The abbey also lays claim to being the oldest brewery in the world, having brewed beer on the site since 1050, a claim they reinforce on the label, although there’s some contention about this. The Weihanstephan Brewery, about 40 miles to the south (the same Weihanstephan, aka the Bavarian State Brewery, who have collaborated with the Boston Beer Company to produce Samuel Adams Infinium Ale), reckon they started brewing 10 years earlier in 1040. Whichever one it was they both make excellent beer, and after a millennium does it really matter?
That drawing on the label is a rather dreamy representation of the abbey itself, which is appropriate because Winter-Traum is German for Winter Dream. The beer is a dark lager, classified as a Märzenbier (March beer) and is characteristically amber in colour with plenty of bready, toasty pale malt flavours with some toffee-like sweetness, hints of tart apples and a subtle hop bitterness. Märzenbier is traditionally brewed in the spring and then stored in caves or cellars throughout the warm summer months where it develops a slightly more rounded character. Come the autumn it’s hauled out and drunk throughout Oktoberfest and the Christmas season.
Jim Hughes, Head Beer Nerd, Alamo South Lamar
“If I had all the money I’ve spent on drink… I’d spend it on drink.” ~ Sir Henry Rawlinson