Look, I don’t like to be confused when I’m drinking my beer. And this Helles lager from Munich is downright perplexing.
It has a label that is just God-awful, printed in light blue and gold with confusing German text set in a font only someone in lederhosen could read. The label is adorned with a drawing of an elderly monk in an apron, standing in front of a cinder block wall, surrounded by drawings of medals and hop flowers. What the fürchterlich?!
On top of that, you have to remove a sheet of aluminum foil from the neck just to drink it, and when you do, you only get 11.2 ounces — not a full 12.
Everything about the packaging of this beer begs you not to purchase it. But you know us — we’re always up for the challenge.
Besides, Augustiner has been around since 1328, so we trusted that whatever the hell we were drinking, it would probably be decent. We were right.
Let’s clear up the mystery behind this horribly-marketed beer. Despite the lack of any useful information on the label, it is a Helles lager — a malt-forward light lager developed in Munich, Germany, in the late 1800s. “Helles” means bright, so it’s meant to be crisp and refreshing.
Basically, our panel felt it was Munich’s version of a light beer. So that’s how we judged it.
Edelstoff pours a pale, almost-neon yellow, which immediately sent our panelists into a whirlwind of urine jokes. But aside from its off-putting color, the panel enjoyed it’s big, bubbly carbonation and short, sudsy head.
The panel felt the smell was better than average, with strong notes of grain and cereal, with a noticeable lemon overtone.
Edelstoff’s taste is dominated by malt, with strong flavors of lemon and raisin. Some panelists noted a bit of a tartness that is reminiscent of the sour yeast of Belgian whites.
Mouthfeel is smooth and a bit sudsy — what you’d expect for a typical lager — but our panelists mentioned that Edelstoff has more flavor than a typical lager.
Aftertaste is average, falling off quickly and leaving behind a bit of the lemony tartness, accompanied by a hint of Hallertau hops.
This beer makes its points on drinkability. It’s a light drinker, best served cold. Even panelists who were underwhelmed by the brew admitted they could drink several.
However…this beer is $12 per six-pack. It ain’t cheap. And when you factor in the 11.2-ounce bottle size, you’re actually paying the equivalent of $12.86 per standard 72-ounce six-pack.
That’s way, way more than a typical light lager. While Bud Light might not be a good beer, for $12.86, not only could you buy a case of it, but probably the dolly the distributor used to deliver it.
All told, though, if you can get past the high price of Augustiner-Bräu München Münchner Bier Edelstoff — and the mouthful of words it takes to say its name — you’ll be rewarded with a mouthful of solid, light summer lager.
(Appearance 5.29, Smell 6.86, Taste 21.29, Aftertaste 13.71, Drinkability 23.57)