Brauhaus Riegele - Commerzienrat Riegele Privat
- ABV: 5.2%
- Bottle Size: 330-ml
- Serving Temperature: 43-48° F
- Suggested Glassware: Flute, Pilsner Glass
- Hops: Hallertau
This festbier from Riegele is their flagship product and boasts numerous awards including “Beer of the Year”, “Beer of the Decade”, 6 European Gold Stars, and 9 DLG Golds. It was also named to the #1 spot in Beer Connoisseur magazine’s Top 250 Beers of 2018. Pouring a bright, crystal clear golden hue with a big cap of white foam, Privat offers up an inviting and very German aroma straight away; look for classic Hallertau noble hops to present plenty of spicy, floral, and grassy notes, while biscuity and crackery malt lurks below. On the palate, our first impression is one of wonderful balance, with bright and tangy hop notes playing counterpoint to light malt sweetness offering biscuit, mild toast, and hints of caramelization. The hops really star here, with that herbaceous spice note delivering a satisfying bite that dries this brew out in the finish, which lingers with a bready afterglow and a bit of hay. For pairing options, naturally we’d steer towards German sausages, schnitzel, and soft pretzels, but this is a very food-friendly brew, so pizza, tacos, fried chicken, burgers, and most anything off the grill should play nicely with this satisfying beer. Prost!
The story of Brauhaus Riegele begins way, way back, in 1386 to be exact. It was in this year that the Golden Horse Brewery was founded by Hans Smid, launching a family business which would continue for hundreds of years. (The horse logo features on Riegele’s labels to this day.) In 1434, Ulrich Schmidlin, Hans’s grandson, relocated the brewery to Bäckergasse (Baker’s Alley), where it would remain for hundreds of years. Fast forward to more modern times, and in 1884 the brewery was sold to Sebastian Riegele, with production levels being a modest 6,000 hectoliters. Production would soon ramp up.
In 1904, the brewery was passed to Sebastian’s son, also named Sebastian, but often referred to as Commerzienrat (industrialist). Under his leadership, the company would prosper and grow considerably, with operations transferred to a new brewery on Froelich Strasse, where it remains to this day, conveniently next to a rail station in Augsburg’s city center. The brewhouse was designed and constructed by Theodor Ganzenmueller, a brewing professor from the world renowned Brauerei Weihenstephan.
In 1954, the brewery was taken over and managed by Johanna Riegele-Priller and her WWII fighter ace husband (he recorded 101 victories), Josef “Pips” Priller, who became a brewer after the war by studying at the Weihenstephan Science Centre for Life & Food Sciences, Land Use and Environment. Pips died in 1961, and Johanna in 1990, after which their son, Dr. Sebastian Priller-Riegele took over operations, guiding the brewery through prosperity into the 21st century, eventually passing the torch to his son, yet again named Sebastian Priller-Riegele, in 2006. Sebastian is a World Champion Beer Sommelier and represents the 28th generation to lead this historic brewery.
Brauhaus Riegele remains an independent brewery to this day, not beholden to corporate conglomerates, a board of directors, or stockholder demands. They currently produce 12 “Classic” core beers, along with over a dozen special, limited-production, and barrel-aged brews. Their numerous awards include being named Germany’s “Craft Brewer of the Year” and “Beer of the Decade”, along with 36 European Beer Star Awards, 10 International Brewing Awards, and 182 DLG Gold Medals, as of this writing. We were extremely impressed with this brewery after sampling their products, and are excited to bring you two exceptional offerings this month. We hope you enjoy them as much as we do. For more info about Riegele, visit them at www.riegele.de/en.
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