Searching for the line between "hobby" and "obsession"

Ayinger – Munich, Germany

Ahhhhhh Ayinger: probably my favorite of the three big brewery restaurants we visited in Munich as evidenced by the fact that we actually went here twice in the span of just three days. We had dinner here our first night in the city and got a great seat right out front on the patio. I ordered the same thing I did at the Zeughauskeller (wienerschnitzel) and didn’t have to pay a million dollars for it this time. Go Munich! Tasted just as good, if not better.

I didn’t take notes during our first stop at Ayinger, but I’m pretty sure I had a bock. In looking at the menu, I’m guessing this is one of the seasonals not listed yet referred to near the end of the paragraph up top. That seems kind of odd to me though. Is bock a seasonal style?? Maybe I’m wrong and I had the Old Bavarian Dark beer listed at the bottom.

Kellerbier and bretzel, mmmmm

You can tell by the picture at the top of this post that my wife definitely had their “stout” wheat beer. They’re apparently still using “stout” as a synonym for “strong.” Interesting. Part of me was a little annoyed that they’re trying to be cute or old school by using a beer term like “stout” in such an antiquated fashion. C’mon Ayinger, everyone thinks of a Stout (it’s the new “Porter” — perhaps you’ve heard of it?) when you say “stout,” not “strong.” Whatever, I still love you. I sampled my wife’s “stout” wheat beer and recall it tasted much like a homebrewed bavarian wheat beer. Very alive, lots of banana notes. I dug it.

During our second stop at Ayinger, I tried their “stout” kellerbier or cellar beer. It had a very soft mouthfeel, felt cask-conditioned on the palate. Pretty strong, but smooth enough to really sneak up on you. Delicate noble German hops were very noticeable, the flavor of which was really highlighted by the unobtrusive malt profile and smooth mouthfeel. Didn’t taste like there were many hops used for bittering. Rather, hop character was mainly coming through in the flavor and aroma components. I didn’t find another beer like this for the rest of the trip. Glad I took advantage of the opportunity to try it.

The bartender in the picture below had some trouble tapping this keg. They eventually got two other guys who appeared to run the bar to come over. The three of them eventually got it going. Fun to watch.

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