Tucher Bräu - Rotbier
Serving Temperature:45-50° F
Suggested Glassware:Willi Becher, Stange
Franconia has a multi-century history of brewing unfiltered cask-conditioned red lagers known as rotbier (“red beer”). For Tucher’s Rotbier, the brewery actually brews two beers: one is a starkbier (“strong beer”), the other they classify as a vollbier (“full beer”) which is basically a catch-all term for a “normal” beer that’s neither light nor strong. The starkbier is conditioned in oak barrels, and after sufficient aging it’s blended with the vollbier to create the beer we’re enjoying today. Tucher’s Rotbier presents a deep amber color topped by a prominent head of beige foam. Being unfiltered – designated “naturtrübes” on the label – the appearance is naturally cloudy, similar to a weissbier or a kellerbier. On the nose, look for very inviting malty aromas of crusty, moderately toasty bread, along with some caramelization and touches of nuttiness. Overlaying the malty notes are German noble hops with prominent spicy impressions plus some grassy, herbal, and earthy tones. As we take a sip, we’re greeted by a super smooth feel, no doubt aided by it being unfiltered. Expect a richly malty character on the palate with an impressively flavorful core focused on that crusty bread character, while a rich caramel note embraces a dash of residual starkbier sweetness, and flashes of dried fruits pop up, as well. Look for those hops to come through with a moderate bitterness, offering balancing bite while allowing the malts to lead the dance as their spicy, earthy tones complement the layers of malt expression. For pairing options, German cuisine is a natural, like schnitzel or roasted pork with a dark beer sauce, sauerkraut, and potato dumplings. Chicken or turkey pies should be a good call too, along with grilled sausages with German mustard, fried chicken, sandwiches, and really anything that will complement the deep bready maltiness of the beer. Prost!
Germany's Franconia region, which lies primarily in Bavaria, has a well known winemaking history, but the region around Nuremberg has dry soil not suitable to the growing of grapes. Consequently, the German vintner's industry never really gained solid footing there. Wheat-growing fields, on the other hand, have traditionally been abundant, as has a local thirst for sustaining, liquid refreshment. Thus was born a great tradition of regional wheat beer brewing, among other styles. In fact, the region is home to one of Germany's oldest and most prolific brewing heritages.
You may already be familiar with the fundamental Bavarian beer purity law known as the Reinheitsgebot of 1516, which mandates that all beer be made with only water, malt, hops and yeast. It's an edict that has guided not only German brewers, but also many of the craft brewers in the American microbrew revolution. Fascinatingly, Nuremberg had its own pure-beer law established in 1303, more than 200 years before Bavaria's more well-known Reinheitsgebot!
Tucher Bräu (Tucher is pronounced “took’er”) was founded in Nuremberg three and a half centuries ago. It began as an integral member of the wheat beer brewing force in 1672 and for part of its history was owned by Bavaria's royal family. An ancient patrician family who settled in Nuremberg in the 11th century, the Tucher family took over in 1855. Though the brewery has had several owners in the many years since, the Tucher family name has been preserved. The Tucher Bräu brewery actually straddles the border between the cities of Nuremberg and Fürth, and they celebrate their odd “2-Städte-Sudhaus” (2-city brewhouse) by marking the border line throughout the brewhouse.
The brewery produces several different beers including kellerbier, pilsner, traditional Bavarian weissbier, and more. We hope you enjoy these Franconian brews as much as we did!
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