For the first interview of our Oktoberfest, we’re going deep with Erdinger Weissbrau. With 130 years of brewing under their belts, Erdinger is pretty much the staple German brew you’ll find at most pubs and in most pints at beer halls, like Hollerbach’s Willow Tree Café pictured below. We got some answers from Mrs. Waltraud Kaiser, the Export-Director of ERDINGER Weissbräu, about what sets Erdinger apart from other German beers.
Pictured: Riesenbreze (Gigantic Bavarian Pretzel) at Hollerbach's Willow Tree Café
ABC: What’s the difference between Oktoberfest beer and a typical lager?
Erdinger: ERDINGER Oktoberfest is a full-bodied wheat beer specialty with a stronger, perfectly rounded body and well-balanced flavor. It is a special seasonal brew with its own recipe. Wheat beer is brewed with more than 50% wheat malt, the top-fermenting yeast contributes to its fruity-fresh aroma. The second fermentation in the bottle (bottle-conditioned) develops the pleasant and refreshing fizzy taste and the finely distributed cloudiness. Lager beers are brewed with barley malt and low-fermenting yeast, the feel of malt is slightly stronger, a bit sweeter and filtered i.e. no cloudiness.
What’s the difference between Erdinger Oktoberfest and Hefeweiss?
Both beer types have a full-bodied and refreshing taste. Our core brand ERDINGER Weissbier, with fine yeast (5.3% abv), is a well-balanced beer with a gently spicy malt aroma and mildly bitter hops, it is elegant and unmistakably fresh flavor. ERDINGER Oktoberfest is slightly stronger (5.7 % abv), spicier and more aromatic. Its color is slightly darker - intensively golden yellow.
We’re used to slightly sweeter Märzen styles here in America. How is that different from what you brew?
Märzen is a somewhat stronger lager which originally was brewed in the month of May only. Nowadays Märzenbeer has an unique wort content of 13° P and is being brewed with special barley malt all year long.
What do you think is the reason for such wide success in the US with your Oktoberfest?
Our wheat beer specialty, Oktoberfest, has a wonderful, smooth and full-bodied taste. We are trying to transfer our longOktoberfest tradition to various countries overseas. All our friends worldwide should benefit from this enjoyment, la joie de vivre and the German “Gemütlichkeit” which is a unique word in our language and almost impossible to translate. We are trying hard to organize these events as authentic as possible, to transfer the real Oktoberfest feeling.
What’s your favorite thing about brewing Oktoberfest?
Since ERDINGER Oktoberfest is a seasonal specialty everybody was eagerly waiting for the first tasting. This took place one day before Herbstfest in Erding officially starts. Selected persons from the brewery, the City Council, the Herbstfest staff and the press are invited every year. It’s a very exciting moment for the brewmasters – when the crowd confirms the excellent and outstanding taste of the seasonal brew.
What’s your favorite pairing with Oktoberfest? What’s a delicious pairing that not everyone has heard of?
There are many traditional specialties being served in the beer tent such as roasted pork, pork nuckles, roast chicken, various sausages, cheese, the famous giant Bretzels etc. The beer pairs even very well with sweet dishes like „Kaiserschmarrn“ (sort of a pancake cut into pieces served with raisins and apple compote) or „Apfelstrudel“ (apple strudel). But, the strangest pairing I have seen is Bretzel stuffed with Nutella, and it is delicious.
How do you ensure quality when shipping to America?
All our wheat beers are strictly controlled by our quality management. ERDINGER is brewed according to the German Purity Law of 1516 allowing the following ingredients only:
Only the best ingredients are being used for our products and we ensure safe and adequate packaging throughout the transport. Our partners know how to handle and store our beers and how to guarantee the best quality from the brewery to the final consumer.
Inspired to enjoy Erdinger like the Germans do? You’re in luck because Oktoberfest is happening right here in Central Florida. Check out Hollerbach’s German Street Party, Oct. 12-14. More details here!