Erdinger is the largest weissbier brewery in the world. Still privately owned,
it’s based in the town of Erding, a northeast Munich suburb, and is one of the
brands probably most responsible for American impressions or introductions to
the style (unfortunately, all too often, with a lemon).
They only make weissbier, but they do so in many different styles beyond the
pale, fruity version which is most often associated with the style – and, too
often served with lemon. Their lagering facility (see photo) must be seen live to believed, as it’s spectacular…think of the Library of Congress, but with pallets of beer
instead of books being shuffled about a massive 6 story temperature controlled
warehouse by robot.
Anyway, one of their major promotions in international markets is Oktoberfest
celebrations (particularly as they’re not eligible to participate in the Munich
Oktoberfest, but that’s a longer story), which includes their position as the
main beer sponsor for Oktoberfest West Michigan in my neck of the woods. Toward
that end, they’ve created a hybrid style brew for these events, blending a
märzen and a weissbier.
This is a seasonal, of course – created primarily for international markets –
and it pours a pale cloudy orange in color, with a beautiful, tight fluffy
head. It resembles an American style summer ale, as there’s a mild estery
banana wheat character, but it is less prevalent than a “normal” weissbier.
There’s hints of citrus and it’s nicely balanced with a soft maltiness and
easy, very soft hop finish. It’s mild, of course and very sessionable…which is
a good thing, considering the event(s) for which it is intended.