hesitated to order a beer identified on their menu as a “craft beer” because a) I was in Germany, and b) I hate the term (because it is just beer, good or bad). But I relented and tried the Eulchen Weisse, brewed close by in Mainz.


I’m glad I did, because it is a very tasty beer. I was worried it was going to be bitter and overly citrussy/resinous from heavy use of American hops, but it was not bitter at all, and the mix of Simcoe and Saphir actually resulted in something else quite familiar, an aroma and taste similar to Sam Adams Boston Lager. I believe it must have been the Saphir which is closely related to the Hallertau Mittelfrüh used in Sammy.  It didn’t dominate the beer; it still tasted like German weisse, it just gave it more pleasant hop aromatics. These hops travel well.


Craig Pinhey discovered good drink circa 1985 at Ginger’s Tavern/Granite Brewery in Halifax and has been writing about beer, wine and spirits for 25 years. A Certified Sommelier and BJCP judge, Craig lives in New Brunswick where he runs his own writing and consulting business and is the beverage columnist for Brunswick News. He is the only person to have judged all of the national wine, spirits and beer awards of Canada.

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