Flensburger Brauerei - Flensburger Pilsener
Serving Temperature:40-45° F
Suggested Glassware:Pilsner Glass
Pouring a bright, crystal clear golden color and capped by a pillowy head of white foam, this pils, known by locals simply as “Flens”, certainly looks the part as the bubbles rise up our tall pilsner glasses which end up covered in lace as we drink them down. On the nose, look for an undercurrent of cracker and light bread notes overlaid by that classically European noble hop character we love in this type of authentic German brew. We picked up distinct grassy notes along with touches of lemon-like citrus and spice, and a bit of a floral element, too. The pils malt continues its crackery theme on the palate, where just a hint of sweetness is easily countered by a satisfying hop bitterness that builds into the finish, leading to a crisp and dry overall quality that's super refreshing. The hops add their grassy, earthy, and spicy character, and we picked up a bit of a mineral element, possibly a reflection of the brewery's deep, glacial water supply. For pairing options, we're thinking authentic German schnitzel, brats with spicy mustard or sauerkraut, or fresh-baked soft pretzels. Alternatively, pizza, burgers, fish & chips, fried chicken, tempura, or panko crusted baked cod or tilapia are good calls, too. This is a food-friendly brew, so feel free to experiment. Prost!
Just a few miles south of the border with Denmark lies Flensburg, one of Germany's most northern cities. Situated on the Flensburg Fjord (also known as the Flensburg Firth), the westernmost finger of the Baltic Sea, Flensburg is an important seaport and home to an iconic brewery named after the city. The brewery was founded in September of 1888 by five Flensburg residents who selected the site for its access to glacial wells tapping into an underground flow of Ice Age meltwater from northern Scandinavia over 240 meters below the surface. Additionally, winter ice was available to stock the brewery's lagering cellars to keep the beer cool during summer.
Perhaps the brewery's most important period of growth occurred under the leadership of Emil Petersen, who also happened to be an honorary consul to the king of Sweden. Petersen led the brewery through the very difficult period beginning in the 1930s all the way to meteoric growth in the postwar period of the '50s and '60s. When most other breweries in Germany and elsewhere began transitioning to crown caps in the '60s, Flensburger resisted, sticking with their now iconic swing top bottles which they’ve refined and perfected over the years. The distinctive "plop" sound made upon opening is a signature element of the Flensburger experience. The brewery remains an independent, family owned enterprise under the control of the Petersen and Dethleffsen families, and is one of the few remaining brewing companies operating throughout Germany that hasn't been gobbled up by a much larger conglomerate. Cheers to that!
The brewery is still located in the same historic 19th century building it has always been, although now it is stuffed full of modern, top of the line brewing equipment. Flensburger currently produces several styles including weizen, dunkel, doppelbock, and their flagship pilsener which we bring you this month, along with radlers, non-alcoholic beers, and even a soft drink and mineral water. For more info, visit www.flens.de, which is in German but has a link to their UK site.
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