Day four of the beer tasting marathon honoring the 500 year beer purity tradition and we look at the “Landbier.” Normally featuring a gold color but some also have a darker brown color, the Landbier is normally characterized as a beer that has less hops and more finely ground spices, producing a mild taste. It is comparable to the likes of Pabst Blue Ribbon and Old Milwaukee beers in the US, yet the alcohol content of a typical German Landbier is double the amount as the American counterparts- specifically between 4.8 and 5.4%, pending on how the breweries craft this type of beer. What is unknown however is how Landbier is different from other beer types. According to the German Beer Institute, which serves North America, Landbier that is filtered is considered Pils whereas those that are not filtered are considered Kellerbier. Normally, as seen with the Oettinger Winterbier on the first day, Kellerbier is usually lagered at cool temperatures, thus allowing for the beer to ferment and for the yeast to remain in the content, together with the important vitamins and minerals. In short, one could say that the one Landbier may be different that another one because of the way they are brewed. This means one will have to research more to get down to the truth behind this beer type, which includes taste-testing a few.
This includes the first candidate on the list, the Sachsengold Landbier. Originating from one of two breweries located in Zwickau, in western Saxony, Sachsengold can be found in many supermarkets owned by Edeka, which includes Netto (as you will remember, Edeka received the Files’ Genre of the Week honors for its Christmas commercial last December, which you can click here to watch.) That means, everyone could buy a case of beer and still have two Euros of the original five Euros leftover for meat and buns. The Landbier is one of four beer types Sachsengold markets and sells and has the typical appearance of the Landbier- clear gold color. However, when examining the taste of the beer, it can be best described in one simple word:
Flavor and Aroma: The beer’s main ingredient was barley, yet it seemed that the amount of barley in the content was minimal, to a point where there was little intensity on the taste and no aroma at all. The end result was the impression that the beer tasted of barley-flavored water with no other ingredients that could pep up the flavor a bit. In other words, the taste of the beer was flat. Even when pouring the beer into the mug, there was very little carbonation and the beer looked like clear apple juice than a typical beer- an exact opposite of the Luther Porter beer I tried yesterday, where the foam accounted for 80% of the beer glass upon pouring it. The body of the beer was extremely light, and on the mouth, the impression was that it was too watery but with a bitter taste and the impression that the freshness was way off the mark. Even if the alcohol content was 4.9%, there was not much of an effect of the alcohol upon drinking even half the bottle.
Grade: 5,0/F While not as bad as the Löwenbräu and the original Oettinger beer (not the Winterbier), the Sachsengold Landbier did not sweep me off my feet with its taste. While the color of the beer is typical of the German Landbier, the quality of the beer itself was really poor. Unless a person loves bitter-flavored water, this beer should be recrafted in a way that it tastes less watery and has more of the ingredients that makes Landbier typical. I have tried some Landbiers during my time in Germany and found those that are much better in taste. Many of them will be presented later on, perhaps as a reference for Sachsengold to consider before overhauling its product. It competition with Mauritus, which is the other Zwickauer brewery may be brutal, but any small, even cheap brewery can produce a Landbier better than this, right?
To finish off the taste-test, Sachsengold had a nice comic that looks at the typical Sächsisch person going on vacation- and forgetting the items needed before travelling. Although made by the incense candlemaker Huss (which produces incense ovens as seen at the Leipzig Christmas market) it does have a true meaning when it comes to crafting a good German beer, which is….
Don’t forget the important ingredients to making a good beer! 😉