Brauerei Schloss Eggenberg - Helle Weizen
- ABV: 5.0%
- Bottle Size: 500-ml
- Serving Temperature: 42-47° F
- Suggested Glassware: Weizen Glass, Pilsner Glass
Brewed in the style of a traditional Bavarian weissbier, or hefeweizen, Eggenberg’s Helle Weizen looks exactly as we expect as it enters our tall weizen glass: an unfiltered, super cloudy, golden straw color topped by a voluminous head of pale foam. In the aroma, this wheat beer is totally on point: look for bold yeast-driven esters evoking banana and bubblegum to jump right out. The phenolic, somewhat clove-like herbal notes we look for in weissbier are here as well, offering a spicy balance to the fruitier notes. All these aromas translate over boldly to the flavor department, too. First off, there’s a nicely round and smooth core of bready and tangy wheat, which is decorated by that yeasty banana and bubblegum character, plus herbal spice from both the yeast and a dose of European hops. At its best, like here, traditional hefeweizens are among our favorite warmer weather beers, as they come across as both satisfying and quenching, with a smooth wheaty center balanced by lifting carbonation and bright fruit and spice. It really is all about the yeast expression, and the brewers at Eggenberg certainly understand both the art and the science behind how to do it right. For pairing options, we’d steer toward traditional pork or veal sausages such as weissewurst, along with schnitzel, grilled whitefish, or mild Indian dishes. Prost!
The “schloss”, or castle, of Eggenberg has stood near the town of Vorchdorf since the year 971. Located north of the Alps in a region known as Salzkammergut, the castle takes its name from the family of a 12th century knight named Tiemo von Eggenberg. Brewing at the castle has been documented as far back as the 1300s. The house of Eggenberg owned the castle until 1524 when it came into the possession of the Ferberger family. After several other owners over the subsequent decades, Schloss Eggenberg was sold in 1681 to the Kremsmunster monastery, which began commercial brewing at the site that same year, as monasteries often did in those times.
The current family brewing dynasty began in 1803 when Johann Georg Forstinger bought the brewery. His son, Johann Georg Forstinger, Jr. – being a great lover of beer – bought the brewery from his father just three years later. Since then, it’s been passed down through the family from one generation to the next, and since 2011 has been run by Hubert Stöhr, representing the eighth generation.
For the greatest breweries in the world, a source of exceptional water is a key feature of their success. Schloss Eggenberg has the good fortune of being located adjacent to three springs providing fresh and ultra-pure ice age glacier water. Additionally, the brewery sources all of its barley locally in Austria, with Weinviertel in Lower Austria providing grain in the summer and Upper Austria providing grain in the winter. All hops are sourced from hop farmers in the historic hop growing region of Upper Austria known as Mühlviertel.
Schloss Eggenberg currently produces about 15 different beers including märzen, dunkel, pilsner, and bock, among other styles, as well as this month’s selection, Helle Weizen. They also produce the famous Samichlaus, a 14% ABV world classic only brewed on December 6th each year, and one of the strongest lagers produced anywhere.
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