Wednesday, 28 May 2014
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!