Upon returning to my Munich apartment after a 7 week hiatus, I realized another benefit of becoming an official Bier Sommelier in Bavaria. In my mail I found a package from the Sonnermoor brewery in Austria. I excitedly tore open the package to reveal a wooden box containing a single bottle of beer and some promotional materials. I have never heard of this brewery but was excited to conduct a taste test.
Described as a “Vollmond-Moorbier,” Sonnenmoor’s Moor Gold beer sounded very interesting. First off, a definition is required:
Vollmund = Full Moon and Moor = bog or swamp.
Hmmm, so we have a full moon, swamp beer on our hands? The label on the bottle is even more interesting. Translated, it states that through a process developed by Sonnenmoor, it is possible to prepare spring water and peat to influence the smell, taste, and color. This peat extract, which belongs to a recipe unique to Johann Stadler Raggei Bräu, is brewed with 8 different types of malt and only during a full moon, which is the basis for this beer, unique in the entire world. The sweet and spicy flavors, the characteristic color, the pleasant hops notes, and low carbon dioxide lead Moor Gold to be a drinking enjoyment of a special type. It’s further described as an unfiltered, lager, and is all natural with no preservatives and 5% alcohol.
So, let’s taste it! The color is a rich brown with a reddish hue, almost tending to burnt orange. It pours with tightly fine foam which held up for quite a long time. The first aroma reminded me of roasted caramel, but there is also a subtle hint of spicy hops in it as well. As a tasted this, I assumed it would be on the sweet side, but that was not the case. It has a smooth, satiny mouth feel which is extremely pleasant. The roasted maltiness gives way to an extremely well balanced beer, not at all sweet and not at all bitter. This is an easy to drink beer that will have you asking for more.
In a market that doesn’t offer the diversity of North America, it’s a pleasure to see a brewery trying to develop something new and unique. Given its well balanced nature, it should be well received in its home market. For those of you in North America, you may find this beer too subtle to be too interesting. But, if you get to Austria and have had your fill of the golden lagers they call Märzen, seek the Moor Gold for a change of pace!
SonnenMoor Verwaltungs- u. Vertriebs GmbH