Celebrator is probably the granddaddy of all the German dopplebocks, at least
in terms of U.S. awareness, and it’s one of the most awarded – winning early
and often at the World Beer Championships, including Platinums in 2005 &
Celebrator is also certainly the most famous dopplebock on these shores and its
bottle, with the little plastic billy goat hanging around the neck, is easily
recognizable to any beer geek.
Ayinger Brauerei is also relatively well known, winning “Top Ten Breweries
in the World” awards at the WBC in 1994-97. Although it falls about 25 km
outside the city of Munich, so is not considered part of the “Big Six,” it is
as well regarded as any of the others (even if it doesn’t qualify to be served at Oktoberfest).
Celebrator pours a deep brown color with a nice, fluffy tan head. The foam disappears
quickly, but the nose is caramel and sweet, with loads of candied molasses on
the aroma. Sweet and silky on the palate, with a touch of alcohol, the brown
sugar maltiness is lightly balanced with a soft hoppy finish and a lingering
Having tasted this beer often over the years, it was always HUGE back in the
day. It still holds up well compared to the big craft beers out there now, but
it’s definitely not as overwhelming as it used to seem.
This is still a quality beer. My bottle was probably at least a year old, but
stored under good conditions and held up well.
From a personal perspective, March is one of my favorite times in Bavaria,
because all the Starkbier is on the market and many of them are excellent.
Celebrator is no exception.