Friday, 3 July 2015

Dutch Lager Styles 1870 - 1960 (part three)

The first Dutch Lagers
The Lagers initially brewed in Holland were called Beiersch and were in the Munich Dark Lager style. Munich beers were the prototypical Lagers and it was only when bottom-fermenting techniques spread outside Bavaria that Lagers began to be brewed in other hues.

Dutch  Beiersch was roughly the equivalent of a Munich Sommerbier or Lagerbier. It had a gravity higher than Pilsener – 13º to 14º Plato, was less lightly hopped and more poorly attenuated than Lager of the Pilsener type.

Gerstebier was originally a top-fermenting style, but Heineken used the name for a cheap and cheerful type of Lager.  Baartz, of Oranjeboom in Rotterdam, described Gerstebier in 1884 as "although a bottom-fermented beer, it is of a low gravity and not lagered, and is a beer quick to make for a significantly lower price" ("een weliswaar ondergistend bier, maar van licht gehalte en geen Lagerbier, maar een bier van snelle confectie en tot belangrijk lager prijs").*

Though this may well just be sour grapes on the part of Mr. Baartz. From other sources it seems that Gerste Bier was lagered.

Gerste Bier was brewed with Heinieken’s D strain of yeast, while the posher beers were brewed with their A strain, the one they still use today.

Beers called Vienna or Wiener – both Amstel and Heineken brewed one at some point – were presumably amber in the Austrian style.

Culmbacher, named after the Franconian town of Kulmbach, was a style brewed in several countries when Lager first began to spread from Central Europe. It was a very dark, almost black, Lager which was hopped at three times the rate of Munich Lagers.

Hopping rate per 100 pounds of beer
place beer lbs hops
Munich Sommerbier 4
Munich Winterbier 2.3
Bamberg Sommerbier 8
Bamberg Winterbier 4.4
Kulmbach Sommerbier 12
Kulmbach Winterbier 4
Karlsruhe Sommerbier 7
Karlsruhe Winterbier 2.9
Bohemia Sommerbier 3.3
Bohemia Winterbier 2.2
Prague Sommerbier 4.4
England Porter 12
England IPA 32
Scotland Ale 12
Deutsche Vierteljahrsschrift für öffentliche Gesundheitspflege, Volume 2, 1870, page 276.

Dortmunder, or Export, was originally slightly higher gravity than Pils and not as heavily hopped.

The Culmbacher and Vienna styles didn’t last that long in Holland.

Early Pils
The first mention I can find of Dutch-brewed Pilsener is from 1879. It wasn’t brewed in Amsterdam or Rotterdam, but in Amersfoort:

Het Nieuws van den Dag, 15-10-1879, page 4.

The first advert for their Pilsener I can find is dated 5th March 1879.

* "Korte Geschiedenis der Heineken's Bierbrouwerij Maatschappij N.V. 1873 - 1948", by H. A. Korthals, 1948, page 96.


Jeff Renner said...

Are those hopping rates really per 100 lbs of beer?

Anonymous said...

Culmbacher would be an interesting candidate for let's brew Wednesday. The first black ipa, but a lager?

Ron Pattinson said...

Jeff Renner,

that's what it says in the book.

Roel Mulder said...

Hi Ron, I'm a bit sceptical about Beijersch being dark. In the 1866 recipe for 'Hollandsch-Beijersch' in the book 'De praktische bierbrouwer', it is made of pale malt ('blank Mannheimer mout'). The first French lagers, the 'bocks', seem to have been pale as well (cf. the painting 'Le bon bock' by Edouard Manet, 1873, which was actually used to disparage German beer).

Ron Pattinson said...

Heineken's Beiersch was definitely a dark beer. The 1911 records give the colour of the beers so I've absolutely no doubt it was dark.

Stone in San Diego brewed a very nice version of 1911 Heineken Beiersch.

Titus Klijsen - Phoenix said...

Always impressed with the leadership of the Phoenix Brewery in Amersfoort