Brauerei C. & A. Veltins - Grevensteiner Original
- ABV: 5.2%
- Bottle Size: 500-ml
- Serving Temperature: 45-50° F
- Suggested Glassware: Mug or Stein
In recent years, we’ve seen many German breweries offering “Landbier”, which essentially translates as “country beer” or “beer of the area”. It’s debatable whether landbier is itself a distinct style, as it can vary by region and brewery, but they generally take the form of a kellerbier or zwickelbier, which are more rustic interpretations of lager, unfiltered, and often – but not always – relatively low in carbonation. Introduced in 2014, Grevensteiner Original is Brauerei Veltins’ nod to the original style of beer produced by the brewery in the 19th century, before their Pilsener took the mantle as flagship. On the pour, we get a very hazy medium amber hue capped by a sizable off-white, tight-bubbled head that persists well. In the aroma, look for a nice balance between central European noble hops and the malty base. We get very bready and moderately toasty notes with hints of caramel, overlaid by grassy, earthy, and lightly spicy hop character. We loved how satisfying this lager was on the palate, with the robust malty backbone providing big notes of fresh bread and toasted grain, with a dash of residual sweetness offing a hint of caramelization. There’s a certain heft to the mouthfeel due to the unfiltered yeast and proteins in suspension, yet it never comes across as heavy or cloying. We picked up some impressions of dried fruit flashing through here and there, while the hops offer grassy-earthy notes with wisps of citrus rind and low to moderate perceived bitterness. Pairing options abound; to play off the malt profile, we’d steer towards bready or breaded dishes like fried chicken, schnitzel, and grilled hot dogs or brats with German mustard or sauerkraut, as well as pizza, empanadas, soft pretzels, or chicken pies. Prost!
In the 19th century, the founder of the Veltins family brewery, Clemens Veltins, pursued his passion for beer and brewing by undertaking a six-year journey to learn the art, including time in the U.S.’s brewing nexus of Milwaukee. In 1852, he returned home to the Sauerland region of Germany and took over ownership of a small pub brewery in the little village of Grevenstein. In 1883, a major upgrade was made when he built a new, much larger brewhouse featuring electric power.
In 1905, the next generation took over, represented by Clemens’ twin sons, Carl & Anton. In the 1920s, Carl’s son, Carl Jr., succeeded him, and it was at this time that the brewery’s current name, C. & A. Veltins, was born. Situated in an idyllic location in the hilly green countryside, the brewery became quite the high-tech novelty as it was improved with expanded electric lighting, refrigeration systems, ice machines, bottle filling machines, and motorized delivery trucks. Due to the brewery’s access to incredibly soft spring water, Carl Jr. focused the brewery’s production on Pilsner-style beer.
In 1964, under the leadership of fourth generation family brewer, Rosemarie Veltins, the brewery continued its expansion and became one of the largest in the state of North Rhine-Westphalia, producing over 1 million hectoliters per year by 1984. From 1994 to the current day, the brewery has been managed by Clemens Veltins’ great-great-granddaughter, Susanne Veltins, as the brewery remains family owned and operated. With approximately 500 employees, Veltins produces their flagship Veltins Pilsener, their V+ brand of beer mixers, an alcohol-free Pilsener, and the Grevensteiner brand, featuring a traditional country beer and a helles lager, both “naturtrüb” (unfiltered). For more info on this excellent independent German country brewery, visit www.veltins.com.
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