Sunday, October 30, 2011

Special Beer Review - Pax Brau

Pax Brau is a small craft brewery in Oberelsbach, Germany just north and west of Bamberg.  The name means Peace Brewery and one of their slogans is beat swords into beer spigots.  That's an interesting take.They claim to use all organic ingredients and to only brew small batches.  They had a salesman at the local bazaar put on by MWR so I just "had" to pick up a couple of bottles.  I like the fact that they came in 1 liter bottles.

Pax Brau Vollbier - This is supposed to be a helles that's brewed in accordance with the Bavarian Beer Purity Law of 1516.  That's a little bit of a stretch since the basic premise is that a beer can only have three ingredients: water, barley malt, and hops and the ingredient list on the bottle lists water, barley malt, hops, and wheat .  Wheat wasn't technically allowed until the German Provisional Beer law of 1993.  More than likely this a marketing ploy designed to get someone to buy the beer without reading the ingredient list.  To heck with the technicalities on to the beer.

This beer poured a reddish amber with a generous beige head that lasted a while and left lots of lacing on the side of the glass.  The aroma is slightly smoky.  The smoke theme carries over into the taste where the normal balance of the helles is obscured by the smoky flavor.  Evidently the hops had had a little smoke added to it and in the case of this batch probably more than a little smoke.  The finish is slightly sweet and semi dry with the smoke continuing in the aftertaste.  Not a bad beer and it would go great with one of my smoked briskets or turkeys. 

The guy who sold me the beer at the local bazaar told me it was not like the Bamberg beers when I mentioned the smoke and the Bamberg beers I've had.  He claimed there was just a touch of smoke.  I'd have to disagree, I've had smokier beers from Bamberg but I've also had some that had about the same or less hints of smoke.  The ingredients are listed as bio or organic, so interesting.  I did like it and wish I would of picked more than one bottle.  Oh well.

Pax Brau Weizen - OK the picture doesn't do the beer justice.  I originally opened the bottle a couple of days ago, drank a glass and then sealed it back up.  Even though it "popped" when I flipped the lid it was a little flat tonight.  Anyway when fresh it pours a light golden amber with a slightly off white head.  The aroma is sweet smelling fresh cut grass with lots of clove.  The taste is lots of clove with hints of other spices..cinnamon maybe?  Also maybe a little like bubblegum?  It was really good fresh and not half bad flat.  The finish is crisp.  I would call this a really good craft weizen.


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