Tuesday, 20 November 2007


I like to use Oettinger as an example for one of my pet theories: that it's possible to brew crap beer while sticking to the Reinheitsgebot.

You might claim in their defence that Oettinger's beers are cheap. Yes they are. And it's pretty easy to tell that from drinking them. Minimal lagering times (maybe they wheel the crates through a lagering cellar - it certainly doesn't taste as if they stop moving whilst in there) and cheap (in the low-quality sense) ingredients.

I haven't got a good word to say about them. They epitomise what is going wrong with German beer. Overcapacity and low prices are forcing many breweries to cut corners in order to survive. Hop extract is one of the worst culprits in debasing German beer. I have a particular aversion to it, but unfortunately can detect it all too easily. In pale hop-oriented beers like Pilsener, it's particularly offensive. If you want to see how it messes a beer up, try Oettinger Pils.

During the scramble to buy up East Germany's brewing industry, I found it apt that Oettinger got hold of the Gothaer Brauerei. Their beers were about my least favourite from the East. Somehow, Oettinger managed to make them even worse. That takes real skill and dedication.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Ron -- I have to admit that I've always been impressed by bottled ESB, but I read somewhere that they add a shot of hop oil to the bottle to make it smell and taste fresh. Hop oil is *a* hop extract, but is it what people mean by "hop extract" when it's featured in ingredients lists?