G. Schneider & Sohn is one of the smaller breweries of Bavaria, Germany. In the middle of the 19th century, wheat beer sales had slumped dramatically so the Bavarian royal family decided to get out of the wheat beer business and sell their exclusive rights to brew wheat beer. Georg Schneider I, a brewer at the royal brewery, bought it in 1872. Today, the brewery is run by Georg Schneider VI in Kelheim, Bavaria.
Prior to World War II, Schneider’s main brewing facility was in Munich, which allowed them to participate in Oktoberfest. Unfortunately, the Munich brewery was destroyed during Allied bombing. The Edel-Weise beer had once been Schneider’s Oktoberfest offering. Nearly 60 years after WWII, the brewery decided to resurrect the recipe but put a modern twist on it. Today’s Edel-Weise is a USDA Organic wheat ale of higher than standard alcohol dedicated to Schneider’s past involvement in Oktoberfest; although, the beer is available all year.
Appearance: Hazy blonde with brass highlights and a white, creamy head.
Aroma: The typical banana and clove aromas of a Bavarian Weise beer are muted and subtle, blended with a delicate, spicy hop character. In an odd twist, Schneider is using a blend of Cascade (an American hop commonly used by American brewers) and Hallertauer (A very German hop). The combined hop bill creates a delicate interplay of citrus and earthy, spiciness.
Taste: The banana is a bit more prominent on the palette, but the clove and hop character blend nicely into a very spice filled mouth. The mouth-feel is creamy and round with a long and pleasant finish. The beer finishes pretty dry without a lot of cloying sweetness that can be a trait of some German wheat ales.
Overall Impression: This beer has a lot of subtle flavors blended together wonderfully. This is an ideal food beer allowing a great deal of options. It can probably handle most foods from delicate up to some heartier fare. Definitely try this beer, you won’t be unhappy with your purchase.
Availability: Nationally at better beer stores.