Sunday, August 2nd, 2020

Peaks and Pints Pilot Program: Ayinger On the Fly

Ron Swarner


Beer flights in TacomaAll over the world, beer lovers agree that if it’s made in Bavaria, it’s the real deal. It is, after all, home to the first brewery on record, way back in 800 A.D., as well as the ultimate of beer festivals — Oktoberfest. About 25 kilometers from the Oktoberfest grounds in Munich, lays a little town called Aying, home to the beloved Ayinger Brewery (Brauerei Aying). This 135-year-old brewery has a deep family history, and remained almost completely unchanged until a new, updated brewery was built in 1999 in order to keep up with the growing market. Again and again Ayinger has won awards for its beers, including the World Beer Cup, and the Deutschen Landwirtschafts Gesellschaft – DLG (German Agricultural Society) gold and silver medals. With the arrival of Ayinger’s Oktober Fest Märzen, the first Oktoberfest beer of the season to grace the Peaks & Pints cooler, we decided to make Ayinger our to-go flight of the day. Enjoy Peaks and Pints Pilot Program: Ayinger On the Fly.

Peaks and Pints Pilot Program: Ayinger On the Fly

Ayinger-Urweisse-TacomaAyinger Ur-Weisse

5.8% ABV, 13 IBU

A wheat beer brewed with darker malt (that means it’s been roasted longer). Think of it as a stronger hefeweizen, in both flavor and ABV. Copper in color with tiny, active bubbles and a pillowy head, there was also some haze and suspended yeast in this beer. Smelling more of nutmeg and spice than the banana of the brewery’s Bräu-Weisse, the flavor here was also sweeter. Some spice was still present, but there was only a hint of banana in the taste along with sweet notes of toffee.

Ayinger-Altbairisch-Dunkel-TacomaAyinger Altbairisch Dunkel

5% ABV, 21 IBU

Up until the Second World War, dark beer was the predominant beer type in the Munich area. The hard water found in the region played a special role in producing this specialty. One of Ayinger’s DLG gold medal winners is their dark larger, Altbairisch Dunkel. The dark lager offers easy caramel and light, grainy malts on the palate first, followed by a lovely, floral hop bite that counters the sweetness. With its paltry profile, courtesy of a light body, low alcohol, and dry, clean finish, this brew embodies the style’s approachability.

Ayinger-Celebrator-Doppelbock-TacomaAyinger Celebrator Doppelbock

6.7% ABV, 24 IBU

During Lent, as legend goes, German monks sustained themselves by sipping strong, dark lagers dubbed doppelbocks. This timeworn tale of liquid bread tends to overshadow an indisputable truth: Dopplebocks are fantastic feats of brewing engineering, no more so than Ayinger Celebrator. With accolades from the late Michael Jackson and a collection of gold medals from the World Beer Cup, this rich, toffee-rocked lager is dark, crisp, with a touch of chocolate and grape notes. While presenting a full body, it’s not cloyingly sweet and features a wonderfully creamy body and enough alcohol to warm your palate.

Ayinger-Oktober-Fest-Marzen-TacomaAyinger Oktober Fest-Märzen

5.8% ABV, 25 IBU

Sweet and grainy on the nose — think of fresh bread baked with honey and raisin — Ayinger Oktober Fest-Märzen features a touch of bitter hops and fresh straw upfront before veering into a long malty finish. However, the beer dries out nicely to avoid a sticky or cloying aftertaste. This beer pairs beautifully with our pretzel bread sticks and side of beer mustard. Gemütlichkeit is, of course, free as always.

Ayinger-Bavarian-Pils-TacomaAyinger Bavarian Pils

5.3% ABV, 32 IBU

Better known as Ayinger Bairisch Pils in Bavaria, Bavarian Pils grabbed a gold medal at the 2017 World Beer Championships for its flavor of a fruitful barley harvest, seasoned with noble hops — a brisk golden lager with snappy hop aroma and velvety-soft malt flavor.