Friday, January 4, 2013

BEER REVIEW: Franziskaner Weissbier

"Beer is proof that god loves us and wants us to be happy" - Benjamin Franklin

Well, not only is Franziskaner ample evidence of a deity with such powers, we have indeed been blessed with the capacity to enjoy beer we cannot even pronounce, let alone know what the hell it means. Of course, we eventually got around to inventing the internet, so can easily find the meaning if only we give a rat's arse.

For the simple reason that I don't have to waste valuable drinking time going to a library to find out (and can find out without so much as putting down my beer), Weissbier literally means "unfiltered wheat beer". That said, it is surprisingly clear, yet compared to the Kristalbier (filtered, blah, blah, blah) it is smoother and tastier, as though filtering took all the flavour out. Maybe that explains the tasteless insult to beer drinkers that is Carlton Cold.

The beer is somewhat lightly carbonated, with a relatively fine white head. Pale, with a slightly cloudy appearance, it comes across as the authentic german ale it is. As the oldest beer from Munich since 1397 (not all of Germany, mind you, just one city), it holds a special place in beer history having been brewed by monks, supporting the case for beer being god's work. Well, if Franziskaner is god's work, then Carlton Cold is Satan's brew. Oops, did I say that out loud?

The beer has a distinctly fruity smell, but not at all in a bad way. It seems sweet and even biscuity on the nose, entirely inviting. A taste of the inviting brew reveals a fine "banana" flavour to the beer, but very well balanced between sweetness and bitterness. Savouring the beer as it swirls about my mouth, I imagine the monks of old trying, trying, and trying again until finding the right balance and toasting to their saviour their success again and again. And again and again until only the language of beer makes any sense from the now dribbling mouths of monks. God's work indeed. But could they have been as dribbling a mess as yours truly waving cheerio to some unfortunate Canadians after introducing them to the wonders of "Depthchargers" in sub-zero Vancouver all those years ago? Impossible, but i'm sure they gave it their all. For god, of course.

The beer is aptly divine, with a smooth lingering taste that rewards long after being received by me welcoming liver, assuming it is still alive. It serves as a benchmark for wheat beers, being a style of beer stubbornly resistant to most Australian efforts, although I do remember Redback being a nice drop in days of yore, prior to ruination by an obviously evil human being. Surely there's a section of the UN's crimes against humanity that covers this?

Anyway, after savouring this fine beer, I am not in the mood to mete out the appropriate punishment for such as heinous crime. Cheers to all monks who have dedicated their life to beer god. Cheers!