Thursday, February 28, 2008


"Wheat beer and women one hits on the bottom."
~What I heard a man in Germany say as a toast

Here I have considered a number of wheat beers that I drank during a year in Germany and Austria. Before reading, you ought to know these things: a.) Wheat beer is my favorite kind of beer, b.) I do not know more about beer than you, reader, know about beer, c.) I face-dove into a log in the forest when I was little and so can only respire out of one nostril, and I suspect that this inhibits my sense of smell and taste.

Erdinger (5.3% alcohol, Erding, Germany): The taste of alcohol in this one kicks like a surly donkey. Gather your taste buds off the floor of the barn and forge ahead—the flavor chills out a little bit and becomes bitter and spritzy, though never forsaking the pervasive and devilish smack of old-fashioned fire-water. Not the greatest.

Drink if you like: being kicked in the crotch by the Devil.

Franziskaner (5.0% alcohol, Munich, Germany): Relatively sweet. Banana-y and chocolaty at its center, like a delicious beer star whose nuclear core churns with bananogen and chocolelium. Mellow and complex, this is a beer which whispers its flavors to you while keeping its true personality hidden behind a veil of irresistible coquettery. Different tastes emerge variously during consumption, and always as sexy suggestions. Very good, great, shake its hand, slap its ass.

Drink if you like: unconsummated, ardent relationships with many delicious secrets.

Paulaner (5.3% alcohol, Munich, Germany): It is twilight. Doorbell rings. A man named Ted, standing nervously on a veranda framed by riotous ivy, mumbles a greeting and offers you a bouquet of cloves. With its scent come deeply felt memories of spices from the far East and that time you ate rust as a child. There's no complexity here, friend: eating rust was a straight-up shitty idea. Drinking this beer, however, could be a great idea. Go to the cinema with this simple stranger.

Drink if you like: Christian meekness.

König Ludwig Hell (5.5% alcohol, Fürstenfeldbruck, Germany): King Ludwig the Pale stands in the middle of a circle. "My name is Ludwig, and I am a beer," he stutters like a bitch-faced pansy. "Is that all you have to say to us, Ludwig?" asks the counselor. There is no give in her voice, no compassion in her gaze. A circle of eyes is fixed on the King. "No," he gasps after a pause. And this time with tremulous conviction: "My name is Ludwig, and I am a spicy beer." Now, why does this beer hide its attractive taste from us? Too coy to be great.

Drink if you like: Bitch-faced Pansies (the flower, Viola tricolor putensis -- similar aroma).

Franziskaner Dunkel (5.0% alcohol, Munich, Germany): The banana-y banana-iness of this beer bananas its way into your banana, bananalessly, until you can banana no banana in which bananas are not bananas. Banana told, there are better bananas out there.

Drink if you like: pineapples.

Weihenstephaner (5.4% alcohol, Freising, Germany): Its flavors must be sought after with the utmost care and delicacy, like truffles in the forest. A pleasant, mildly sweet bouquet dissipates moments after asserting itself, leaving in the mouth neither a good nor bad impression, but rather the absence of impression: a memory. Please drink this beer.

Drink if you like: being jilted at the altar by the love of your life, but having a sweet run of it up till then.

Maisel’s Weiße (5.4% alcohol, Bayreuth, Germany): Possessed of a lively, rooty, apricot-y, wonderfully bitter character that cockslaps your taste buds, hard, on its way down your gullet. Your taste buds touch the mushroom-shaped welt on their cheeks lightly with their fingers, their mouths slightly agape. “Holy shit,” they think, “I kinda liked that.” Indeed.

Drink if you like: the company of men.

Schöfferhofer (5.0% alcohol, Frankfurt am Main, Germany): Not unlike Franziskaner, except that this brew is up front about its aims and intentions. Sugary (but not overly so) and unabashedly wheaty, this beer drags you into a relationship marked by utter transparency, with all the dangers and sweet, sweet delights such transparency brings. So good.

Drink if you like: women/men who, forgoing pickup lines, just squeeze your junk and wink

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