Munich Landing

MUNICH. Sally and I hit Munich yesterday afternoon and somehow found ourselves inside the cathedral. (No matter what town we visit, we seem to gravitate toward the spires.) Then to Augustiner for some food and beer.

Although Augustiner is a huge Munich institution, I've never had their beer. As always, I started with the dunkel, Sally the helles. We get so few of either in our parts that I never want to miss the opportunity. Generally speaking, these are beers marked by characteristic yeastiness. Not in the exotic sense, but as Sally said, "this is exactly what a brewery smells like." (Breweries, full of fermenting beer, are scented with raw yeast.) The helles (called Hell) is a bit mild on the hops side, but the yeast is sharp and tangy and the beer tasted a bit like kolsch. The dunkel is inspired. Frothy and creamy but light- bodied and very crisp, it has a richly nutty malt flavor but is far from heavy. My best dunkel thus far. The pils was rich and lightly hopped (with a pils, you want a bit of zip). After a liter, I'm usually ready to call the session quits, so we strolled around the city snacking on a digestif of roasted chestnuts.

I will say I'm getting tired of the cuisine (keeping in mind that I eat nearly every meal at a brauerei or pub). Intensely meaty dishes with very little in the way of green vegetables. I doubt anyone was supposed to live on these meals every day--my kingdom for a caesar salad.

I'm actually a day behind on blogging because of a wi-fi blunder. Weiheinstephan and Ayinger today, with reports tomorrow. Here's a couple from Augustiner.