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Des de Moor
Best beer and travel writing award 2015, 2011 -- British Guild of Beer Writers Awards
Accredited Beer Sommelier
Writer of "Probably the best book about beer in London" - Londonist
"A necessity if you're a beer geek travelling to London town" - Beer Advocate
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"One of the top beer writers in the UK" - Mark Dredge.
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Des de Moor


From the cellar: Spaten Franziskaner Hefe-Weissbier Dunkel

Spaten Franziskaner Hefe-Weissbier Dunkel

Spaten Franziskaner Hefe-Weissbier Dunkel

ABV: 5%
Origin: München, Bayern, Germany
First published: 5 February 2001

Another review from the  written for the pioneering Oxford Database (OBBD). I’ve left it uncorrected — so please read it in that historical spirit.

Franziskaner Dunkel is a classic brand that’s still very much with us, although owned by AB InBev and its predecessors since 2003. The Franziskaner brand’s roots go back to 1363 and the foundation of a secular brewery adjacent to (but not part of) a Franciscan monastery in Munich. It’s been under the same ownership as the celebrated Spaten brewery since 1861 and used to identify that brewery’s wheat beer since 1964.

The logic of German beer labels dictates the apparent contradiction in the name of this dark ‘white’ beer from one of Munich’s biggest brewing names. In Germany major brewers still keep to certain standards, and this standard-issue dark wheat beer in the Bavarian style is an impressive and very good quality brew.

It’s a bottle-conditioned beer that pours with a beautiful thick head, revealing a rich reddish colour beneath and an inviting scent of bananas and cloves wafting from the top. It has a full, malty taste with delicate hop notes (hops are restrained in this style, and they’re present here only in the form of extract, as the ingredients list confirms).

The combination of fruity, slightly acidic notes and a beautifully soft texture gives the impression of peaches and cream, and the dark malts offer chocolate flavours as the taste develops. A taste of cloves emerges in the dry, biscuity, cracker-like finish to round off a very drinkable example of a classic style. No wonder the rotund Franciscan on the label looks so contented.

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