Klosterbrauerei Weissenohe - Monk’s Fest
Serving Temperature:45-50° F
Suggested Glassware:Stein, Mug, or Pint Glass
Those of you who’ve ever held a bottle of one of the fine Weihenstephaner beers have no doubt noticed their claim on the label of being the oldest brewery in the world, dating back to 1040. Well, Weissenohe may not be able to beat that, but they can come damn close. In 1050, a monastery was established by Benedictine monks along a pretty stream running through the verdant hillsides of Franconia. The monks, who immediately began production of beer, named their new home “Weissenohe,” which translates as “along the white stream” and is in reference to the large amount of limestone that flows down from the chalky hills and into the waters that pass the monastery – making for excellent beer, as it turns out.
As monastic life became less and less popular in Europe throughout the centuries, most monasteries were sold off to private families. For Weissenohe, it was the Winkler family who took over the monastery and grounds in 1803. For the last two centuries, the Winklers have maintained the chapel (which still holds services) and the brewery, and have added an inn and restaurant for traveling beer lovers.
The long line of Winkler family brewers is currently represented by Urban Winkler, who continues to embrace the traditional brewing methods that have been passed down to him through the centuries. Naturally, the Reinheitsgebot (Bavarian beer purity law of 1516) is followed, and Urban continues to use the time- and labor-intensive double decoction mashing technique in which grain is removed from the mash tun, boiled, and returned to the tun to raise the mash to the proper temperature for the enzymatic conversion of grain starches to sugars. This technique, while only rarely observed in Bavaria today, is testament to Weissenohe’s dedication to keeping alive traditional techniques while the rest of the world largely forgets. It’s a treat for us to bring you such a truly handcrafted beer.
If you can read German and would like to know more, check out their website at www.klosterbrauerei-weissenohe.de.
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