Despite temperatures well below freezing, Loreley had a full house at their Winter Beer Tasting this past Wednesday, as New Yorkers gathered around communal tables to share good German brews, dive into heaping platters of sausage and possibly even learn a thing or two (most importantly, how to pronounce “Prost!”). With beer expert Rudi Eilers leading the way, and Loreley GM Doug Jacobson leading the excellent service team, guests drank their way through Germany as seven different styles were poured throughout event.
The lineup of beers was, in order:
- Gaffel Kölsch (as promised) – the specialty ale of Cologne
- Spaten Lager – a Helles-style lager, from Munich
- Köstritzer Schwarzbier – a Schwarz-Pils (a dark lager)
- Weinhenstephaner Hefeweissbier – a Bavarian wheat ale
- Weinhenstephaner Vitus Weizenbock – a full-bodied, single bock wheat ale
- Aventinus Doppelbock – a tall, dark and handsome double bock wheat ale
- Einbecker Winterbock – a dark double bock lager
It was fun to sip, take a few notes, and compare preferences with our table companions. We learned a few facts (Weizenbock = wheat bock beer; lager = “to store”), discovered what we liked, and debated hot topics like adding lemons to what beers (generally: a don’t, unless it’s filtered – but then again, who cares? Do what you like!). I must say, the best part was making friends with our table guests: after generous tastings of 7 strong winter beers, the conversation gets really good. We even scored an invite to a “Sausage Fest,” hosted by one of our new friends. Because that is probably the most-hoped-for outcome of any event ever.
Mr. Eilers estimates he’s done close to 30 beer tastings with Loreley, and his experience showed. After giving the crowd a brief but thorough lesson in beer basics, he effortlessly carried us through the variations between German styles and was well-attuned to the ebbs and flows of the crowd’s concentration. Between pours he kept up with his hosting duties, alighting at each table to greet familiar faces and welcome newer ones. Passing by our table, beaming, he paused and checked out my plate of sausage (cleaned) and beer glass (fully drained), asking if it gets any better; I could not disagree.
If you missed out and are now reading this with pangs of regret in your heart, you’re in luck – Loreley will likely do another tasting in March, when the spring beers arrive; giving us yet another reason to look forward to warmer months. Prost!