Aventinus, Found At Last!

Rejoice, beer snobs, for this is great new indeed! After years of fruitless searching, trying in vain to find a supplier of beer that carried the venerated Schneider und Sohn Aventinus Heffeweizen Doppelbock, I was about ready to give up. Be it a private liquor store or the province-run BCL, again and again I was told that they either did not carry this product, that it was not something I was likely to find in BC, or they just looked at me blankly like they didn’t have the slightest idea what I was talking about.

But after six years of searching and waiting, I finally found someone who came through! And would you believe it, it was a restaurant of all places! Yes, the good folks at The Rathskeller Schnitzel House here in beautiful Victoria BC that were able to procure a shipment of this premium Bavarian beer. And good on them, since this is something that beer drinkers all across the province should be getting their hands on. A dark, double-fermented, bock-style wheat beer that boasts smooth, rich malts and a fruity, spicy palate with hints of chocolate and bananas, this beer remains one of the best I have ever had! The only one to do better no longer exists, so I guess that makes this beer my number one favorite 😉

I can remember fondly being introduced to this beer roughly a decade ago. It was my first time walking into Vineyard Bistro, located in the heart of the Bytown Market in Ottawa. Unfamiliar to the territory and still only a beer snobblet, I asked the barkeep for something tall, dark, German and strong, emphasizing that I was talking about beer. He immediately handed me a bottle of this and a tall, fluted glass. It took me a few samplings to appreciate the taste of the bock-style wheat, but once I acquired it, I was hooked!

Since that time, I never miss an opportunity to pick up an Aventinus whenever I find myself in Ottawa or anywhere in Ontario. You can’t imagine how crestfallen I was when I first moved to BC and found that it simply didn’t exist here, a fact which still makes no sense to me. Schneider-Weisse, the more well-known wheat beer that is brewed by the same brewery, is readily available in BCL liquor stores. So is their Eisbock for that matter. That seem right to you?

So… expect a full and complete review to be coming just as soon as I can get out to the Haus and pick me up a case! Though I have raved long about the virtues of Aventinus, I don’t think I’ve ever described it any real detail (not the four point breakdown at any rate). And if you get a chance, get out to Rathskeller and ask them for a bottle. You won’t be sorry 🙂

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Month of Doppelbock!

December 2010, much like November of 2010 for me, was dedicated to a specific type of beer. As usual, I went on a whim and decided to pick the very thing that seemed to be making inroads as far as craft brewing was concerned. In addition, it just happened to be seasonally appropriate. As the title suggests, that choice was Doppelbock! Enjoy!

Bock is a type of strong lager developed in Germany during the Middle Ages. It was considered the aristocrats beer of choice, beating even wine for the privilege of being the snob’s choice of libation. Doppelbock is the stronger version of this beer, meaning double, as in double-fermented. In the last few centuries, countless varieties of Bock and Doppelbock have been produced, and no one person could ever enjoy them all. But I will do my best!

Aventinus: (5/5) By Schneider-Weisse breweries, this wheat doppelbock is one of my favorite beers of all time. It is only fitting then that I dedicate my first review to it. It’s long been a source of consternation for me that I can’t find it here in BC, but since I’ve drank so many over the years, I hardly have to drink it again in order to give it a good review. For starters, this beer is a complex, challenging brew that requires some education before it can be fully appreciated. First, one should familiarize themselves with the rather unique flavor of wheat beer (weissbier or hefeweizen), and second, become familiar with the deep and rich flavor typical of doppelbock. Then, and only then, should someone try to drink this beer!

I recall ordering my first one at the Vineyards establishment, located in the Byward Market of Ottawa. I was new and asked for something tall, dark, and German (with the addendum that I wasn’t a gay man out for a fun time!). The barkeep handed my an Aventinus, which just happened to be the brew masters favorite. It struck me as odd, being fruity, malty, with notes of chocolate and a tang that was reminiscent of Jagermeister. But in time, it came to be one of my favorites, and every time I go to Ottawa for a visit, I’m sure to stock up! Available in half-liter bottles, and at 8 percent alcohol per volume, it’s also highly intoxicating! Drink up!