Tag Archives: germany

Another Mumme Reference

I have previously written about my fascination with mumme, or mum, the thick, dark beer of Germany that hit its peak in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, and which I am somehow connected to through family names. It is well known that mumme had a ship beer variety known as Schiffmumme that turned up as far away as India. Today I found a reference from a book I’ve long struggled to track down, mentioning its consumption in the elite extractive community of Gold Coast Africa in 1679 (a market that at the time was absolutely saturated in rum).

Here is a European slave trader describing an elaborate dinner at the residence of a Danish governor on the Gold Coast:

[A]fterwards the general’s concubines arrived … all dressed in the finest attire … They arranged themselves around us and
were served sweet oranges, French wine, Palm wine, mum, and brandy.

There you go. Mumme being drunk alongside a cosmopolitan mix of Continental and African intoxicating drinks, relished by European slavers, the elite Governors facilitating slavery, and their concubines alike.

Case Swap: Düsseldorf Alt

This post is one of a series of twenty-three discussing beers brewed by members of the Merri Mashers as part of their 2015 case swap celebration.

Today’s case swap treat is a Düsseldorf Alt. The label states it had an SG of 1054 and FG of 1018. It was brewed with 60% Munich malt, 30% Vienna, 9% CaraMunich and a touch of Carafa 2 with Wyeast 1007 by Tobias Sasse.

It poured fizzy, with higher than normal carbonation pushing my glass ratio 4:1 in favour of bubbles. After letting the fizz subside – which was thankfully a quick process – and further pouring the beer appeared a thick, muddy brown, completely opaque. The aroma was a smooth honey and toffee with a pleasing fruity centre; strawberries and cream comes to mind.

The beer tastes reasonably clean though not as tight as a traditional altbier should be. A phenolic clove yeast flavour is quite prominent on the tongue, giving a distinctly Belgian edge to this West German style. Mouthfeel is thick and a bit chewy but the extreme carbonation cuts across it. Bitterness is medium and in balance.

This is quite a decent beer but the yeast flavours are a bit off. It might do well with a further three or four weeks aging?

Weihenstephan Hefeweissbier

Where to start with Weihenstephan? Reviewing one of their beers is almost redundant, but in my endless effort to taste and write about a single beer from every brewery out there I can’t forgo a tipple from the oldest continuously operating brewery in the world. I thought their classic wheat beer would be the most appropriate choice, although they do brew many other interesting wheats and lagers. They’ve also had their controversial releases such as the Infinium collaboration.

I made sure I had access to a fresh source of the Weihenstephan Hefeweissbier, ordered a schooner and let the thoughts flow. For many brewers and drinkers this beer maintains the textbook on what a classic wheat beer should taste like.

But what does it taste like?

It’s a sweet, malty 5.4% beer, with a fullness of alcohol you really notice. Because I brew my wheat beers considerably weaker than 5.4% and given these are what I most often drink, I can’t pretend to be impartial on this tasting note. Hops are a complete non-event, yeast flavour is not dominant; it’s all about the sweet, layered malt.

My glass was a rich straw gold, lightly cloudy but still translucent. It had an obliging basket of banana and earth esters with little hop aroma. The head retained exceptionally well and presented wild lacing when it did reduce. These bubbles were accentuated by the “authentic” glassware.

I sat mulling over life’s pleasures with this weissbier. It puts you into that kind of mood. Some beers punctuate, accelerate, dominate, but the classic Weihenstephanner simply elevates. It injects you with positivity. It is accessible and grand. Where to start, where to finish?

I drank this beer at Forester’s Hall, Collingwood.