Age is just a number, at least that’s what they say. Age also equates to experience leading us to the “age old” question, youth versus experience. The same holds true for beer. Would you choose beer from a new startup brewery or one that is well established and has a history? Yuengling, America’s oldest brewery was founded in 1829. In contrast Germany’s oldest brewery Weihenstephan was founded in 725. While I have yet to visit America’s oldest brewery I did seize the opportunity to visit Germanys.
A mere two hour drive from Stuttgart, 20 minutes from the Munich airport lays the town of Freising. With a population of approximately 45000 Freising is the home of the Weihenstephan-Triesdorf University which is where I found myself the day before Thanksgiving, sort of. Freising is also the home of the Weihenstephan brewery, adjacent to the university. In early November the Navigator and I paid a visit to Weihenstephan, embarking on a two hour tour of the brewery. Naturally, beer samples were included.
Weihenstephan operates at maximum capacity year around. Despite their obvious need for expansion, and an offer from the town to provide the land, the brewery remains true to its roots remaining at their original location where they have brewed beer for more than a thousand years. In so doing Weihenstephan places history and tradition ahead of profits, a rarity in this day and age.
As the state brewery of Bavaria, Weihenstephan beers are generally considered by beer enthusiasts to be among the best in Germany. Weihenstephan strictly adheres to the
Weihenstephan strictly adheres to the Reinheitsgebot or “German Beer Purity Law” using only water, barley and hops in their production process. Their beer offerings include a , weizenbock, , , , and pilsner. As an American, lover of all things big, I gravitated toward their bock both for its flavor and the 7.4% ABV.
Weihenstephan may be short on variety, but they are definitely rich in history. As the saying goes, “If It Aint Broke Don’t Fix it” and Weihenstephan definitely aint broke. Age is just a number however in the German beer scene; it’s a really BIG number.
Until next time