Last night I attended the Zierholz free beer tasting
As some may have picked up already – I found out yesterday that I’ve known Cristoph’s brother for several years, but I don’t think that matters for the purposes of the review.
Debacle turns out to be the first location in Canberra that hosted Zierholz on tap, and they have that, and other less common beers avaliable for purchase, it would be fair to say they specialise in the imported, botique beer market.
The venue is well constructed, and works well as a pub. I particularly liked the wooden furniture and the fireplace in the middle which gave it a bit of a taverna feel. I also had a meal there, watch this space for a review whenever I find somebody else who serves fish pizza in Canberra (it was actually quite nice, despite the title).
Zierholz was in up near the bar, and the staff were encouraging people to go try the free beer, rather than trying their wares (for purchase) which I found quite a complimentary thing to do.
Christoph had Mælinar’s current favourite – brown ale, as well as a porter, a wheat beer, and a pilsner, alongside a light beer – of which I didn’t try the light, because Mælinar is not scared of beer.
For those not so quick on the what-is-this-beer side of the house;
A brown ale is a little bit of a sweet mix between a draught (carlton draught) and a red ale (tooheys red) – albeit a little heavier. A stunning example of a brown ale is Newcastle Brown (nukie brown).
A porter is a heavy dark beer, usually heavily overtoned with chocolate, or other rich feel such as plum. There aren’t usually any of these avaliable commercially in Australia, however a good example are the Belgian porters – I think Tipay (black bottle, red label) does a nice one.
Wheat beers are a ‘grainy’ beer – usually with a unique flavour I simply attribute to the wheat. Most of the beer warehouses in Australia are now coming out with a wheatbeer release.
Pilsners are the beer people drank when they wanted a crisp beer, before dry beers came about. Most usually they taste like beer that has been in the freezer, I’ll be quick to admit I’ve been enjoying them this winter with roasts, for some inexplicable reason (I’d usually prefer a heavier ale with a roast) – examples include Resch’s and I’ll chuck in Tooheys Dry.
As for the beers – too complex to do a blow by blow as most are already familiar with. Zierholz is a unique brewery, using unique ingredients, brewing german style beer, in Australia. I found them all to be quite ‘crisp’, which I attribute to the german brew style. I had a number of brown ales, and after the tastebuds toned down a little from the initial crispness bang, all of the familiar tastes of a newcastle brown were there – a great Australian alternative to a nukie.
Similarly, the porter was rich and chocolaty, the pilsner was very crisp, and the wheat beer was very wheaty.
Christoph himself is a great chap, and it was great to chat to somebody with as prodigious a beer knowledge as he has. He also gave away his lurker status on RA, having tied together somewhere I have mentioned my love of Tui, which he was eager to chat to me about as he has also tried it, after he noted the clothing item I was wearing with the label on it (again as I’ve mentioned somewhere on RA before).
With the conversation ranging from the beer I was tasting, to Tui, to homebrewing, it is easy to consider I may have met a man already on a possible future career path…
Zierholz – I’d recommend giving it a shot to anybody. If having it for the first time, I’d recommend investing in 2 pints (or alternative) at the same time, as your tastebuds will still be zinging after the first beer. He also sells it in kegs for the more consumptive individuals.