August Schell Brewing Company in New Ulm is celebrating 150 years of beer making this month. This is a huge deal. They have big plans for the official celebration mid month. You can read all about them here. I encourage folks to get down there and help celebrate.
I tasted a lot of Schell’s beers while researching my September Star Tribune column featuring the brewery. For the column, however, I am limited to 500-ish words. I can’t talk about very many beers, nor can I go into any great detail about them. As my own small contribution to the anniversary celebration, I will publish my full tasting notes for many of the Schell’s beers on this blog over the next couple of weeks. As it is a summer seasonal and it’s time is nearly done, I’ll start with Zommerfest.Here’s my notes:
August Schell Brewing Company, New Ulm, Minnesota
Serving Style: 12 oz. Bottle
Aroma: Sweet pils malt. Bready. Faintest hop aroma, herbal, hint of passion fruit or blackberry. A bit yeasty. Simple, but alluring. Keeps calling me back for another sniff.
Appearance: Golden. Crytal clear. Light white head that dropped quickly.
Flavor: Hops take a more prominent position in the flavor than in the aroma. Bitterness is moderate, but more than enough to balance the delicate malt. Bitterness lasts all the way through, but softly, not offensive or in the way. Mid-palate the sweet, grainy malt briefly takes the spotlight and then fades again into the dry finish. Only a lightly lingering sweetness remains. Hops have an herbal and light blackberry character with hints of licorice. It’s all very delicate and soft-spoken, but certainly not without intrigue.
Mouthfeel: Light body. Moderately spritzy carbonation. Crisp lager character.
Overall Impression: The first time I tasted this beer I didn’t care for it. I don’t know what I was thinking. Light, delicate, and yet so full of flavor and subtle complexity, this is a fantastic summer sipper. Clean, crisp, and quenching. This is the kind of beer I encourage folks to taste in order understand the subtle beauty of beer that doesn’t wack you over the head.