Colbitzer Heide-Brauerei - Colbitzer Pils
Serving Temperature:42-47° F
Suggested Glassware:Pilsner Glass, Flute
Colbitzer’s Pils pours a bright, sunny golden color with excellent clarity and a head of just-off-white foam. On the nose, we get a quintessential German pilsner aroma, which offers up a prominent shot of central European noble hops in all their spicy-herbal, grassy, and earthy glory. A very soft bready undercurrent lurks below. That malty note forms a delicious central core on the palate too, with some notes of fresh bread and crackers. But it’s those prominent noble hop aromas that really grab our attention to steal the show in the flavor as well, with their spicy, earthy character. Perceived hop bitterness is fairly assertive here too, with a hint of lemon zest, keeping this pils dry from the start to the lingering finish. For pairing options, we’re of course looking at German specialties such as sausages, schnitzel, and pork chops. Breaded and fried dishes like chicken, fish & chips, and even tempura sound good too, along with grilled burgers and pizza. Prost!
The Colbitzer Heide-Brauerei (heath brewery) was founded in 1872 by Friedrich-Christoph Ritter in the town of Colbitz in the central German state of Saxony-Anhalt. The region is well-known for a heath landscape known as the Colbitz-Letzlinger Heide, which is the largest open area in Germany not used for agriculture, and the largest heath region in central Europe. The brewery produced a wide number of beers, with bottling beginning in 1884, and – like many breweries of the day – the beers were delivered around the area to local restaurants and taverns via horse-drawn wagons.
The brewery remained in the family’s hands until it was eventually nationalized by the East German government in the mid 20th century. Following the fall of the communist state, Colbitzer was repurchased in 1991 by Klaus Niemer, a descendant of the previous private owners, and he set about modernizing the brewery with much needed upgrades to the water treatment systems, fermentation and storage cellars, CO2 recovery system, and the bottling & kegging machinery. Sadly, Niemer died suddenly in 2001, and the brewery fell into a period of hard times. However, in 2012, Colbitzer was acquired by fellow brewing company Hofbrauhaus Wolters from Brunswick, about an hour’s drive to the west of Colbitz. Wolters has invested heavily in preserving the Colbitzer brewing site, building a new, modern brewhouse with an emphasis on energy efficiency and reduced water usage. In fact, water is absolutely central to Colbitzer’s character, as the brewery is blessed with deep wells that supply pure, extremely high quality groundwater that the brewey refers to as “heathwater.” The region’s sands act as a natural filter, leading to a soft water that requires almost no treatment. This relatively small regional brewery currently produces about a half-dozen beers, and we’re happy to have the opportunity this month to bring you their flagship pilsner. Enjoy!
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