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Answer: Troegs Mad Elf

Question: What was my first American-brewed beer in more than three months?

Why not start with an 11% abv beer brewed with honey and cherries? What could be more American? When I saw it at Oak Tree Liquors in South Plainfield, N.J., a store definitely worth the drive, I knew it would be the one. We last had Mad Elf two years ago and quite liked it. A little boozy, but layers of flavor. Walked out of the store with more beer than we needed, but we may be back in a few days because Dave Hoffman of Climax is supposed to be delivering growlers of his legendary doppelbock.

And a second answer: Rosé de Gambrinus.

Question: What was our last beer in Germany (and Europe)?

It was spectacular. We finished with the Cantillon beer because when we were at the brewery in mid-September it was only recently bottled and they suggested we wait as long as we could before opening. Couldn’t do any better than the night before we flew home.

We enjoyed a more proper German sendoff the day before in Nurnberg during a very nice meal at Hütt’n (located a couple of hundred of meters from the Christmas Market and found with the help of Ron Pattinson’s city guide). They’ve got a long list of Franconian beers on the menu.

Daria and I finished (we were sharing) with Fischer Rauch, a little buttery but good with spicy Nurnberger goulash, and Gutmann Weizenbock, a dangerous 7.2% winter specialty. By a bit of chance, Gutmann was also my first weizen of the trip (September in Rothenberg), in this case the weizen hell, a delightful balance between fruit and clove. Had never heard of the brewery, but two impressive beers.


5 Responses to Answer: Troegs Mad Elf

  1. Brew Dude John December 17, 2008 at 11:18 am #

    When my sister-in-law goes home for next week for the holidays (VA), I will see if she can pick us up some Mad Elf.

  2. SteveH December 18, 2008 at 6:35 am #

    So Stan, can you give us a tease on the Weizen knowledge you gleaned for the new book? Something new and interesting you may have learned that you never heard before?

    Might have to stock into some Aventinus with a huge snowstorm bearing down on Northern Illinois tonight!!

  3. Stan Hieronymus December 18, 2008 at 11:36 am #

    Steve – Of course the most disappointing part was learning about how larger brewers continue to shorten the brewing cycle, find ways around traditional bottle conditioning. Stuff like that.

    You want the Adventinus Weizen-Eisbock. You’ll be seeing white even if it doesn’t snow.

  4. SteveH December 18, 2008 at 12:17 pm #

    Stan, I’ve had the Eisbock in the past — I actually like the original incarnation better… not by much, but still better!

    Shame to hear so many corners are being cut.

  5. Stan Hieronymus December 18, 2008 at 12:43 pm #

    It’s funny that I would suggest the stronger beer (not that Adventinus is a weakling – it made that BA list). We grabbed a bunch of stronger winter beers two days ago and right now I’m craving the about 5% beers of the Czech Republic and around Bamberg.

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