13 November 2009

Bitter pils

Above in Dundrum, Deveney's have a four-for-a-tenner deal on Flensburger at the moment. The 50cl brown swingtop is highly prized by the home brewer, so I picked up a few packs of Flensburger Pilsener, reckoning it'd do as the house curry lager for a while. But as always: before the vindaloo, the review.

It's bitter stuff, and not in a nice way. Seriously astringent with a sort of damp and musty flavour when cold. As it warms I get herbal waxy honey notes which render it a bit more drinkable, though not quite enough to make it enjoyable.

Still, never fear, the chillis are here, and their heat will make the nasty pils go away. Oh! Except they don't. What traces of clean lager malt were here get swept away by the curry leaving just the off flavours. Not even a Konkan vindaloo can kill this bad boy.

Sitting hard on the Baltic coast not far from the North Sea, I'll bet Flensburg is a pretty harsh place to live. If I'm right, their dour pils certainly captures the essence of the town.

With steadfast effort and lots of hot curry, I managed to get through all of my stash of pils, and next time I was in Deveney's I figured I may as well try the Weizen. This was much better. There's none of your fancy-free soft and buxom alpine wheatbeer flavours here, however. While the banana fruitiness is definitely present, its high spirits are tempered by a scowling dry, almost sulphurous, character that makes for a balanced and incredibly drinkable beer. The notion of a crisp weissbier sounds all wrong but it really works, in an uncomplicated spartan sort of way. I think this might be a much better match for my curry this weekend.


  1. I don't rate Flensburger Pils either. I find it kind of rubbery. Of course I still bought it on a number of occasions for chucking down with curry because the bottles are too good to pass up.

  2. "Sitting hard on the Baltic coast not far from the North Sea, I'll bet Flensburg is a pretty harsh place to live. If I'm right, their dour pils certainly captures the essence of the town."

    Haahaa! Brilliant! I wonder how many beers do that? Could be a new way to look at them...

    Thom, when Kieron and I started brewing I used to buy loads of the stuff from the Offies in Rathgar and persuaded colleagues to buy the stuff, just to get the bottles.

  3. My brother sent me some Flensburger last year - i found it a little flinty and dry - still, cold, I could imagine how this would cope well with spicy food. Sometimes, and average beer turns out to find better bedfellows acoompanying food.

  4. Not in this case, with the pils anyway. "Flinty" is a great descriptor for it.

  5. don't know what you're talking about.
    it's a well balanced northern hoppy pils and of course it's more bitter than "helles" from bavaria - fine and soft water is great for bitter beers, it's as simple as that.

    try it with fried herring & fried potatoes or with "fish-in-a-bun".the combination with curry won't work, better stick to some watery lager in this case.

    boy, I'm just glad you didn't try some of the frisian northsea stuff like Jever ...

    and the town's not too bad, bit like dublin before this celtic-tiger-thingy

  6. I've had my share of Jever. Not a huge fan, but it's streets ahead of Flensburger Pils, by virtue of not being actually unpleasant to drink.

  7. morten5:46 pm

    Well, that's your opinion.
    let's just agree to differ...

  8. I was in Schleswig-Holstein a few years ago and had my share of Flensburger Pilsener. It was way better from tap than in bottles.

    I never tried the weizen, but Flensburger Gold was my favourite among the bottled lager beers from Flensburger brewery. A good beer!