Year of the Beer Day 32: Chiemsee Light Pils

chiemseer hell pils

The first beer of February 2016 and this one came as a birthday gift (along with about a dozen other different beers) from my wife and family. Chiemsee is one of the most attractive tourist traps in the state of Bavaria. Located between Traunstein and Rosenheim in southeastern Bavaria, east of Munich, the largest lake in the state has several beeches, but three islands that are open to visitors- Krautinsel is uninhabited but is home to cabbage farms, Fraueninsel is home of a nunnery that produces Klosterliquour and Herreninsel has a palace where King Ludwig directed, which was supposed to mimick the Versailles Palace near Paris. Rosenheim is one of the fast growing cities in the state with over 61,000 inhabitants, more than double the population than 50 years ago, with businesses and commerce serving the region. The city used to have a brewery that had existed in the 1800s, but today, there are only two breweries, including this one. According to the website, the Chemigauer Brewery has existed since the 1980s but nothing was mentioned of its exact founding, let alone who was behind it.

While the website’s content is shallow with fonts that are too small, the beer itself is a work in progress. The Chiemseer Hell Pils or light pilsener, as seen in the picture above, is one of three different beer products that belong to the brewery. It has a clear light gold appearance, but signs of a bad beer appeared right away. This included a poor head, meaning the foam was low and only existed for a couple minutes. The carbonation level was really low, and the body was really light. As a general rule, a beer with little or no foam, let alone faint carbonation, constitutes one that is too watery, and if flavors are added to compensate, too bitter. This was noticed with the Sachsen Gold pilsener, which was tasted and given a failing grade early last month.

Yet I have to give the brewery some credit for compensating. My theory was correct as far as flavor is concerned. The beer was too watery, too stale and somewhat too bitter, yet attempts were made to compensate it with herbal and floral hops with a zing of lemon to ensure that it compensated for the malt that was less than usual. Still because of its hoppiness, the taste of the beer appeared to be somewhat off, as the taste was astringent but warm, but the water concentration should have been less when crafting it. The aroma, on the other hand, is rather decent as the balance was normal, and thanks to herbal and floral hops combined with the aforementioned malt barley, the smell is partly herbal and partly bread-like.  Still, in order to have a good beer, one has to have a great aroma and an even greater taste in order for it to be sold to avid beer-drinkers. 😉

Grade: 4,0/ D: The Chiemsee Light Pilsener is not a good example of a good pilsener, let alone a good tap beer because of its excessive water content, combined with the imbalance of ingredients between hops and malt. Yet, what kept me from giving it a failing grade is because of the beer’s fairly decent aroma and the attempts to compensate the flavor with other ingredients. There are two reasons why pilseners are not as loved in Upper Bavaria as they are in the (north-) eastern parts of the state. The first is the predominance of the Weizenbier (wheat beer) because of the rich fields full of that crop. Rosenheim’s close proximity to Munich, which is the Weizenbier capital of Germany, has provided a squeeze in the beer market for other kinds, such as the pilsener. The second reason is because of its lack of means to market the product. As mentioned at the beginning, the website could use some work to provide more information about the brewery and the products crafted. But also important is to improve the product by experimenting on it until perfection is reached. The brewery is young and has time to expand, and so should the pilsener/ tap beer, so that it becomes a popular drink and a counterweight to the other alcoholic beverages in the Chiemsee region. Time is of the essence and it is just a matter of time and efforts until this beer becomes popular because of its taste. So dig in and give me another beer of your kind that is better than this one! 😀

FLFI 500 beer


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