Imported all the way from, essentially, the other side of the world, the 'Pure Biers' at Bavarian Bier Café comprise only four natural ingredients: malt, barley, yeast and water.
|Pure Bier flight at Bavarian Bier Café, York Street, Sydney|
While the very drinkable and relatively light-tasting Stiegl has always been my favourite at the Bavarian Bier Café , I'm impressed with the fruity and wheat-y characteristics of the Franziskaner Hefe-Weissbier Hell and its rounded finish.
Sounds a bit poncy but I definitely found it smoother than the Paulaner Premium Pils, which was drier with a crisp bitterness at the end of each gulp.
|Pretzel on a pretzel stand|
|Sauteed mushroom, speck and butter lettuce salad dressed with raspberry vinaigrette|
Digging through the forest of quite large lettuce leaves, I dug out slices of sauteed mushroom and batons of ham-like speck. This was recommended to be matched with the Franziskaner Pale though I'm not sure that beer and salad are really just strange bedfellows (unless there's soft shell crab in there somewhere).
|Beef cheeks slow-cooked in Stiegl Bier served in rich root vegetable sauce with red cabbage and sebago mash|
In a dark, rich vegetable sauce (in which parsnip particularly stood out in flavour), the flakingly soft beef cheek didn't have a huge beer flavour, but was so easy to eat with the creamy mashed potato. This was paired with Höfbräu Dunkel, a dark beer which should have made a lovely wintery match.
|Chilli and caraway Landsberger sausages char-grilled served with sauerkraut and sebago mash|
|Lamb shanks slow-cooked in Löwenbräu Bier gravy served with sebago mash and green beans|
|Lamb shanks paired with Höfbräu Original|
I deliberately left a bit of capacity for dessert, I guess, for a change and to minimise potential envy issues at the end. And of course, to try the dessert matched bier, Paulaner Salvator Doppel Bock.
The Bock Biers are only available at Bavarian Bier Cafés on tap for a limited time during Pure Bier Fest. Coming in a more than 7% alcohol content, these specialty biers are made for cooler weather drinking and ferment for about three months compared to the average three weeks for the normal biers for that stronger alcoholic, almost fortified kick.
|Home-baked apple strudel with vanilla anglaise|
|Open apple tart served with ice cream and cream|
And the Paulaner Salvator Doppel Bock? I found it had fruity undertones and an obviously stronger alcohol taste, and while not horribly jarring with the apple desserts, it had nothing on a glass of dessert wine. Despite what Bier Professor Dominic Dighton from Bavarian Hospitality Group might say, I still don't think beer goes with vanilla ice cream and apple tart - but each bier drinker to his own.
The Bavarian Bier Café's Pure Bier Fest ends on 5 June - see here for the full calender of events, including the curiously named, women's only "Flights in Tights".
Food, booze and shoes was at the Bavarian Bier Café, merrily drinking and eating, courtesy of Zing and Bavarian Hospitality Group.