Arcobräu Gräfliches Brauhaus - Coronator
- ABV: 7.2%
- Bottle Size: 330-ml
- Serving Temperature: 45-50° F
- Suggested Glassware: Tulip, Snifter
This doppelbock is the guest of honor at a yearly festival where Arcobräu publicly taps the beer to the delight of the people of Moos and surrounding parts of Bavaria. Despite doppelbock being among our favorite lager styles, somehow Coronator has managed to fly under our radar – until now. Pouring a reddish coppery brown with beautiful clarity and a head of light beige foam, this brew follows up with an engaging aroma right off the bat. Look for a complex array of malty caramelization, toasty bread, hints of toffee and brown sugar, touches of hoppy spice, and an intriguing fruity component evoking dried dark fruits. The story continues on the palate, but in an even bolder, richer way. The malt-forward character presents deep layers of caramel, toasty brown bread, hints of cocoa powder, and touches of brown sugar. There’s a dash of sweetness here, but a nice dose of spicy hops adds just the right touch of balancing bitterness to quench the finish and beckon another sip. We really dug how the fruity component makes such a strong statement too, offering notes akin to raisin, prune, and dried fig. Very smooth, and on the full side of medium-bodied, this doppelbock can be enjoyed with nothing more than a clean glass, but many food pairings are open to us as well. Choose dishes which will play off the beer’s toast, caramelization, and fruity notes; we’d steer toward roasted meats, particularly with a fruity pan sauce. Dessert pairings will work too, especially with caramel and chocolate. Finally, bold aged cheeses are another good call. Prost!
The history of Arcobräu Gräfliches Brauhaus is inseparably tied up with the history of the Counts or Arco. In fact, the brewery name translates as Arcobräu “Count's Brewery.” The Counts of Arco originally hailed from Italy, where their Castle Arco towers over the northern shore of Lake Garda from a massive, rocky prominence. With 16th century European political struggles being particularly nasty and violent, the family ultimately had to leave Italy, settling instead in a new domain in Bavaria.
About 90 miles northeast of Munich, about equally distant from the nearby Czech and Austrian borders, lies the town of Moos, Bavaria. Surviving documents indicate that the Schlossbrauerei ("castle brewery") of Moos was up and running by at least 1567. Numerous important events occurred over the centuries, notably the brewery's destruction by fire in 1619 and its subsequent rebuilding, the combining of breweries in Moos and the nearby town of Aholming, and a modernization occurring in the late 19th century, which brought mechanization to the brewing process. 1910 would see the introduction of their first Helles lager, which would become a flagship product which endures to this day.
For hundreds of years, the Counts of Arco have been at the helm of this traditional Bavarian brewery, and today the brewery is owned by Count Riprand von und zu Arco-Zinneberg. The Count, who is married to Archduchess Maria Beatrice of Austria, inherited ownership after the passing in 2003 of his mother, Countess Maria-Theresia, who was the granddaughter of King Ludwig III, the last king of Bavaria. Got all that? In any case, Countess Maria-Theresia took over control of the brewery as a young lady in 1940 after the death of her brother, and in 1960 she and her husband, Count Ulrich Philip, combined all their breweries under one brand name, Arcobräu, with the Schlossbrauerei Moos as the headquarters.
Arcobräu continues to grow steadily while sponsoring community events, including various yearly folk festivals, including the public tapping of their Coronator doppelbock. Using pure water from their over 300-feet-deep well and yeast that they propagate from Weihenstephan's world-famous strain, the brewery produces a very tasty array of traditional German beers including several helles lagers, dunkel, doppelbock, pilsner, zwickelbier, and weissbier. If you're ever traveling near Moos, a tour of the brewery is highly recommended; or better yet, visit during one of their folk festivals!
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