Wednesday, 2 December 2015

Feldschlößchen Lager

I picked up a few bottles of Feldschlößchen Lager 4.5% in ASDA at the weekend. They were retailing at just 90p each, so they seemed too good a bargain to miss.

The Feldschlößchen Brewery, based in the Coschütz district of Dresden, is described as one of the largest breweries in Saxony, and brews a wide range of different beers, so at first sight these bottles seemed a bargain. A closer inspection though revealed that this particular beer is contract brewed in France, so I have to ask why?

Well a look at the company’s website reveals a rather convoluted history for Feldschlößchen Aktiengesellschaft, which began under communist rule with the nationalisation and grouping together of three Dresden breweries - Feldschlößchen, Felsenkeller and Waldschlößchen, to form the state-owned company VEB Dresdner Brauereien. After the collapse of the communist regime and reunification in 1990 there was further reorganisation and the founding of the Sächsischen Brau-Union (SBU). In 1991 SBU commenced production of Feldschlößchen Pilsner, and production at the original FeldschlößchenBrewery on Budapester Strasse then ceased

In 1992 the Holsten-Brauerei AG acquired 100% of the Sächsische Brau-Union, and three years later SBU was renamed the "Feldschlößchen Aktiengesellschaft Dresden". In 2004 Carlsberg A/S, of Denmark acquired the majority of shares of the Holsten Brauerei AG. Feldschlößchen thus became part of the Carlsberg Group Deutschland.  In 2011 November the Feldschlößchen Brewery found itself back in German hands when the Danish Carlsberg Group sold the brewery to a medium-sized brewery group, which already owned the Frankfurter (Oder) Brauhaus and the French brewery, Brasserie Champigneulles.

So now you know a bit more about this eastern German giant, and why they are brewing some of their beers in France.

As for the beer itself; well it’s pale, refreshing, reasonably well hopped and quite dry tasting. It’s not exactly spectacular, but then what do you expect for 90p? With the first bottle I thought I detected a hint of diacetyl, with is tell-tale butterscotch flavour lurking in the background. It wasn’t really noticeable in the second bottle, but its presence would suggest that maturation (lagering) of the beer may have not been quite as long as it should. By the way, this particular beer is not listed on the company’s website; indicating it may well be a budget-priced brand produced especially for supermarkets. Still at 90p a throw, you can’t really grumble!
I am tempted to stock up on a few more, if there’s any left, just so to have some bottles of easy-drinking quaffing lager to hand, over the Christmas period. They will also be a good contrast to all the really heavy stuff I brought back form Belgium with me!


The Maltese Penguin said...

Interesting, thanks. I'd rejected it on "fake German" grounds, may reconsider. With Lidl and I think Aldi also having beers previously made in Germany now produced in France I have wondered a: why? and b: just how much lager is being churned out in France just now?

Rob said...

I had this in for last Christmas from Asda and I am sure it was not produced in France then, It was not bad but I tnink I was mostly excited by the price.

JohnnyFox said...

Feldschlosschen is Swiss - I've been round their HQ brewery near Basel - so how did they acquire and retain a subsidiary through the communist era in the DDR when all industry was nationalised?

neilcaff said...

The regimes in Eastern Europe had were quite diverse in terms of the involvement of the private sector and of western capital. On one end of the spectrum you had Albania which was similar to North Korea in a lot of ways. There you had almost total autarky controlled by the state. At the other end you had Yugoslavia where a lot of enterprises were workers cooperatives with a fair bit of investment from the West. East Germany was closer to the Yugoslav end of the spectrum than the Albanian. Investment by Western multinationals was known to happen from the 70's onwards.