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Canned Weissbier: 600 Years in the Making

For the first time in their 603-year history, Hacker Pschorr Weissbier is in cans. Not just any cans, but 16.9 oz cans. So 0.9 oz more than standard American pint can.

While several local breweries make German-style wheat beers, none of them contain the protected geographical indication seal of Bavarian beer, found only in Germany. As any self-described beer lover can tell you; there is something entirely different about Bavarian Weissbier in good condition than wheat beer found anywhere else in the world.

Hacker Pschorr has been available State-side for some time now. Thanks to the Library of Congress’ Chronicling America, we know that Hacker Pschorr, then sold as Pschorr, was imported into Virginia as early as 1909, though possibly earlier. That year an ad in the Times-Dispatch of Richmond touted its “flavors and qualities.” 

A 1909 advertisment for imported Pschorr beer in the Richmond, Virginia Times-Dispatch. It does not mention weissbier.
A 1909 advertisement for imported Pschorr beer in the Richmond, Virginia Times-Dispatch

Weissbier for the masses

We are now seeing smarter and more strategic moves thanks to importers like B. United, which is canning European imports domestically; it makes sense that others would follow suit. Steve Hauser, CEO of Paulaner USA, the U.S. importer of Hacker-Pschorr said “Hacker Pschorr Weissebier has long been a favorite of German families that settled here in the U.S. and have helped shape our country. Our cans will not only give these traditional consumers greater opportunities to enjoy a bit of their heritage, these cans will open a whole new set of occasions for younger, craft beer-loving consumers.”

We haven’t had any Live Oak or Urban Chestnut so far this year, so this is the best wheat beer we’ve had in 2020. Perhaps it’s the higher level of carbonation, or the yeast in suspension imparting wonderfully rich fruity flavor, or maybe simply the idea that a German wheat beer is an import, which has the upper hand on so many American examples.

All these things crossed our minds. Hacker Pschorr’s Weissbier is both light with a spritzy effervescence and yet significantly substantive from both the wheat and the 5.5% alcohol by volume. The German wheat lends to a palate fullness the way homemade pasta is both tastier and fuller than the noodles from a box; yet simultaneously make me fuller but also make me want to eat more.

Today, January 24, is National Beer Can Day, so I wanted to share this tidbit of good news with you. For a chance at a classic Bavarian wheat beer, seek out Hacker Pschorr’s. To find it Pschorr in our area, consult their finder. Obviously call ahead before traveling to purchase. 

Your move, Ayinger. 

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