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THIS IS a tale of a Bavarian village and international trade. Aying is about 15 miles southeast of Munich, Germany; its population is 4652. Belying this diminutive size, it’s the home of Brauerei Ayinger, brewers of great Bavarian beers. Nearby is a wonderful hotel associated with this brewery, Brauereigasthof Hotel Aying.
I visited the hotel and sampled Aying Bräu-Weisse beer for the first time as part of BMW’s introduction of its third-generation M5 in 1998. I enjoyed the setting so much—and the car as well—that I returned on my own during one of my episodes of what I call early retirement.
The restaurant’s refined Bavarian cuisine celebrates dishes like Heissgeräucherte Entenbrust (hot smoked breast of duck) and Frische Reherl in Kräuterrahm (fresh chanterelles in herbal cream). I learned recently from its website, www.brauereigasthof-aying.de, that the hotel now offers a brewing seminar as well as a cooking school, the latter taught by senior chef Josef Rampl.
Ayinger’s Bräu-Weisse is a hefe-weizen, a beer in which significant portion of the malted barley is replaced with malted wheat (weizen). Also, the yeast (hefe) is left traditionally unfiltered giving the beer a cloudy appearance—and, to me, an especially healthy taste.
So, years later, here I am wandering through our local Bristol Farms market in southern California. And—more than 5900 miles from tiny Aying—among its choices of beers is not only Ayinger’s Bräu-Weisse but its Ur-Weisse, a dunkell weizen, and even its Celebrator Doppelbock, a special-edition double bock beer.
Let us celebrate international trade. Prost! ds