Schlossbrauerei Friedenfels - Friedenfelser Steinwald Zoigl
- ABV: 4.8%
- Serving Temperature: 40-45° F
- Suggested Glassware: Stange, Pilsner Glass, Mug
Zoiglbier is closely related to the fellow Bavarian lager styles of Kellerbier and Zwickelbier. It’s a specialty of the Oberpfalz region, with a history which goes way, way back. The term “zoigl” is derived from the word for “sign” in the local dialect, and it refers to a six-pointed star formed from interlocking triangles (much like a Star of David) which symbolizes the trio of beer ingredients, barley, hops, and water, as well as the trio of brewing elements, fire, water, and earth. In medieval times, a community’s brewing duties would rotate among multiple households; people would hang the sign outside their house whenever they had homebrew available for the community to drink.
Friedenfels’ Steinwald Zoigl pours a golden, light amber color, with fairly good clarity and a nice cap of foam. On the nose, look for a pleasant pale malt aroma overlaid with classic noble hop character (we believe the brewers are using local Hallertau hops) which contributes some floral and spicy notes. On the palate, this Zoigl offers a core of light caramel with a somewhat husky and grainy toasty note. Well-balanced and smooth, the hops dry things out nicely with a touch of bitterness in the finish, clearing the way for another sip. Flavorful and sessionable, this traditional Bavarian lager should match up nicely to earthy and nutty cheeses, roasted chicken dishes or grilled sausages and other meats. Prost!
The town of Friedenfels in the Oberpfalz region of Bavaria lies not far from the Czech border in the southern part of the Steinwald Nature Park, which takes its name from Germany’s Steinwald mountain range and is within one of the largest forested areas of Europe. The town is home to Schloss Friedenfels, within which our featured brewery, Schlossbrauerei Friedefels, has been producing beer for the local inhabitants since 1886. “Schloss” translates loosely as “castle” in English, although its meaning is more akin to chateau or manor than it is to a fortification. But, coincidentally (and perhaps somewhat confusingly for tourists trying to find the castle), the town is also home to the ruins of a real honest-to-goodness 10th century castle, Burg Weissenstein, a Steinwald landmark which the brewery incorporates into its logo.
Being a traditional Bavarian brewery, Schlossbrauerei Friedefels adheres to the Reinheitsgebot, the Bavarian beer purity law of 1516. The brewery also takes great pride in using only locally and regionally produced barley and hops, and they draw their water from the pure natural springs of the Steinwald Nature Park. Their beer lineup includes over a dozen traditional German styles including Pilsner, Helles Lager, Hefeweizen, and the regional specialty we bring you this month: Zoigl. In addition to the brewery, Friedenfels also operates a distillery which produces traditional German spirits like pear and plum schnapps.
We’re excited to have the opportunity to import Friedenfelser beers for our members this month, and we hope you enjoy this taste of a traditional regional Bavarian brew. Prost!
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