Enjoy a properly served Aktien Zwick’l Kellerbier at Gustav’s.

Yesterday I had a chance to try an unusual German beer, that is hard to come by in this part of the US. The beer was Aktien Zwick’l KellerBier from Bayreuther BierBrauerei in the Franconia region of Germany. Gustav’s is currently the only place that has this beer on tap on the entire West Coast. Not only can you get it with wonderful German food, but they also are serving it in authentic ceramic half liter steins direct from the brewery.

The beer arrived in a tall ceramic stein with the word “Zwick’l” boldly embossed on the side. All I could see of the beer was a creamy looking head. Since the stein was opaque, I wasn’t able to observe the beer’s clear orangish brown appearance in the light. My first taste required a healthy tilt of the tall narrow stein to get past the creamy head. Upfront it had some bitterness, but was tempered with a subtle yeasty tartness and a general smoothness that I enjoyed. Some of the tartness held on for the finish with some spiciness, which complimented other flavors of the finish you would expect from a good German Lager. This beer has been described as a “perfect marriage of Hefeweizen and a light brown ale.” I thought it was quite well balanced and refreshing, and a nice change from more common traditional German Lagers. I would encourage all German beer fans to seek out this beer while you can at the Gustav’s in Portland (on NE Sandy), Clackamas, Tigard, and Vancouver.

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