The Countdown to Europe Continues: 8 Weeks
What would a trip to Europe be without a stop in Germany? I’ll tell you what it would be…dumb. Yes, Belgium is the main purpose of our visit, but we are going to have a car, and Germany is close, and awesome! We plan on making the short drive over the western border to Dusseldorf and Cologne… with just a tiny stop in Leverkusen to see one of the best club soccer teams in the world play on their home turf. That’s right, we will be on hand to personally witness Bundesliga 1 powerhouse Bayern Leverkusen take on rival Hamburg SV! Wait, wait, wait…there’s more…B E E R (and lots of it, in ridiculously over sized tankards)!
Our continued efforts to further our cultural knowhow of the ancient lands that we will soon explore have brought us to: “German Night with Beer Blotter”. We decided to make a night of snuggling up with some of the great food offerings, artistic gifts, and legendary beer styles of Germany.
What else but sausage and pretzels! Now I can’t claim that Beer Blotter went ultra traditional on this front, but hey, you’ll never hear us claim to be culinary masters. I can tell you, however, that our bellies were filled with scrumptious happiness and the beers paired well. I was especially excited about our mustard find: Terrapin Ridge Brew Master’s Mustard. It went really well with both the sausage and the pretzels. Check out the info from the website.
Rich BOCK BEER and whole cracked mustard seeds make this spicy mustard explode in your mouth with texture and flavor. Try it on brats, cheese, and pretzels. Crack open a jar, you won’t need a bottle opener! 8.4 oz.
Ingredients: Water, Mustard Seed, Malt Vinegar, Beer, Distilled Vinegar, Salt, Brown Sugar, Spices, Celery Seed
German artist Albrecht Durer (1471 – 1528) was the topic of this evening’s art lesson. He was a painter, printmaker and theorist from Nuremberg, and is often regarded as one of the greatest artists of the Northern Renaissance. His woodcuts, watercolors and engravings posses a level of detail that is truly breathtaking. Check out one of his most famous works: Knight, Death, and the Devil (1513) as seen above.
We started off with a nice clean pilsner. Undoubtedly, a classic German lager style. The sample, though American brewed, was an excellent, if not perfect example of the style. McMinnville, OR’s Heater Allen Brewing specializes in German lagers, and they do it damn well. Pils is a golden amber brew with intense clarity and a lot of clean grain flavors. A faint bitterness comes through, demanding the imbiber to recognize just where this one is made (locally grown Northwest hops are surely the culprit).
Following the light Pils was a strange and intriguing beer straight from Dusseldorf (you think we might go there?) called Uerige Sticke. This 6% altbier pours a very murky brown hued amber that resembles river water. Doesn’t sound enticing? I assure you, it’s worth a try. A very rocky head built on enormous bubbles presented itself on the pour and lent an intense herbal and piney aroma. The mouth feel is thin, but packs many-a-flavor. It tastes a bit like a cider with notes of caramel apples and a dash of smoke. Sweetness is present, but the finish is quite dry. It seems to be a melding of classic German pale malt flavors with aged conditioning. It is unique to say the least.
The final beer offering of the night was one of Beer Blotter’s favorite all time German beers: Aecht Schlenkerla Rauchbier Marzen. Simply put, carbonated, fermented liquid smoke. A luscious off-white head is produced when pouring the clean and clear brown brew into the glass. Immediately, the air is filled with the scent of smoke, but the sausages are already off the burner. The smoked malts are heavy enough to leave some residual sweetness, producing memories of BBQs and the grilled, sweet glazed meats that fill the summer air with the most appetizing of scents. Surprisingly easy to drink, this rauchbier is the ultimate pairing for sausage.
We can’t wait to meet you in person!