Augustiner-Bräu - Maximator
- ABV: 7.5%
- Serving Temperature: 45-52° F
- Suggested Glassware: Tulip, Flute, or Pilsner Glass
Doppelbocks (double bocks) are among our very favorite German beer styles, and are a great example of how the lager family is much more than the lighter and hoppier styles, like pilsner, that most people think of when they hear "lager". Unapologetically malty, doppelbocks were often brewed by monks as a form of "liquid bread" to sustain them during periods of prolonged fasting. We're excited to have the opportunity to offer our members a taste of Augustiner's version which, due to Augustiner's much smaller exports to the U.S. compared to other Bavarian brewers, is not very easy to find compared to rival Munich-area doppelbocks like Salvator, Optimator, and Celebrator.
Maximator presents a deep brown color in the glass with ruby highlights and a cap of light brown foam. Richly malty on the nose, look for notes akin to toasty bread, lightly roasted nuts, caramel, and brown sugar, with some fruity undertones conjuring dried figs, as well as hints of cocoa powder, a touch of licorice, and a dash of earthy hops. German brewers employ the tricky and time-consuming decoction mash process which they often claim yields a unique character not easily reproduced. While some brewers will debate that, we can't deny how much we enjoyed the way this doppelbock comes across on the palate. Moderately sweet with all the aroma notes coming through in the flavor too, Maximator delivers an impressive smoothness. A touch of spicy and earthy hops and well-hidden alcohol adds some balance, but the sweetness is ultimately more prominent. Ham and roasted pork dishes are a natural pairing, as are creamy, buttery cheeses. Sharp, strongly-flavored cheeses are another, somewhat contrasting option. 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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