Oktoberfest Review – Flensburger Pilsener

As I’m sure you’re all aware, IT’S OKTOBERFEST! What better way to honour Prince Ludwig of Bavaria’s 1810 festival than by going to the pub? One of my not-quite-locals is celebrating by having twenty genuine Oktoberfest brews and some general German ones. If you try all twenty you get a free stein (subject to availability etc) so I’m doubly eager to try ’em all. The pub in question is The Tap House in Lancaster, I am Martin Palmer and this is my review of Flensburger Braueri’s ‘Flensburger Pilsener’.

As I went up to the bar I was a bit daunted: where to start? Well, boring as it may be, I went lowest alcohol first. I wanted to make it through at least three, and with most of them being around 6% (the highest is 8.2%!), I thought it best. So, with the Hofbrau bunting hanging, and the black, red and gold flying, my handle-glass was plonked in front of me, full of my first Oktoberfest beer.

Vital Statistics

  • ABV 4.0% (although in the bottle it is stronger apparently)
  • Brewed in Flensburg, Germany
  • Served on draught
  • Brewed according to the German purity law of 1516

Taste

Light honey, very wheaty-malty notes. A surprisingly long finish for such a light drink. Extremely refreshing and nicely flavoursome with a little green note toward the end (I think!). Not quite spicy, but certainly interacts with the tongue, if you know what I mean.

8/10

Aroma

Clean, crisp wheatiness, a nice light smell. It’s not massive, obviously, but it’s groovy.

6/10

Appearance

It’s a pretty traditional German style label, a symbol of a ship in the middle coloured in blocks. There’s lots of medallion-looking things which give the whole affair an air of authority and authenticity: these are down to earth brewers with experience and authority.

In the glass it’s a light golden yellow. Simple but effective.

6/10

Value For Money

£3.75 per pint. I’ve paid more than that for a pint of Stella 4 down South, so to pay this for a genuinely nice beer isn’t a huge hardship. I wouldn’t normally pay so much, but the atmosphere of the pub in full Oktoberfest flow makes me more inclined to pay a bit more and enjoy the surroundings.

7/10

Brewing Uniqueness

If you were in mainland Europe, a pilsener/pilsner style beer is about as unique as finding a pen on a desk. It’s a little less common in England, though, especially on draught (I see some Holsten Pils over here, but usually in bottles). Apparently this is a North German variant on the classic style, but I can’t find any info as to how it’s specifically different in terms of brewing.

6/10

A great introduction to a spate of German beers, no doubt. It didn’t set my world on fire, but it has a pleasant taste and really is refreshing. I agree with the makers, I think, Flensburger Pilsener is “Unmistakable in character and freshness.

Final score: 66%

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