Schlossbrauerei-Au-Hallertau is a small castle brewery in the hop growing region of Bavaria which lends its name to the famous German Nobel Hop: Hallertau. Founded in 1590 by the local baron, the brewery is currently run by the current baron, Michael Baron Beck von Peccoz, who is the 6th generation of his family to live in the castle and run the brewery. The Baron’s goal is to keep the brewery as traditional as possible while simultaneously securing its future for sustainability and growth.
Auer Schnee Bock, “Snow Bock,” is their winter seasonal Doppelbock release. The label is quite striking with their signature ram overlooking a snowy scene on the forest green background with stars. It definitely caught my eye when I was looking through the various German beers looking for some new ones to pick up.
Appearance: Dark brown, tan head, good retention.
Aroma: Mocha, raisins, figs, cinnamon bread, tea, chocolate.
Taste: Chocolate, molasses, toffee, tea, woodsy notes, spicy finish.
Overall Impression: There’s a nice dose of Noble hops to balance the traditional sweetness of the doppelbock, subtitled “Winterliches Auer Festbier” or Wintery Festival Beer. This was a nice treat. I’ve traditionally shied away from doppelbocks, but this is an excellent example of the style with a good deal of balance. There is still a sweetish leaning to the beer, but the malt and hop bitterness really do a nice job counter it. This beer seems to cover my double theme of winter beers and bocks!
Availability: Seasonally in Oregon, Washington, Idaho, & California where it’s imported by Northwest Beverage Group. I’m not sure if they have other importers in other parts of the country. This is a pretty small brewery, so this may actually be the only place to get it in the US.