Friday, September 11, 2009

Lineup preview: Sandkerwa NA 3 at the Public House begins on September 24.

This is part two of the Sandkerwa preview (the lineup). Part one, the conceptual introduction, is here.

Sandkerwa NA 3 is scheduled to kick off on Thursday, September 24. Like Lambic by the Glass before it, Sandkerwa is running late. As you might have imagined, there's a good reason for this.

The Shelton Brothers importing firm has brought a special container to America, one filled with very rare Franconian lagers in 20-liter, "Anstich" kegs. These are gravity-feed kegs with no CO2 used to push the beer. They're to be tapped and placed on the bar top, a mode of presentation and serving often seen in and around Bamberg. While similar to English real ale, my guess is that these Anstich beers are different because they're not cask-conditioned in the manner of real ale. However, some of the Franconian Kellerbiers are naturally carbonated in the brewery lagering cellar, so who really knows?

The practical consequences are the same, either way: Once tapped, the 40 half-liter glasses of beer therein must be consumed forthwith, or the remainder will go flat.

That's one day, optimum, for each one. If all the Anstich kegs I ordered arrive, there'll be roughly a dozen. The trick will be to pour them without waste, a task further complicated by knowing little about the contents owing to the untested obscurity of it all.

In short, it's something that sounds like fun to me.

In all my years of previewing draft selections for our various fests, I’ve never had as much trouble in getting the information straight as with the lineup (below) for Sandkerwa NA.

It isn’t anyone’s fault, really. It’s just that there is precious little uniformity in the way that these (mostly) small Franconian breweries categorize themselves. That’s probably good, as this cantankerousness extends to brewing methods, too, ensuring that there’ll be a range of goodness once the beers are on tap at the Public House.

Meanwhile, I’ve been sifting through the formal name of the establishment, the town where it’s located, the name of the beer itself, find a comprehensible web link (most have one or more Internet sources), and then, in the end – with an ever so gentle tweaking of Shelton Brothers, the importer – compare scant stylistic information (“amber lager,” for instance) with web testimony in an effort to learn exactly which brand we’re getting.

Here are the results, so far. The following beers have been ordered and are in route, although as always, it cannot be stated with certainty which of them will arrive until the truck begins unloading.

The first grouping is comprised of Anstich feed kegs.

Fischer Lager
Brauerei Fischer, Greuth

Fischer Rauchbier
Brauerei Fischer, Greuth

Kraus Pils
Brauerei Kraus, Hirschaid

Lindenbräu Vollbier
Lindenbräu, Gräfenberg

Löwenbräu (Buttenheim) Ungespundetes Lagerbier (Kellerbier)
Löwenbräu Buttenheim, Buttenheim

Mahr's Brau Ungespundet Lager (gravity pour version)
Mahrs Bräu, Bamberg

Rossdorfer Urbrau (unfiltered lager)
Brauerei Sauer, Roßdorf

Schederndorfer Landbier
Brauerei Will, Schederndorf

Spezial Rauchbier
Brauerei Spezial, Bamberg

Weissenohe Altfränkisches Klosterbier
Klosterbrauerei Weissenohe, Weissenohe

Zehendner Mönchsambacher Unfiltered Lager
Brauerei Zehendner, Mönchsambach

Zum Grunen Baum Landbier
Brauerei-Gasthof Zum Grunen Baum (Bayer), Rauhenebrach-Theinheim


The second group is comprised of standard kegs poured conventionally with CO2.

Göller Pils
Brauerei Goller, Zeil am Main

Kulmbacher Reichelbrau Eisbock
Kulmbacher Kapuziner Weisse
Kulmbacher Monchshof Festbier
Kulmbacher Monchshof Kellerbrau
Kulmbacher Monchshof Schwarzbier
All from Kulmbacher Brauerei, Kulmbach

Mahr's Brau Ungespundet Lager (CO2 version)
Mahrs Bräu, Bamberg

Schlenkerla Rauchbier Marzen
Brauerei Heller-Trum, Bamberg
Note: Kegs of Urbock are coming, but too late for Sandkerwa. Also, I’ve recently learned that a new oak-smoked Rauchbier has been made, with kegs of it eventually destined for America. More information will come as I learn more.

Weissenohe Monk's Fest
Klosterbrauerei Weissenohe, Weissenohe


B.W. Smith said...

I finally understand this festival.

Ungespundet!! Remind Ted and I to tell you about getting stuck at Mahr's due to rain...which allowed us to people watch the locals from the beer window (and drink more beer).

TedF said...

Sigh... I want to go back. Now.

This is a great line up Roger. It will be the next best thing to being there.

Will there be any modifications to the food menu? Schnitzel and pomme frittes? Some kraut? ;-)