Andechser Winterbier has become a tradition on the Holy Mountain.
The monastery brewery has been brewing it exclusively to be served only in the Andechser Bräustüberl since 2007.
Friends of the Andechser Winterbier can enjoy this dark beer with its malt aroma in the Bräustüberl on the Holy Mountain from November 11th to March 19th.
Andechser Winterbier is a classic unfiltered dark beer with an original wort content of 12.5% by volume. Normally only the master brewer and beer brewers now enjoy the privilege of drinking the beer unfiltered as what we call a “Zwickelbier”. All guests and friends of the Bräustüberl can enjoy this unique Andechs beer speciality on the Holy Mountain between November 11th and March 13th.
What makes Andechser Winterbier a special “enjoyment for body & soul”? First of all, the Andechs master brewers naturally observe the famous Bavarian purity law passed by the Wittelsbach Duke Wilhelm IV on 23 April 1516: “It is of particular importance to ensure that nothing but barley, hops and water are used from now on for the beer in all our cities, markets and in the country.”
Enforcing the purity law was a crucial step in the history of beer quality. Brewers in the Middle Ages attempted to give their beer a special taste or to improve its storage life, sometimes using fantastic means. Soot for instance was added to obtain dark beer. Adding toadstools as a “special” refinement is documented as well. Thank goodness only water, wheat malt, barley malt and hops are used today. For the Andechser Winterbier, the Andechs master brewers use only raw materials from Bavarian suppliers:
- Dark Munich malt
- High quality aroma hops from Hallertau
- Fresh brewing water from the immediate vicinity of the Holy Mountain.
With these ingredients, Andechser Winterbier follows the long tradition of monastic beers that, before the invention of beer filtration towards the end of the 19th century, were mainly dark with a malt aroma, unfiltered and naturally turbid. Andechser Winterbier exhibits all of these characteristics. It is brewed using the ancient Bavarian multiple mashing process. This means that the mash is gently heated and boiled several times in the brewhouse’s mash tun. Boiling part of the mash used to be commonplace and necessary since the protein, sugar, minerals and vitamins did not dissolve from the barley malt as readily due to inferior malt quality.
Even though the multiple mashing process consumes up to 25% more energy and time, it continues to be used in the Andechs Monastery brewery to this day.
This is because the elaborate multiple mashing process gives the Andechser Winterbier its pronounced malt character and therefore an unmistakable taste.
The Andechs master brewers emphasise this flavour by bottling the Andechser Winterbier in its unfiltered state. Natural turbidities such as protein and yeast produce a unique flavour and especially pleasant “mouth feel” while drinking.