|The brewery in the Gröninger Braukeller|
Indeed, most German brewpubs play it fairly safe – there will be something gold and Saaz-hoppy, such as a Pils and/or a Weizen, maybe a Dunkel, and maybe a seasonal. Probably just two beers available at any one time, and nothing that might frighten the horses. (In my view, most German brewers don't pay enough attention to flavour-hops. It's typically malt for flavour and hops only for bittering and aroma, which is like brewing with one hand tied behind your back.)
In fact, in many ways Lüneburg's two brewpubs are doing a better job – Nolte's recent seasonals were very good, and Mälzer, which I had also put into the "playing it safe" category, seems to have upped its game of late with a couple of excellent specials. Well done to both!
The shortage of interesting and/or varied beer on draught has been partly compensated for by finding good stuff in bottles. There's a couple of good places in Lüneburg – a deli-type supermarket called Sand Passage right in the centre which stocks some foreign beers as well as some less common German ones, and a branch of the Hol'Ab! drinks chain, which alongside the usual Pils by the crate, has a fair selection of other German beers, especially Bavarians.
For real variety, and a few more unusual foreign beers – most places here will have Czech and maybe Polish lagers, plus Guinness and Heineken, and that's about it – I have to go to Hamburg, and the wonderfully eclectic Bierland. Meandering corridors link two or three tiny shopfronts that offer unusual German beers, including micro and craft brews I'd never heard of, plus a shifting foreign range including Italian and American.
|Altes Mädchen - it was a bit busier when I was there!|
I'll be going there again, and I will write more about it soon. I just hope that next time it'll be less full and there won't be engineering work all over the public transport system – it ought to be 75 minutes door to door, but it took two hours to get there and nearly four to get home, via a late night rail-replacement bus.