Friday, December 11, 2009

Today's Anstich keg at the Public House: Rothenbach Märzen.

It proved to be somewhat of a surprise yesterday when Jeremy, our day man at the Public House, leaned over and began pouring a glass of Ahornberger from the Anstich keg.

It had been billed as a Märzen, and described as "malty, hoppy, and dark." One out of three isn't bad; the liquid filling my glass was straw golden in color and not at all overtly hoppy. It was soft and malty, and given the Bavarian habit in recent years to brew ever less colorful Märzens, perhaps still somewhere in that category, albeit tenuously.

However, as good as it tasted -- fresh, perfectly conditioned and perfect for kocking back a few if there'd been time -- it was not what we'd been led to believe. Later in the evening, Matt Dinges of Shelton Brothers confirmed that he'd received a similar comment from another account, and would look into it.

Reading between the lines, it would appear that the Shelton shipments of Anstich kegs are being sourced in the Franconian field, as it were, by Herr Winkler of the Weissenohe brewery. The batch we're pouring now was sent with only numbers on the kegs, a (hopefully) matching list, and brief descriptions of "amber" or "dark." There certainly is room for discrepancies in the system, and I'm sure Shelton will rectify any that appear ... like yesterday's golden dark beer.

Meanwhile, it's another day, and time for the next Anstich: Rothenbach Märzen. Here are the importer Dan Shelton's notes:

Founded in 1886; makes 15,000 hectoliters a year. Yet another family-owned brewpub, a picturesque place in the tiny town of Aufsess, in the Fränkische Schweiz -- the Franconian Switzerland. (There's nothing at all like the Alps here, so the name is a little over-blown.) We've never had the Märzen, which is highly recommended by our Franconian connection at the monastery brewery in Weissenohe.

Here are links to the Rothenbach web site (in German), and RateBeer's compendium of Rothenbach brands.

I'm biking to the Public House now for a quick quality control sample, and will revise this post if new information surfaces.

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