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Germany - Weltenburg

logo DK PublishingDK Publishing 02/07/2014 DKBooks
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© Provided by DKBooks

© Provided by DKBooks

Weltenburg

Klosterbaruerei Weltenburg, Heitzerstr. 2, 93049, Regensburg, Germany

www.weltenburger.de

The Benedictine abbey of Weltenburg houses the oldest abbey brewery in the world, founded in 1050. The location is delightful, close to the scenic Donau-Durchbruch gorge. The abbey’s restaurant is famous.


Brewing secret

Despite its history, the beer is made with the most advanced equipment, but is long-matured.


Asam Bock

beer style: Bock
alcohol content: 6.9% ABV

A dark mahogany doppelbock. Very pleasant, it tastes slightly sweet with nice malty aromas in the finish.


Anno 1050

beer style: Export
alcohol content: 5.5% ABV

The abbey’s anniversary beer has a distinctive mix of malt aromas balanced with hops.


The Story of … Weltenburger Kloster

In a courtyard, where giant chestnut trees shade visitors from the sun, the church of the Weltenburg Monastery and the Kloster brewery stand side-by-side. Set on a bend in the Danube, this must be one of the most dramatic and magnificent brewery locations in the world. The beautifully decorated baroque Benedictine abbey is hewn from the 150-million-year-old Jurassic limestone that forms towering cliffs on both sides of the river. Brewery and river usually co-exist harmoniously, but lines and dates on an exterior wall bear witness to the power of the river in full flood. The most recent inundation, in 2005, nearly closed the brewery.

Weltenburg Monastery was founded in the 7th century by two monks, Eustasic and Agilus, followers of St. Columbanus, one of the patron saints of brewing. Manuscripts in the monastery’s library show that beer has been brewed here for over 1,000 years, with production only being halted from 1803 to 1846. This makes it the oldest abbey brewery in the world. But, although the ancient site is redolent with tradition, this is a forward-looking, hi-tech, automated brewery.

The Kloster’s brewmaster is Anton Miller. In his early twenties, he is looking forward to a long career at the brewery. His predecessor brewed here for 49 years.

Asamstrase 32, 93309, Kelheim, Germany


The beer range

The brewery produces seven beers. Its Weissbier Hell, Urtyp Hell, Barock Hell, and Pils are top-fermented at 46°F (8°C) for seven days. Weissbier Dunkel, Barock Dunkel, and Asam Bock are bottom-fermented at 72°F (22°C) for four days.


Ancient and modern

This monastic brewery may be the world’s oldest working brewery, but behind its elegant baroque facade is a sparklingly modern brewery with state-of-the-art equipment.


Anton Miller

While Weltenburg’s young brewmaster, Anton Miller, is mindful of the monastery’s long brewing tradition, he nevertheless embraces a technologically advanced approach to beer production at Weltenburg. As he says himself, “we might be the oldest brewery in the world, but we use the newest techniques.”


Lagering

The Weltenburger Kloster lager store is located beneath 130 ft (40 m) of limestone rock. Here, the Dunkel is stored at 32°F (0°C), and sometimes lower, for at least three months. This slowly releases the Barock Dunkel’s aromatic, malty flavors and well-balanced richness. The beer was presented with the Gold Medal in the Dark Lagers category at the World Beer Cup 2008 in San Diego.


Quality ingredients

Miller prides himself on the brewery’s close links with local Bavarian farmers. Each June he visits the barley fields to choose the grain, which will then be malted in Bamberg. The sweet and spicy Perle Hallertau hops, used in pellet form at the brewery, come from three farms near Munich.


The beer garden

Visitors should not miss the opportunity of sampling the beer, which is pumped directly to its own bar. The beer garden is open throughout the year and is renowned not only for its beer, but also for its extensive range of traditional Bavarian dishes, including suckling pig, boiled beef, and Klosterwurst, a spicy home-made sausage. The brewery is open to the public on weekends.

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