I didn't really know what to be more surprised at when a review bottle of St Erhard arrived via the company's local distributor: the hip, Absolut-esque branding on a lager from uber-traditional Bamberg, or the claim on the back that the clear glass is somehow UV-protected. A bit of asking around on Twitter regarding the latter turned up the suggestion that it was legit and that a glass coating does indeed exist to skunk-proof beer bottles. This one end up sitting in my glass-fronted beer fridge for two months so at the very least I had the opportunity to test this claim.
Inside, it's an amber lager of 5% ABV and helpfully lists its malt types (Vienna, Pilsner, CaraMunich) and hops (Tettnanger) on the bottle. I couldn't help but detect an air of skunkiness when I took the cap off, but if I didn't imagine it, there's not very much. Hooray for chemicals! Lots of fizz at first, dropping to a mere rash of bubbles on the surface. The aroma is all grain husk: a dry and almost roasty crunchy smell. And on tasting there's more of that plus possibly some chocolate and liquorice too. In a blind tasting I imagine I would swear this is a porter, and the thinness of body does nothing to dispel that impression. I get a miniscule whiff of herbal hops in the afterburp, but otherwise this is cereals all the way.
Not a bad beer, perfectly drinkable and that. But not exactly brimming with Bamberg quality. Oh: it's contract brewed 20km outside Bamberg? Well maybe that explains it. As you were.
(The rubbish pun in the title, by the way, is there to point out that today I'm one year short of ten doing this blog thing. I'll try and come up with a better one for next year.)
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4 weeks ago