Monday, May 11, 2009

Blast from the past

I was surprised to see a bottle of Furstenberg lager on the shelf of my local Tesco. This is one of those beers from the murky past of Ireland's licensed trade, much like Oranjeboom lager. Very occasionally I see a very old and weather beaten sign for one of these beers hanging from the much neglected façade of a dirty Dublin pub. The beer has not been available on tap in these pubs for the best part of 20 years, but the signs persist. This could be put down to the lazy and complacent nature of the average Irish publican who sees no need to refurbish their establishment or get rid of advertising for beer that no longer exists. No doubt the signs were put up for free by whomever was pushing these beers and the publican sure as hell isn't going to pay to have them taken down.

If you haven't spotted one of these signs, there can be no doubt that you have spied an ancient pint glass with Furstenberg emblazoned across it. There is one of these in every Irish household (strictly, in the family home, in a cupboard that your mother can't reach to the back of) or, for some strange reason they are also found in large abundance in charity shops . I am fascinated to see these glasses and signs because they suggest a time in Ireland when half decent German lager was pouring from the taps of pubs that now only stock the most mundane macro swill. As for the beer itself, it is harmless but well crafted, with a typical slightly sweet malt nose and satisfying fullness. It is nothing special at all, but I wish it was an option in the average Irish pub.

9 comments:

Adeptus said...

I have (or maybe had, I might have given it to TheBeerNut) a Fürstenberg Seidel that I got at a promotion of the stuff in some bar on O'Connell Street in the very early 90's. I don't think I've had it since!

The Beer Nut said...

Yep, I had one of those steins too. However it's Adeptus's which appears in my post next week about Fürstenberg which says basically everything that's already in this post.

Mostly it feels really good to have a few posts done in advance, but sometimes it doesn't...

Thom said...

Mostly I blog on the fly, but I know what you mean about having a few in reserve. Sorry to beat you to it, but it really struck a chord with me when I saw the label.

John said...

Is this current incarnation of Furstenburg brewed in Germany and imported to the UK (and on to Ireland) by Tesco? I recall it was once brewed in 'James Gate under licence.

The Beer Nut said...

Not sure if it's Tesco themselves who are doing the importing, but it is coming from Germany. I think the Irish version may have been brewed at Great Northern, as Warsteiner is today, but I couldn't be sure.

Adeptus said...

Might be interesting to try a blind tasting of Irish vs. German Warsteiner or Fürstenburg.

Adeptus said...

Oh, apart from the fact Fürsty isn't made there any more.

Oh, my Captcha text is Kindyl, like the Berliner Weisse :D

Oblivious said...

God its is a blast from the past! The first time Furstenberg was available the country was in another economic mess to, strange

Anonymous said...

Furstenberg is back on sale in Ireland due to a company called Fourcorners. Its imported directly from Germany for sale here. Its in most Tesco stores and some off licences.