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The Blog of King of Prussia Beer Outlet

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Side by Side: Veltins Grevensteiner & home-brewed Kellerbier

By: Jack Horzempa
(Originally posted on Beer Advocate)

Firstly, let me give a ‘shout out’ to Maria (@utopiajane) for ‘reminding’ me that it has been a while since I conducted a side-by-side tasting.

Permit me to start off the discussion with a story.
A few weeks ago I attended a German beer festival at The German Society of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia. One of the breweries providing beer was Veltins and a brewer from the Veltins Brewery was even in attendance pouring their beers. One of the beers he poured was Veltins Grevensteiner and I enjoyed that sample beer! I took a business card from the importer Sales Rep (the importer is Artisanal Imports) with the goal of inquiring where I can buy this beer. Flash forward a couple of weeks and via e-mail I came to learn that my local Retail Beer Distributor (walking distance from my house) recently received one case. Well, I went over and bought a 4-pack (16 ounce cans).

Veltins Grevensteiner description: 

There is an interesting story on the back of the can: the 19th century, the brothers Carl and Anton Veltins brewed an exquisite beer in their brewery in Grevenstein; a beer which gained popularity far beyond the borders of their homeland.

With Grevensteiner, Brauerei C. & A. Veltins has now continued the story where the brothers left off. Our naturally cloudy Grevensteiner Original is a smooth rural-style beer, brewed using spring water and freshly harvested hops. Traditional malt gives out beer its amber-colored aroma. Brewed in accordance with the German Purity law.”

Yup, lots of marketing-speak in that verbiage but I like it nonetheless.

On the Veltins website there is a wealth of information on this beer. Below is some of that information for those of you who like ‘gory’ details (I like ‘gory’ details):


Type: tradtional kellerbeer

Colour: dark orange/amber

Smell: caramel malt with fresh fruit

Taste: malt sweetness with light, roasted flavours

Foam: silky and smooth

Bitterness: full-bodied

Original gravity: 12,5°P

Alcohol content: 5,2 vol. %

Calorific value: 45 kcal/100 ml or 187 kj/100 ml”


“Grevensteiner Original taste

The beer presents itself in a palely amber colour with orange reflections and a mellow soft head. The complex flavour is firstly dominated by caramel with a slight undertone of honey, roasted almonds, and fresh fruity flavours that bring tastes of green apple to mind. Grevensteiner Original appears very crisp and elegant despite its round and malty-sweet body. A smooth toasty character paired with nutty flavours opens a distinctive finale, which unfolds impressions of butterscotch.

Dr. Wolfgang Stempfl

Beer sommelier”

But wait, there is more!! I made mention in the beginning of two beers. It has been quite some times since I discussed a side-by-side tasting in NBS so I figured: why not today.

The second beer is my home-brewed Amber Kellerbier. This is my first attempt at home-brewing an Amber Kellerbier; I based my recipe on creating a sort of Mahrs Ungespundet Hefetrüb. I will not use the term “clone” here since I made no genuine effort to specifically clone this Mahrs beer. It is more appropriate to say this home-brewed beer was ‘inspired’ by Mahrs Ungespundet Hefetrüb.

I am not skilled at writing marketing-speak so I will let my below tasting impressions do the ‘speaking’ here. One comment I will make is that this beer is very fresh; only three weeks from bottling day.

Served in my Spiegelau Lager glasses:
Veltins Grevensteiner: Amber colored with a slight haze; BIG white head.

Jack’s Kellerbier: Lighter amber colored with a slight haze; BIG white head accompanied with excellent head retention.


Veltins Grevensteiner: Bready/toasty malt aroma but a bit of caramel as well.

Jack’s Kellerbier: Enticing aroma; a pleasant combination of bready malt and herbal/spicy hop aroma.


Veltins Grevensteiner: Flavor follows the nose with bready/toasty malt flavors and some caramel. Moderate-low bitterness.

Jack’s Kellerbier: Flavor follows the nose with a mix of bready malt flavors and herbal/spicy hop flavor. Moderate bitterness.


Veltins Grevensteiner: Moderate carbonation with a smooth medium body; an off-dry finish.

Jack’s Kellerbier: Same.


Veltins Grevensteiner: This beer features malt aroma/flavor. I enjoyed drinking it. It has the quality that Germans would describe as süffig (drinkable). I will be buying this beer again.

Jack’s Kellerbier: A very tasty mix of bready malt and herbal/spicy hop flavors. Very well balanced between the malt and hop flavors. I will definitely be brewing this beer again!!


P.S. For those looking for a Winter of Pilsner discussion: Last evening I had a draft pint of Ayinger Premium-Pils (my first time drinking this beer). It had a sweet Pilsner Malt aroma/flavor with a bit of noble hop character. It was a pleasant beer but not something I will go out of my way to drink a second glass/bottle of this beer.

Jack Horzempa is a longtime friend of the store and an extremely knowledgeable home brewer, brewing some of the best beer I have ever tasted. Jack's palate is well seasoned and he has been a valuable source of beer expertise to the store. He has graciously allowed us to re-post his review/posts from Beer Advocate where he has achieved Poo-bah status. Since joining Beer Advocate 12 yrs ago, Jack has posted more than 20,000 times and earned over 25,000 likes.

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