Montag, 14. Januar 2008

New Year, New Beer ...

I don't believe in Nature - in some primordial Other, that is 'out there' and needs to be kept untouched. The idea of Nature as the opposite of human civilization is a silly one. It is itself a result of industrial civilization. Historically, the idea of Nature as Other has done much harm. 'Protecting Nature' was used as a prime argument by colonial plunderers to clear indigenous peoples off land, for example. Sadly, this even continues today.... - When nature reserves and parks are used as places where a more sustainable way of living on planet earth is tried out and 'showcased', though, I rejoice. When a good beer results, you can certainly see me smile. So I was smiling all the way to the bar when I came across the Rother Braeu brewery, which is located in the Naturpark Rhoen. Rother Braeu is that rare beast of a brewery that practices what it preaches. It sources locally as well as organically. It mainly sells regionally as well, which is why it took me ages to get hold of their Ur-Pils - a fine, crisp brew that can only be described as refreshing. Ur-Pils is a true lager, as the name suggests. As such, it is as brilliant a thirst cruncher as you will ever find on planet earth. - Rother Braeu is the kind of (small) business I love. But I have to say, that I am also excited by more and more mainstream breweries getting into the organic market. Stoertebeker, brewed in beautiful Stralsund, is a major beer in northern Germany, for example. In one go, they have added four organic beers to their range. I only got hold of the Roggen-Weizen (a rye wheat beer) so far. And I was sceptical. I am not really into dark wheat beers (as I like the sparkling, champagne-like character of wheat beers above all else). But this one stays delicate despite its darkness. It is creamy more than sparkling, but it goes down very well. - Flensburger - or 'Flens' as it is known to the German beer drinker - is one of the very big brands of German beer (and it's better than some of the other big names, such as Beck's). Opening a Flens is always fun; it makes 'plop' as you remove the ceramic bottle cap. With their organic Kellerbier, the fun does not end there. It's an easy to drink (also slightly darker) beer. It is not light enough to drink for a whole evening at a party, but it goes well with a nice meal. Flens Organic will never become my favourite. But I hope it will get more mainsteam beer drinkers into organic mode! Indeed: May 2008 bring many more new organic beers to the market. My taste buds are ready to sample them all.

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