Wednesday, 28 September 2016
Schwaben Brau- Festivities Continue!
In Stuttgart they are making merry. The Canstatter Volksfest is in full swing. An Autumn festival which happens to include a huge amount of beer drinking is probably the best kind of festival there is, and while it absolutely sucks that I'm missing it, as well as the Oktoberfest in Munich because of course I could make myself appear in two places at the same time if beer was involved, a bottle of Schwaben Brau's VolksfestBier sits before me, glistening with perspiration like a prize-winning dray horse.
Aldi UK is stocking five of Schwaben Brau's beers at the moment for £1.79 a bottle, and I'm drinking them every night of the week for you all. Tonight is the turn of the beer brewed specially for the festival that I'm missing.
In a silent house late at night a swing-top bottle barks like a starter's pistol. I inhale the smoke from the open neck and pick up the scents of malt and cereal grains and pour it hard into a stein, filling the half litre glass with obsessively-polished amber topped with a roaring festive head of rough white foam.
I inelegantly break the heavenly clouds with my face and vacuum up a mouthful of VolksfestBier. Remembering who I am, and what I'm meant to be doing, the second mouthful actually touches the sides. There is liquid barley; haybales made fluid. Everywhere there is sweetness. A beer unchallenging, playful and light. A little hoppy greenery is there on the nose, but bitterness is hard to find in VolksfestBier.
The citrus taste of lime turned way down low murmurs in on further mouthfuls, and marzipan seems to solidify in the dying moments as the stein empties. I type with the stein in my left hand, perilously low on beer. I feel like my right hand should be holding a fresh, full one. It's like phantom limb pain stemming from a chronic imbalance in the beer-to-hand ratio.
The beer is gone now, and there isn't another VolksfestBier to follow it, and this just seems unnatural.
This is a beer for drinking in bulk, for going at hammer-and-tongs, for steadily drinking from the second the tent flaps open to the terrifying but predictable moment the porta-loos are set afire. It's tasty but not complex, a beer one can happily smash for hours without concern that they may be missing some quirk in its profile, some nuanced little gremlin that can only be tracked down with an electron beeroscope and three hours of silent meditation.
It nails being a festival beer. Refreshing, easy-drinking and zesty.
Now get back in your tent and sleep it off, there's two more Schwaben Brau beers for me to drink at you this week!