Oktoberfest Beer Showcase | Hacker Pschorr Münchner Gold
With a rich history going back 600 years, Hacker Pschorr is truly one of the OGs of German beer. These guys were doing Reinheitsgebot almost 100 years before there WAS a Reinheitsgebot. This Munich-based brewery produces several dozen different beers, only a handful of which—including Münchner Gold—are distributed in the US.
Hacker Pschorr also recalls a bit of personal history for me, including my introduction to German beer halls. Traveling to Germany for the first time, we headed for Munich. However just getting to our hotel required an overnight flight, a four-hour drive from Frankfurt, and a maddeningly confusing drive in Munich thanks to festival-closed streets. We needed beer—bad. Thankfully the tourist map showed a little hops symbol just a few blocks away indicating a biergarten—Hacker Pschorr.
Given its prominence on the hotel’s map, we were expecting a tourist-trap. However, it turned out to be a truly authentic place, with great beer, traditional food and of course a lederhosen-clad band. When they broke into John Denver songs that prompted sing-alongs and hoisted glasses from the locals I knew we had found the real deal. Seriously, Germans love John Denver just as much as David Hasselhoff.
The Essence of Germany
Back to present day, and US territory. Widely-available bottled Münchner Gold captures some of the best of Bavarian Reinheitsgebot beers. As the style demands, it presents a light golden color with heavy carbonation. The light body matches the lightly-roasted malt flavors. Though light, the malt predominates, bringing with it cereal and cracker flavors. A hint of hops at the end drys out the finish slightly.
With the enduring lightness of the beer, Münchner Gold is the perfect beer for filling ein Maß—the traditional German one-liter mug.
Centuries of Tradition
Both the brewery and the beer have enduring, centuries-old ties to Munich. Founded in 1417 as the Hacker Brewery, the marriage of brewery worker Joseph Pschorr to the brewer’s daughter Theresia Hacker in 1793 brought about the current name.
Münchner Gold isn’t quite as old, but still goes goes back over 100 years and uses the original late-19th century recipe. Starting with spring water and Hacker-Pschorr’s ancient yeast strain, the recipe includes Marthe, Grace and Catamaran malts along with Hallertau hops.
Between the origin of the brewery, the history of the beer and the reliance on local ingredients, Münchner Gold epitomizes all that’s good in Bavarian brewing.