I would lie if I said I took a picture of all the beers I had during my trip or that I remember all of them exactly… with that being said, here’s some of the beers I had that I remember the most and took some notes on…

Sam-Adams-Thirteen-HourMy first stop was New York… a few friends and I made our way into a little corner shop to pick up a few beers to pre-game at the hotel…

They had a pretty good selection of craft beer, but one got my attention… Sam Adams Thirteen Hour Stout…

It’s actually more of a Belgian Strong Dark Ale…

This is definitely a winter beer, though I wasn’t exactly a big fan…

The beer was not bad, but I feel like the beer could have used a bit of aging…

It had a lot of really dark fruit notes, and dark malt notes like coffee, chocolate and a bit of oak…

I could tell the beer was slightly tart and very drinkable, but the alcohol was a bit too warming… nothing really to be concerned of, but with some aging, I can see this beer being an excellent brew… definitely something to add to your cellar…

IMG_0294After New York, my friend Chris and I hopped on a plane to Germany… our final destination was Köln, but we had a couple hour layover in Stuttgart…

It was around 8 am and while I did want some sort of würst for breakfast I opted for a Croissant and a German Pilsner… and before you knock having French cuisine in Germany, let me say that it was one of the best I’ve had…

The beer we had there was a German Pilsner by Radeberger Exportbierbrauerei…

This beer was very clean and crisp to drink… perfect for breakfast…

I was expecting a bit more from it, but the beer did have a nice grainy maltyness to it, though I wasn’t expecting a grassy character on the hops… it was very subtle, but it was there… the hop aroma itself was floral and it was good…

I did like the beer overall, but I quickly switched to what a I wanted to really drink while in Germany…

IMG_0296A good German Hefeweizen… they had on tap a Schöfferhofer Hefeweizen by Binding-Brauerei AG…

… and this was simply amazing…

It had a fair amount of clove-like phenolic and banana esters, but the grainy malt character of the wheat was very noticeable…

It had a slight citrus background note, and most importantly, the beer was very smooth with a slight dry finish…

I may have been biased by the fact that I was in Germany, that I had a beer just before or that I was already looking forward to drinking this style, but this beer was pretty much what I had envisioned a German Hefeweizen to be like…

After these two beers we made our way to the gate, but upon arrival the departure screen showed the next worse words after ‘flight cancelled’… ‘Delayed’…

What do you do when you have an hour to kill?

IMG_0297More Hefeweizen…

This time I opted for a Franziskaner by Spaten-Franziskaner-Bräu, which I’ve had before in the States…

I’ve known there is a difference between local versions and export versions, but I didn’t realize it was that much different…

Don’t get me wrong, the beer is very similar to what you can get out of the bottles in the States, but something was different with this one…

The best way I can describe the difference is that the beer was cleaner…

It had a similar punch in the face amount of phenolics, banana and hints of lemon, but it was cleaner… the export version seems like too much, but this one was just right…

IMG_0301Once we arrived at Köln, I picked up a random beer I’d never seen before…

It was a Rothaus Pils Tannen Zäpfle brewed by Badische Staatsbrauerei Rothaus AG…

This beer was more of what I was expecting from German Pilsners… it was very clean, crisp and easy to drink…

The malt had a slight biscuit note along with the more pronounced grainy malt…

It had a sweet floral aroma and slight grassyness to it, but unlike the first German Pils I drank, this one was more subtle and cleaner…

I thought this beer to be elegantly simple and great beer… It didn’t leave an impression, but I would drink it again given the opportunity…

Of course being in Köln, I had to have some Kölsch style beers… I had some good examples of the style, but they remind me of macro brews in the US… I’d always heard that Germans don’t like Kölsch beers too much unless they are from Köln… now I see why…

I don’t think the beers were bad, but they were a bit too watery for me…

IMG_0331What I was looking forward to was our next stop… Prague, Czech Republic…

I only happened to take a picture of this Staropramen Czech Pilsner… and while the beer was good, it was not as good compared to some of the other beers I had in Prague…

I had to absolutely try Budweiser Budvar… the real bud…

I must say that this beer was amazing… nothing to do with the Budweiser known in the US…

Overall Czech pilsners were very clean, crisp and very easy to drink… especially if you went outside of prague where you could find .5 L being served for what was the equivalent of about $0.77 cents!!

Next stop… Budapest, Hungary…

Hungarians are known for their amazingly beautiful women, wine, but not so much for their beer… I did try both the Dreher classic and Dreher Bak (Bock), but I soon found myself drinking more wine… their wine is amazing!

I’ll save my spiel for my MakeWineAndDrinkIt blog though…

IMG_0358I did however come across a beer I figured I should try… Löwenbräu Original… a Munich Helles Lager…

… This wasn’t exactly the best German lager I’ve had, but it was pretty good and helped me get my beer fix while in Budapest…

Afterall Hungary is best known for their wine, Palinka and Tokaji (dessert wine)…

After Budapest, we made our way into Vienna, Austria…

This wasn’t really a city we planned on going, but our flight from Bucharest, Romania got cancelled so we had to take a train and fly out of Vienna…

Beautiful city, but it only takes about half a day to see everything there is to see and there is nothing else to do but eat Vienna style hot dogs followed by as many apfelstrudels and beers as you can handle…

IMG_0371On the way there we had Paulaner Hefeweizen…

I’ve had this before in the US, and this wasn’t much different other than the bottle label was in German…

It’s nice to see a brewery produce a beer that tastes the same both for the local and export version…

I did like Paulaner better than the Franziskaner, and I must also admit that by this point of the trip, I was getting a bit beered out…

I did come across another beer I hadn’t seen before Zipfer…

I don’t know if it was just because I was overseas, but beers just taste good when you’re on vacation!

I was about ready to take a break from drinking at this point… guess I’m getting old…

IMG_0392But we had one final stop… we’d been following the news on the Syria attacks on Turkey, and the day before our flight to Istanbul, Turkey decided to declare war…

It was a bit scary getting on the plane, but I had been looking forward to drinking some Efes!

I first had this beer in New Orleans and I must say, the beer on tap is way different than the bottled export version…

The export version had this sulfury smell typical of lager fermentation and for some reason I loved it…

The beers in Istanbul however, were very clean and were missing that sulfury character…

That’s actually not a bad thing, but it really opened up my mind to see the differences between all these beers and trying out different flavors… I did drink quite a bit, but there were many who prided themselves in knowing they could outdrink the ‘Brew Beer and Drink It Guy’…

Oh well… I enjoyed what I drank and that’s all that matters…

Looking forward to going back…

Cheers!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.