Hofbrauhaus Freising - Jägerbier
- ABV: 5.6%
- Bottle Size: 330-ml
- Serving Temperature: 40-45° F
- Suggested Glassware: Pilsner Glass or Flute
Freising's Jägerbier, meaning "hunter beer", is brewed in the traditional Dortmunder style, also known as Export Lager as it was brewed to a strength suitable for export journeys. Compared to a German Pilsner or Helles Lager, Dortmunder tends to offer the maltier impression and dash of sweetness of the Helles, along with the brighter and more bitter hops of a Pils, and a touch more alcohol. Jägerbier presents a clear, deep golden color with a lasting head of foam that laces nicely as it recedes slowly. On the nose, look for an undercurrent of pale malts with a touch of caramel and slight toast, overlaid by a spicy and somewhat herbal noble hop character. Those malts come through on the palate with light caramelization and crackery notes with a bit of characteristic sweetness contributing to a sense of roundness. The hops offer a satisfying herbal bite, balancing and drying this brew out nicely in the finish. For pairing options, there are many, but you can't go wrong with authentic German schnitzel or sausages, grilled pork chops, or a Black Forest ham sandwich with spicy mustard. Prost!
Germany is home to some really, really old brewing enterprises, and Hofbrauhaus Freising, located in the city of the same name (known as "the heart of old Bavaria"), is definitely among the oldest. Documents indicate brewing was underway as far back as 1160, by Bishop Albert I of Harthausen. Back then the church was an extremely powerful political body, and the brewery remained in their hands through the construction of a new brewhouse in 1620 by Prince-Bishop Veit Adam, all the way to the beginning of the 19th century. It was then, in 1803, during a major secularizing shift in Germany, that ownership of the brewery left the church and came into the hands of the state of Bavaria.
In 1911, while the brewery was under the ownership of the counts Moy de Sons, a new brewery was designed and constructed by Theodor Ganzenmüller in the style of Art Nouveau. Ganzenmüller, a professor and brewing scientist at the nearby Weihenstephaner Academy (Weihenstephan is home to the oldest operating brewery in the world, dating to 1040), designed the new brewery as a prototype for a new, modern style of brewery. When the beer first flowed in October of 1912, the brewery was the most advanced in all of Germany. Though upgrades and further modernizations have occurred since that time, it would appear Ganzenmüller knew what he was doing as the facility is still home to Hofbrauhaus Freising's brewing operations to this day.
Currently, Hofbrauhaus Freising is owned by the Bavarian counts of Törring-Jettenbach. The brewery produces pilsners, dark lager, märzen (Oktoberfest-style beer), multiple wheat beers, and even a line of non-alcoholic Caribbean-inspired lemonades and fruit drinks made with the brewery's incredibly pure spring water from their 120-meter deep well. For more info about the brewery, their restaurants, and beer gardens, visit www.hofbrauhaus-freising.de/en/.
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