Augustiner-Bräu - Edelstoff
- ABV: 5.7%
- Serving Temperature: 40-45° F
- Suggested Glassware: Pilsner Glass or Flute
Compared with Augustiner's Maximator, Edelstoff is decidedly towards the other end of the lager spectrum – a Munich-style Helles (meaning "pale" or "bright") Lager. It could also be considered a Dortmunder, a similar style of light German lager traditionally aimed at export markets. Pouring a golden-straw color with brilliant clarity and capped with bright white foam, Edelstoff offers up traditional European hop aromas which come across quite floral, grassy, and earthy, underpinned by crackery pale malts and touches of hay. These notes translate nicely to the palate, as well, with those pale malts forming a flavorful core of grainy and light bready tones. We found the malts nicely balanced by mild floral and grassy hops with some secondary hints of spice, lemon zest, and even a wisp of apple. Crisp, clean, and dry, this is one easy-drinking and tasty brew. Soft pretzels, German sausages, or even a simple salad make for natural accompaniments – or simply pair it with a clean glass and a sunny day. Prost!
Augustiner-Bräu is the longest-running independent brewery in the city of Munich, one of the great beer capitals of the world. Founded by Augustinian monks within their monastery just outside Munich's city walls, records show brewing was active by 1328 at the latest. Back then, brewing was a key revenue source for many monasteries, and remains so for more than a few monasteries today. At the time of the 14th through 16th centuries, the monks provided beer to Bavaria's royals.
When the monastery was closed in 1803, the brewery briefly passed into the control of the state before being sold into the hands of private owners. In 1817, after centuries of wear and tear, brewing operations were moved to a new facility on Munich's Neuhauser Strasse. 1829 marks an important time as it was during this year that the brewery was acquired by a couple hailing from a brewing family from nearby Freising: Anton Wagner and his wife, Therese. When Anton sadly died in 1845, Therese took over running the business, introducing steam engines to the brewery and purchasing a new nearby storage facility (into which the brewery was later moved in 1883).
Anton and Therese's son, Joseph, took over the brewery when his mother died in 1858, and his initials, J.W., remain on Augustiner's logo to this day. No later than 1867, Augustiner had joined the epic annual Oktoberfest beer festival, and since 1987 the brewery has been the last of the six Munich Oktoberfest breweries to continue tapping its beers solely from wood barrels.
In 1996, Edith Haberland Wagner, the controlling owner of the brewery and last direct family member, passed away, willing her ownership to a foundation she had created. The foundation maintains controlling interest in Augustiner-Bräu to this day while also working in the arenas of cultural heritage protection and promotion, and child protection. Additionally, the city of Munich awarded the brewery in 2012 for its policies fostering sustainability and environmental protection.
In this day and age, following decades of brewery consolidation and conglomerate ownership throughout Europe and elsewhere, we're always excited when we have the opportunity to highlight independently-owned breweries – all the more when they are almost 700 years old! We hope you enjoy Augustiner's traditional Bavarian beers as much as we did. Prost!
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