FWIBF Brewery # 3 – Mahrs Brau

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The Final stop highlighting breweries who participated in this year’s FWIBF takes us to Bamberg, Germany and the “Tradition and craftsmanship” of Mahrs Brau.

The brewery has been “family-owned and firmly rooted in the [Franconia] region since 1895.” Which of course means that they follow the traditional Reinheitsgebot in their nine Mahr’s beers.
Whomever you are, when you visit Mahr’s Bräu you can see that we weren’t established yesterday.

Here are the beers that I would drink from this brewery that was first mentioned way back in 1670 and probably had roots earlier…

Mahrs Bräu Pilsner 4.9%
“Bright, brilliant yellow: That’s how our Pilsner pours into a glass, with its fine foamy head, it’s already a visual experience. But it’s not brewed just to look at. Take a whiff, perhaps? Above all you’ll find a distinct hops aroma stands out. This comes from the refined, tailored mix of Hallertauer aromatic hops. And how does it taste? Light and dry, carried by a delicately tart bitter note, and a round and very well-balanced finish.”

Mahrs Bräu Hell (Pale Ale) 4.9%
“Straight ahead and straight on – our Helles is not a drink of many words, but rather an honest, direct beer. Dare we say, a bit philosophical? But please, we digress… A creamy head atop a golden yellow core: inside mild, fine and spicy with a hint of sweetness. Delivering a certain hops-bouquet, and a finale of malty goodness that drives you to immediately order the next “Seidla” (half-liter).”

Mahrs Bräu Weisse (Wheat/White) 4.9%
“Upper Bavaria has been known to brew the best wheat beers in the world. This has seemed to entice other Frankish breweries away from brewing a solid white. But not us! Effervescent as it pours, so powerfully beautiful and golden-yellow, followed up by a slowly cascading veil of yeast… even to the staunch wheat beer connoisseur it’s love at first sight! But don’t worry. This is purely flirtatious. As you take your first sip, you experience the sweet, wonderfully fruity, slightly banana-like taste that seems to signal the dawning of a long awaited summer. How do we do it? With a special top-fermented wheat beer yeast, lots of wheat malt, and complex in-bottle fermentation process.”

Mahrs Bräu a U 5.2%
“The “U” stands for “Ungespundet”, which means unfiltered and outrageously good. Simply pronounced, “Ahh Ooo”, like the two vowels, means you would like a U beer. No language skills required, and you finally have a great beer that doesn’t take a long time to order. What comes to your table, if one orders a U? You’ll get an extraordinary, yeast-turbid specialty beer with a full-bodied smooth-malt character. Pleasantly tart and lightly carbonated, it is a beer that goes just as well with a good meal as it does with a relaxing evening after work.”

Mahrs Bräu Bock Beer 6.8%
“Connoisseurs and friends of our Bock look forward to October every year, because everyone knows it’s the beginning of Mahr’s Bock brewing season. It’s not just the sun-soaked golden color that revives old memories of the fading summer, but also its pure, fine hoppy scent and satisfying malt flavor. The unique thing about this beer is its ambivalent character: on the one hand velvety smooth, almost viscous as it goes down; on the other hand, it is characterized by a sleek, Autumnal, hoppy flavor.”

Rauchbier from the BJCP Style Guidelines

Classic Rauchbier

Aroma: Blend of smoke and malt, with a varying balance and intensity. The beechwood smoke character can range from subtle to fairly strong, and can seem smoky, bacon-like, woody, or rarely almost greasy. The malt character can be low to moderate, and be somewhat sweet, toasty, or malty. The malt and smoke components are often inversely proportional (i.e., when smoke increases, malt decreases, and vice versa). Hop aroma may be very low to none. Clean, lager character .

Appearance: This should be a very clear beer, with a large, creamy, rich, tan- to cream-colored head. Medium amber/light copper to dark brown color.

Flavor: Generally follows the aroma profile, with a blend of smoke and malt in varying balance and intensity, yet always complementary. Märzen-like qualities should be noticeable, particularly a malty, toasty richness, but the beechwood smoke flavor can be low to high. The palate can be somewhat malty and sweet, yet the finish can reflect both malt and smoke. Moderate, balanced, hop bitterness, with a medium-dry to dry finish (the smoke character enhances the dryness of the finish).

Mouthfeel: Medium body. Medium to medium-high carbonation. Smooth lager character. Significant astringent, phenolic harshness is inappropriate.

Comments: The intensity of smoke character can vary widely; not all examples are highly smoked. Allow for variation in the style when judging.

History: A historical specialty of the city of Bamberg, in the Franconian region of Bavaria in Germany. Beechwood-smoked malt is used to make a Märzen-style amber lager. The smoke character of the malt varies by maltster; some breweries produce their own smoked malt (rauchmalz).