Ayinger Brewery, Aying, Germany
$8.99/ four-pack or $3.49/16.9-ounce bottles at metro beverage stores; also on draft at select beer bars.
Profile: The holidays are when breweries bring out their big, dark seasonal beers. But by the time January rolls around, I’m ready for something lighter and more sparkling to toast the New Year. Ayinger Bräu-Weisse is a classic German-style wheat beer with the bright effervescence of brut champagne. The traditional Bavarian yeast strain gives it a voluminous head and a flavorful tart complexity with notes of lemon and spice and a soft mouth feel. Recently, several metro beer bars and restaurants (including Leon’s, The Porter, Summits and Taco Mac) have featured Bräu-Weisse on draft. Poured into a tall weisse glass, its one of the most elegant, food-friendly beers imaginable.
Pair with: Ayinger recommends pairing Bräu-Weisse with weisswurst (veal sausage), pretzels and Dusseldorf mustard, vegetable pate, crab Louis, and sand dabs. It’s perfect for brunch, with sausage and eggs. And it makes a wonderful aperitif.
Bob Townsend is editor of Southern Brew News, a bimonthly beer publication distributed throughout the Southeast