Saturday, 27 June 2009

Salvator Beer

Having obsessions is great fun. If you're a blogger. You never run out of things to write about. I hadn't mentioned Salvator for far too long. Perhaps a week or two. Time to revisit it.

The following is a potted history of Salvator taken from the rather odd magazine "Pure Products", published in New York.

"Salvator Beer.

The most celebrated beer specialty of Munich, which enjoys great popularity not only in the place of origin but also throughout the world, is the Salvator beer brewed at the Salvatorbiere brewery of the A.-G. Paulanerbrau.

As the origin of the name, "Salvator," and the history of the brewery which brews this beer are very interesting they deserve a little notice.

In 1651 the Paulist friars, for whom the Elector Maximillian of Bavaria had built a cloister near Munich in 1623, received from the Elector Ferdinand Maria permission to erect a brewery near the cloister and to brew beer for their own use. Later on they were given permission to sell their product during the feast of the Holy Father (Franz von Paula, April 2). This feast lasted 8 days; the populace of Munich used to go out to the cloister and drink the brew specially prepared for the occasion. This special beer was called '' Holy Father beer " or " Sankt Vaterbier,'' and was highly celebrated on account of its strength and fine flavor; the name "Sanakt Vaterbier" was later corrupted in popular speech to '' Salvatorbiere.'' It was customary for the Electoral Court to attend the feast, which in time came to be a national holiday. After the celebration of the feast in the church the brew was tapped and the first draught presented to the Elector; this custom survived down to recent times and even now the first draught of Salvator beer is sent to the Court.

When the cloisters were secularized in 1799, the Paulist cloister was discontinued; the brewery was taken over and operated by the State. The brewery, which was in a building separate from the cloister (which was first used as a field hospital and later as a penitentiary) was granted in 1803 to the Order of St. John, by which it was operated for a while. Later the brewer Zacherl leased and afterward acquired it by purchase; he also obtained the right to brew the Salvator beer and to sell it for a higher price than ordinary beer.

In the thirties of the last century Salvator beer was sold throughout Germany and exported to foreign countries, and was the first Bavarian beer to enter international commerce.

In 1849 the brewery was sold to the brothers Schmederer, and in 1886 became the property of a stock company. Of the old cloister brewery but little remains now, as the present brewery is thoroughly modern and up to date. It is interesting to note that Zacherl, who recently died, was the first to boil worts with steam.

The difference in composition between Salvator beer and the ordinary dark Bavarian beer consists chiefly in the more concentrated original wort (about 19 per cent.).. It is a low fermented beer, containing unfermented sugar and other carbohydrates; for this reason it has a sweeter taste. The ordinary Bavarian dark high kilned malts are used in its preparation; the process used at the Paulaner brewery is kept secret and other brewers find it difficult to produce beer of similar character. The trade in Salvator beer lasts only a few days, and forms but a small part of the business of the Paulaner Company.

During the feast of the Holy Father the chief place where Salvator beer is consumed is the so-called Salvatorkeller on the Nockerberg. On one day in 1906 18,000 persons visited the Salvatorkeller and consumed 19,200 liters of the beverage; on one day in 1908 the attendance was 7000 and 12,000 liters were consumed."
"Pure products" published by The Scientific Station for Pure Products, 1909, pages 326-327.

As an extra bonus, here's a selection of Munich Bocks from the last 150 years:

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