This article documents the eventual adoption of light beer by the Bavarians.
"Notes on Bavarian Light Beer.
The dark, so-called Bavarian beer, which was brewed according to methods originating in Bavaria at a low temperature with bottom fermenting yeast, was well known at the beginning of the 19th Century, when large quantities of this beer were consumed, not only in Bavaria, but also in North Germany, Austria, and even in France.
"Pilsner beer" first attracted general notice during the World Exposition at Paris in 1867, after which it became a serious rival to the dark Bavarian beer. The first Bavarian brewer to make a beer of the Pilsner variety was Karl Michel, at that time owner of a brewery at Augsburg, and now director of the Michel Brewing Academy in Munich. Michel brewed light beers of different strengths and sold them both in and out of Bavaria; he had an especially good trade in Munich. Such was the good reputation of Michel's beer that it occupied a prominent place at the royal feast when Princess Grisela was betrothed to Prince Leopold of Bavaria. At this time no other German brewer was brewing light beer and it was several years before brewers generally began to produce it. The Berliner bohmische Brauhaus took it up and soon all North German brewers were making Pilsner beer.
The Bavarian brewers, particularly those of Munich and Augsburg, for a long time held aloof from the light beer, and even now the world famed Brauerei des Münchener Koniglichen Hofbrauhauses brews only dark beer. The brewers of Niirnberg and Culmbach followed the North Germans. The demand for Pilsner beer became greater, even in Munich. To meet this demand and the competition of outsiders the Munich brewers had to brew light beers.
The Brauerei zum Thomasbrau was the first to undertake to imitate Pilsner beer; next followed the Spatenbrauerei and gradually all the other Munich breweries except the Hofbrauhaus. Some of these brewers, as the Thomas brewery, succeeded in imitating Pilsner beer, but most of the others do not hop their worts as strongly as do the Bohemian brewers; this they do in deference to the taste of the Munich public, which is not very fond of bitter beer. The Munich light beers are generally stronger than the genuine Pilsner.
The differences in character which subsist between the light Pilsner and the dark Bavarian beers are due to differences in the method of preparation of the malt. While for dark beer the brewer requires a sweet, roasted malt with aromatic taste and dark color, for light beer he requires a malt with the brightest possible color without the aroma of roasted malt, and with a mealy, almond like taste. These two types of beer differ also in their concentration and in the amount of hops used. Light beers, taking Pilsner beer as a model, have a lower concentration (original wort) and more hop extract, than the Bavarian; further, the light beers are higher fermented than the dark beers.
As to the composition of the light Bavarian beer in comparison with the dark, it may be remarked that according to German law only malt and hops can be used in the manufacture of beer.
Below are given the average results of the analysis of 20 light and 20 dark Munich beers as given by the Munich Scientific Station for Brewing:
Light beer Dark beer Original Wort 12.33% 13.68% Degree of fermentation 58.61% 51.95% Alcohol 3.76% 3.70% Extract 5.09% 6.55%
Pilsner beer brewed in Bohemia has the following composition:
Original Wort 11.50% Degree of fermentation 53.20% Alcohol 3.30% Extract 5%
The light beers now enjoy great popularity in Munich as well as outside of Germany. The production increases from year to year; in Munich it constitutes about 30 per cent, of the total."
"Pure products" published by The Scientific Station for Pure Products, 1909, pages 255-256.
Looks like it's becoming a summer of lager. Maybe I should just give it to it and accept it as my ineluctable summer theme.