The Fürstenberg Brewery is certainly not a household name here in the UK, but in it’s native Germany it is highly respected. Indeed, they’ve been in the brewing game since 1283 – that’s over 700 years of brewing experience! The brewery was originally owned by the counts of Fürstenberg who were given various rights to brew beer by King Rudolf von Habsburg I. These rights also gave them the ability to issue brewing rights, regulate tapping licenses and even levy taxes and duty on it. However, the brewery remained relatively small until 1739, when the then current von Fürstenberg count (now elevated to prince) Joseph Wilhelm Ernst moved his seat of power, and demand for their beers increased. This demand initiated the construction of the new Fürstenberg Brewery, in the location it still operates in today.
Not only were Fürstenberg Brewery one of the earliest known breweries in Germany, but they also released one of the first non-alcoholic beers in their home country. Fürstenberg Frei was launched in 1988 and was a 0.5% ABV pilsner lager. It was brewed in the traditional way, with the alcohol being removed later on in the process, probably either via distillation or reverse osmosis. However, the brewery has gone one step further now and also removed that remaining 0.5% alcohol from their brew, replacing Frei with Fürstenberg Pilsener 0.0%. Has the brewery been more aggressive in their alcohol reduction process, and if this is so, has the taste suffered as a result?
Pouring out from the bottle we get a clear golden coloured liquid with some visible carbonation bubbles. A good firm head fluffs up and sticks around for at least some of the session. On the nose we get grains and malt, with a touch of straw. There’s also a slight whiff of metallic carbonic acid in the background.
On tasting we get some very slight sweetness from the pilsner malt, but then the beer descends into bitterness, with a harsh metallic taste building up. As this is going on the aggressive carbonation fizzes on your tongue too much, unpleasantly so in my experience. The finish is dry.
After reading the background of this brewery I was looking forward to trying Fürstenberg Pilsener 0.0% but the drinking experience was not great for me. Too much carbolic acid present means it brings back ghosts of the non-alcoholic beers of old to me. I wonder what the original 0.5% ABV Fürstenberg Frei was like…
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The best place to buy Fürstenberg Pilsener 0.0% is online from one of the following drinks shops:
|Nutritional Information (per 100ml, taken from the side of the bottle)|
|Water, Barley Malt, Hops, Hop Extract|
Fürstenberg Pilsener Alcohol-Free Lager Review
Harsh bitter metallic tastes really put me off this one. The von Fürstenbergs must be spinning in their graves.