Augustus Weizen Doppelbock

Review Date 10/29/2019   By John Staradumsky/

So there I was in Helen, Georgia. I was there for Oktoberfest, and I am not afraid to admit I was feeling a bit of the effects of the previous day’s celebrations. It was all draft beer that day as we wandered about downtown and then headed to the Festhalle for music and (of course) more beer. Today we would head home, but not before a stop at the Alpine Brew Package Store. I’d been coming here as long as I’ve been coming to Helen this time of year, and with good reason. They have an excellent selection of German brews.

They sure did today. I browsed the shelves and found a wide assortment of brews, and snapped up a few bottles of Aecht Schlenkerla Eiche Rauchbier and Ayinger Weizenbock. The real prize came when I put these down at the register and spied a cold case with even more German beer. A six-pack of Augustiner Maximator quickly joined my half-liter bottles by the register; it’s probably my very favorite beer in all the world. But what was this next to it?

It was, of course, a six-pack of Augustus Weizen Doppelbock from Brauhaus Riegele. Riegele, of Augsburg, Germany has been around since 1386 and is highly regarded indeed, but the closest I had ever come to their beer was Sierra Nevada Oktoberfest in 2015. This was the first of Sierra Nevada’s annual collaborations with German brewers. The fact they chose Riegele to kick off the series is telling on the brewery’s quality. So, a six-pack of Augustus joined my other brews.

Riegele says on their website:

As the “Emperor” of the Weizenbocks, Augustus achieves strength and character through its own unique yeast strain which is combined in a two-mash brewing process with Pilsner malt, wheat malt, and Munich malt. The result: a gold medal winning, robust yet smooth, wheat beer that has established an international following.

Augustus Weizen Doppelbock has an alcohol content of 8% by volume. My two six-packs and three bottles came to $47 with tax; the clerk (he could have been the owner) looked at me apologetically and pointed to the Augustus: “That’s the expensive one”. I hadn’t even looked at the price, but that prompted me to do so: $17.99. High for six beers, but not six world class beers.

Augustus Weizen Doppelbock by Brauhaus Riegele pours to a murky reddish orange hue with a thick fluffy head and black cherry and wheat in the nose. Wait what? Black cherry?  Most assuredly, German beers are not known for their fruitiness, so I did a double take on that. Still, it’s not as if they do not warn you. The label clearly calls this beer out as “Fruchtig & Stark” (fruity and strong).

A sip revealed a crackery wheat palate, toasted almonds, more of the cherry, banana, phenols, yeasty funk, warming alcohol and tart wheat in the finish.

Simply incredible! Augustus Weizen Doppelbock is complex and delicious, and not at all what you expect going in. It rivals the legendary Aventinus Weizenbock as one of the greatest examples of the style, if you ask me. Which you apparently did, or you wouldn’t be reading this.

And remember, try a new beer today, and drink outside the box.

*Pricing data accurate at time of review or latest update. For reference only, based on actual price paid by reviewer.

(B)=Bottled, Canned