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    Wurzberg Hof Brau, Germany
    Posted under The New England Beer Reviews by Avery Glasser (c366822-a.htfdc1.ct.home.com) on Monday July 02 2001 @ 08:45PM CEST

    Wurzberg Hof Brau
    Germany

    Wurzburg, producers of the extremely tasty Julius Echter Hefeweisen produce a number of exceptional, traditional beers.

    May Bok (Maibock)
    If one was to establish a baseline for comparison between Maibocks, or Spring Bock beers, this would be the perfect, classic version of a Maibock.

    Maibock beers are brewed in the late winter for consumption in the spring. They are strong and sweet, yet extremely complex. The Spigot in Hartford's West End ordered a case of the May Bok, and based on my count, I am the only one consuming this beer. Though part of me wishes that more people could love a beer like this, if there are only a handful of bottles left, I'm not eager to evangelize the merits of this beer to the other patrons.

    The May Bok is available in 12oz bottles in the late spring and early summer and is not for the novice beer drinker. Expect an alcohol kick in the 7-9% range, and a sugar content that could make one's stomach turn if you're not ready for it. The smell is reminiscent of black-strap molasses and the color is a dark amber, but if you can make it through the first sip, you're treated to a strong, malty flavor with a strong aftertaste of fresh, wild yeast.

    Julius Echter Hefeweisen
    If the only wheat beers that you have tasted are the thin, watery American Micro-Brewed pseudo-hefeweisens; a strong, complex beer like Julius Echter might throw you for a loop. Like all of the major Bavarian weiss beers (Franziskaner, Paulaner, Tucher), Julius Echter is an unfiltered, cloudy beer... and it is the suspended yeasts in the mix that makes this beer so fantastic. When you first bring the beer to your nose, you smell something familiar... bread. Then again, why shouldn't you smell bread? Hefeweisens are made with three of the ingredients that you use to make a basic bread: water, yeast and wheat... only the addition of aromatic hops and the proportion of the ingredients differentiates between the two products.

    Julius has a stronger taste than Paulaner or Franziskaner, most likely due to the higher amount of live yeast still suspended in the mix. However, once the strong yeast taste subsides, you are left with a clean wheaty taste. Don't be surprised if it takes you the better part of a bottle to get used to the explosion of flavor. Remember! It probably took you a couple of tries before you liked the taste of lobster, so don't get discouraged if you don't fall in love with this beer. But once you've had a real Bavarian, there's no going back to the Americans...

    (Avery Glasser)


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