Wednesday, 28 May 2014

Nostalgic Brews

As soon as summer breezes in over the green poppy-lined fields, there's something inside us that gets all nostalgic for the tastes of our childhood. Retro-style sweet shops seem to be dibdabbing up all over the UK and here in Germany, Aldi even has a retro-style own brand offering conserves like Oma used to make as well as flying saucers, sweetie watches and other tooth-rotters from yesteryear.

But it's on the drinks front that most of the action is. In the UK, asking for a ginger beer used to be a case of "do you mean Ginger Ale?" It's now something of a science, with a number of brands on offer, some of them offering alcoholic variants as well as quaint sounding alternatives such as Rose Lemonade and Dandelion & Burdock. Yes, Fentimans - I mean you!

And in Germany, there's another species of drinks that are being pushed, I would guess as the breweries' defence against Bionade. This lot are known as Fassbrause and you can see them up there in all their glory. As far as I understand it, Fassbrause is a sort of brewed lemonade, using malt extract as well as various fruits and herbs that you find knocking about in Wald and hedgerow - typical flavours include Holunder, which is Elder, and rhubarb.

There's a lot of "artisan/Handwerk" chat in the communication as well as "no nasties" - although some of these products are based on alcohol-free beer so are not entirely child-friendly. Krombacher and Veltins are prominent brands, as is Malvit from Bitburger.

Fassbrause was purportedly invented in Berlin in 1908, but I have to say that Fentimans got there first - they date from 1905.

I was wondering if there is an element of rose-lemonade-tinted specs about all this, though. Thinking about it, I didn't spend those long lost summers of childhood drinking Dandelion & Burdock. My memory takes me back to Cresta, Corona, R.Whites and Tizer - a dentist's nightmare if ever there was one!


Barbara Fisher said...

Tizer! How could I forget? We were literally weaned on the stuff! My brother would drink nothing else. Another of my favourites was warm milk, straight from the cows. We knew all the cows by name back then. My favourite was Daisy, named after my grandma Daisy. That didn’t seem odd when I was a little girl, but I’m not so sure now! Can you imagine the outcry if we all started drinking unpasteurised milk now, but I promise you nothing tastes as good.

Sue said...

I don't think I have ever had cow-fresh milk. Given that I spent my very early years in Aden where goats wandered the streets, maybe it's as well that I never wanted anything straight from the horse's mouth as it were!