Sunday, August 10, 2008

Ramstein Open House- with Eis Bock and Keller Pilsner

This weekend was a surprise at the High Point Wheat Beer Brewing Company, aka "Ramstein Brewery," and their open house. It was winter in August! They managed to create another batch of their delicious Ice Storm Eis Bock, which requires 25 degrees Fahrenheit or less. It was a welcome surprise, and the super-smooth black velvet brew with the sucker punch of 12% alcohol content will make for great summer drinking, despite being based on their famous seasonal Winter Wheat. They had six sixtals and they sold out within an hour. They also had their magnificently malty Keller Pilsner- their Golden Lager before it is filtered and lagered. The Lager is a fine beer, but the Keller is its own creature, full of stronger flavors and still refreshing. Amazingly they were sold out of the Blonde, their flagship beer. Let's hope the shortage doesn't last too long. It remains my favorite summer beer, when I can get it. They also had their Classic Hefeweizen on tap and in six packs.

The bar area was decorated with that rare commodity, hops! They may not be the prettiest flowers, pale green throughout, but aren't we thankful for the homely horticultural hops? Without them, we could not make beer, at least not as defined by the German beer laws. Those laws don't stop the megabrewers from using rice instead the holy trinity of brewer's ingredients: barley, malt and hops, but that's why we love craft brewers like Greg Zaccardi of High Point Brewing. If I want to drink rice beer, I'll wait for microbrewing to take off in Japan.

We inducted two new members into the Growler Club this time around- friends Liz and Sean both bought growlers and filled them. Poor Sean only got half a growler of the Eis Bock, since he hesitated before purchasing. But that's twice as strong as a growler full of other beer, so he'll be just as happy. It was also the first public gathering of the Order of the Triad, a secretive beer-lover's organization that sometimes performs costumed aggression and other acts of tomfoolery. We also found business cards for a New Jersey beer blog, The Beer-Stained Letter, so here's a shout-out to our beer-blogging friend.

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