01 December 2007

Die bürgermeister

Gourmet burgers are the new rock 'n' roll in Dublin at the moment, and a new fancy joint opens every couple of months. I had avoided all of them until this afternoon when I found myself in the vicinity of Jo'Burger in Rathmines and reckoned I'd chance it. It's fashion victim heaven, and I think an effort has been made to have a beer list reflecting this uber-avant-garde-ness. None of your Tiger or Erdinger for the bohemians of Dublin 6; instead you may choose between Duvel (in two sizes), Vedett or Schneider Weisse Kristall. I opted for the latter as I've never had it. Kristall, in general, just doesn't do it for me.

First surprise was how pale it was: a bright washing-up liquid yellow. It's very fruity, even by weissbier standards, with a powerful banana punch up front. I've read and heard a lot about clove flavours in weiss but I had never before encountered them in real life. After a couple of sips of Schneider Kristall, however, there were the cloves climbing into my nose from the back of the palate. I was impressed, but I very much doubt I'll ever opt for one of these over normal dark and cloudy Schneider.

Opposite Jo'Burger there's an Aldi, currently selling 5 litre minikegs of Dortmund's DAB Original for €15. I went home with one, feeling like Gene Hunt carying a party seven (second TV reference in two posts: need to get out more). Minikegs are very popular in Germany, but are relatively new here, and mostly contain Irish-made Warsteiner or Heineken. DAB is a cut above either. Following the instruction to serve at 8-10° C, I found it had a very pleasant full, smooth and ungassy mouthfeel, very like an ale. There's plenty of head, but I'm led to believe that's a feature of minikegs. The taste is dry and corny; smooth yet interesting enough to hold your attention. I understand that Dortmund lagers are very similar to kölschs, despite the latter being top-fermenting ales. I can see the similarity in this, but it's definitely easier drinking than most any German kölsch I know.

And with that, my Maßkrug (pictured) is empty and I must return to the minikeg. Four litres to go. Prost!


  1. "Maßkrug"

    Very impressive.

    Are you a German speaker as well as a German-beer connoisseur?

  2. Certainly not. I do, however, know how to use Wikipedia and copy-and-paste at the same time. Next best thing.

  3. Correct answer.


  4. In the mother land we generally just refer to it as "ein Maß".

    Any chance you will be at Oktoberfest 9/23 to 9/28/2008?

  5. At the risk of sounding like an insufferably jaded beersnob: nah, done it.

  6. You don't sound like a snob at all.
    The beer itself is definitely one of the last reasons on the list to go for. Unlike many, I enjoy the disgustingness of O'fest for a couple days a year (more for the awe than the beer). But for hardcore beer appreciation/tasting, you are better off at the Delirium Café in Brussels where you can sample from 3000 beers or so. But in the afternoon as it becomes a bit rowdy at night.

  7. I've become quite well-practiced over the years at getting in and out of pubs and events before they become overcrowded and noisy: travelling with a wife who is severely intolerant of such things helps a lot. We definitely took this approach when we visited the Delirium Café last September.