I have some family in Germany who want to try homebrewing. There is a paradox going on here, and I’ll explain why. They are Germans (in Leipzig in eastern Germany) who love local German Pilsners (Radeberger, Hasseroder, Wernesgruner, etc)…and so do I…I’m trying to brew German beers in the U.S. (yes, you can argue hop extract, questionable quality…the mass market “Buds” of Germany, etc). But that’s all they know. I’m pretty sure they’re not going to crack that nut the first time around and brew one of those…so far they’ve made poor quality dandilion wine. Besides, why brew a German Pilsner when that makes up 99% of what you can buy?
But they’ve never had an American, British or probably even Belgian ale…all of which are a great place to start with homebrewing. I bought a sampling of bottles at the local beer store there including Czechvar, Augustiner, Pilsner Urquell, Ayinger, etc, and they didn’t like any of those…too light and no flavor, not hoppy enough, too malty, etc. They totally didn’t get Munich Dunkel, but were familiar with Kostrizer. They want what they want and know.
I’d love to expose them to American or British ale styles, but I can only imagine that’s so far out of their realm of experience that even if they brewed it flawlessly they wouldn’t understand it.
I think the discussion started while sitting around the table one night and an epiphany hit to try brewing. So I’m not sure the actual goals logistics are fully baked in their minds. But I want to help them out and give them a good shot at something both educational and, to their palates, enjoyable.
Maybe a Cream ale? Kolsch? Fall is coming, so if I can get them set up as temps cool down, we can probably get through an uncontrolled cool fermentation fairly well.
And, can anyone recommend a good resource for getting started with homebrewing in Germany? Last night I stumbled on http://hobbybrauer.de, which is like deja vu reading an American homebrew forum. Still reading to find the German Ken Lenard or Denny equivalent who’s totally nailed a Pliny clone and is proud of it.