Showing posts with label Sudhaus (Ludwigsburg). Show all posts
Showing posts with label Sudhaus (Ludwigsburg). Show all posts

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Germany's Secret is No Secret.

Ludwigsburg is a nice town just outside of Stuttgart in Baden-Württemberg. It has a friendly commercial center and a Baroque palace that was something like a hunting lodge gone out of control (as Baroque palaces are wont to do). The town also has two brewpubs, by the way. And they're both pretty good. But you won't be going to Ludwigsburg just for the beer, will you?

Bamberg? Sure. Köln, Düsseldorf, Munich, and even Berlin... I've been to all those cities mainly to drink their beer. Many of you would shamelessly do the same. That's the sort of sick people we are. But those are not the places that make Germany a great beer country.

I'm going to repeat that: Those are not the places that make Germany a great beer country.

Brauerei Zum Rossknecht in Ludwisgburg... Now that's the kind of place that makes Germany a great beer country. Why? Because it's a neighborhood pub than makes great beer in a medium-sized town. Rossknecht will never be famous among geeks. It's famous enough among the locals, and welcoming to any pilgrims who stop in. And that's enough.

The usual options are a grassy, unfiltered Urhell and a decent Weizen. The seasonal when we visited last winter was a stunning Winterbock with notes of toffee, chocolate and dark currant. But on both my visits I came back to that Urhell. Again and again.

The other brewery in town, Sudhaus, is across the road from the train station. Where Rossknecht is a bit more traditional and homey, Sudhaus is younger and rambunctious. I remember a passable Weizen beer, a better Dunkelweizen, and yet another cracking Helles, which according to my notes has an addictive lemony character. Expect classic rock and sing-alongs at volume.

Incidentally: What makes Germany a great beer country is happening in the U.S. these days too, particularly with its emphasis on brewpubs. More and more little towns are getting their own, and most are making pretty good beer.

Most will never make a dent among on the international geek scene, thankfully, but they can be famous to you and me. And that'll be enough.

Monday, December 15, 2008

What's the Deal, Glockenspiel?

Wow, you should have seen the incredible photos I took in Stuttgart, Munich, at Neuschwanstein, and in the Austrian Alps. Beautiful stuff. Really it was.

Too bad the camera got buggy in the mountains at the end of our trip. As a result all photos disappeared from our SD card without explanation. This sad little number to the right was taken soon afterward. This is frustrating and dangerous stuff, since I often promise photos to accompany freelance articles. Time to get a new camera.

Meanwhile, I'll paint you a picture.

The best moment had nothing to do with beer: chilly evening in Munich, strolling through the Englischer Garten, and emerging from dark trees to find the festival of light that was the Christmas Market at the Chinese Tower. Yeah, you should have seen the photos.

If you've visited the country at this time of year you know the Germans beat pretty much destroy everyone else when it comes to creating holiday ambiance. Atmospheric markets can be found in most towns and villages, with lights and angels aplenty and wafting scents of sausages, hot spiced wine, and butter cookies. Something like that. And even if all these markets are eerily similar they do a killer job instilling in you that certain Christmas spirit.

Naturally the Gluehwein helps.

Best meal of the trip: Schneider's Weisses Brauhaus, probably my favorite spot in Munich, chowing on braised pork basted in Aventinus with sauerkraut and potato pancakes. Partnered with a glass of Aventinus. I suppose those old quaffers who have their Stammtisches there must be the happiest bastards on the planet. Possibly the venerable frauleins who work there have a soft spot for them too, and treat them nicely, maybe. I don't know. But by our reckoning these are the rudest, meanest old beer witches in all of Germany. It's exasperating, and then... gulp, gulp... awww, Schneider, I can't stay mad at you.

And I realize that Schneider Weisse is relatively common in Bavaria, but I couldn't help but be thrilled to find a doner kebab joint that served the stuff. It's called Montana and it's just south of the Hauptbahnhof main entrance, at Bayerstrasse 33. If you want to hunt for it. Characterful hefeweizen and spicy kebab make a happy combo.

Best beer of the trip: The Helles at the tiny Sudhaus brewpub in Ludwisgsburg, near Stuttgart. Unfiltered, cloudy yellow-gold, with a serious grass-hoppiness and refreshing bitterness. The place itself is neither special nor famous, but they're making some serious lager and the locals seem to love it.

Back in Belgium. Back to work. More on that soon.