Saturday, October 26, 2013

Freigeist Abraxas

"Freigeist" is apparently German for "free thinker." This 6.0% ABV beer is a smoked Lichtenhainer Weisse from Freigeist, the experimental offshoot of Cologne’s small brewery Braustelle, a part of the Brauerei Goller of Zeil Am Main, Germany. According to the bottle, they "break the chains of industrial brewing by reviving and updating Germany's unique, historical beer styles." This is styled after an eastern German tart wheat beer once known as "Lichtenhainer." It is sour and complex with a balancing smoky maltiness.  Let's see about that, shall we?

The beer pours a cloudy honey golden in color. There is a tall and thick head of white foam. The aroma is smoky like a peat fire. The taste is a moderate and pleasant sourness battling the smokiness, all over campfire toasted wheat. It is refreshingly carbonated. The finish is tart. This is quite the interesting beer. Straight sour berlinner weisse can be overwhelming, straight smoky rauch biers can be overwhelming, combine the two, and the sum is more than its parts. Still, this is not for the weak of palate. If you seek only a German lager, stay away. The more I drink, the better it gets, as the contrasting parts start to balance out on the palate.

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