Above in Dundrum, Deveney's have a four-for-a-tenner deal on Flensburger at the moment. The 50cl brown swingtop is highly prized by the home brewer, so I picked up a few packs of Flensburger Pilsener, reckoning it'd do as the house curry lager for a while. But as always: before the vindaloo, the review.
It's bitter stuff, and not in a nice way. Seriously astringent with a sort of damp and musty flavour when cold. As it warms I get herbal waxy honey notes which render it a bit more drinkable, though not quite enough to make it enjoyable.
Still, never fear, the chillis are here, and their heat will make the nasty pils go away. Oh! Except they don't. What traces of clean lager malt were here get swept away by the curry leaving just the off flavours. Not even a Konkan vindaloo can kill this bad boy.
Sitting hard on the Baltic coast not far from the North Sea, I'll bet Flensburg is a pretty harsh place to live. If I'm right, their dour pils certainly captures the essence of the town.
With steadfast effort and lots of hot curry, I managed to get through all of my stash of pils, and next time I was in Deveney's I figured I may as well try the Weizen. This was much better. There's none of your fancy-free soft and buxom alpine wheatbeer flavours here, however. While the banana fruitiness is definitely present, its high spirits are tempered by a scowling dry, almost sulphurous, character that makes for a balanced and incredibly drinkable beer. The notion of a crisp weissbier sounds all wrong but it really works, in an uncomplicated spartan sort of way. I think this might be a much better match for my curry this weekend.