Minnesota Prairie Roots

Writing and photography by Audrey Kletscher Helbling

Cheers to Hermann the German and his bier November 23, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — Audrey Kletscher Helbling @ 10:11 AM

When the Hermann Monument was dedicated 112 years ago in New Ulm, August Schell Brewing Company celebrated the occasion with a special beer, Hermann's Brau. This year the brewery brought the beer back.

A close-up image of the beer label, Hermann the German charging into battle on his white horse.

“IM HIMMEL gibt’s kein Bier. Drum trinken wir es hier.”

Any good German worth his or her sauerkraut knows that “In heaven there is no beer. That’s why we drink it here.”

So, good German that I am, I had a beer Saturday evening.

But not just any bier.

I drank Hermann’s Brau, a limited-edition beer from Minnesota’s undeniably most German city, New Ulm. August Schell Brewing Company brewed Hermann’s Brau to commemorate the 2000th anniversary of the Battle of Teutoburg Forest in September. Hermann, a German warrior, led that battle and is honored in New Ulm with a towering statue atop a hill.

Since that anniversary celebration, two bottles of this coveted beer have been chilling in my friend Lois’ refrigerator. Lois picked the brew up per my request, to “get me some of that beer when you’re in New Ulm.” But finding Hermann’s Brau took a bit of effort. Lois searched two locations before nabbing two bottles of the precious $3-per-bottle commodity.

Schells produced only 200 cases of the beer. I’m uncertain how many bottles that equals because, well, these bottles hold 22 ounces of beer, enough to fill more than one stein.

So, on Saturday night, Lois and I shared Hermann’s Brau with our husbands, the two Randys.

We complimented our beer with a German meal of brats, potatoes, sauerkraut, pickled beets and warm applesauce. And even though I had not made German potato salad, Lois’ Randy tells me the pre-appetizer apple/potato/cheese/apple cider soup tastes a bit like German potato salad. It does.

As for Hermann’s Brau, we conclude: “This is good.” We’re just occasional beer drinkers, not beer experts.

I send Lois home with her empty beer bottles, even though her Randy questions, “Why do you want to keep those?”

“You won’t be saying that when these bottles are someday worth $1,000,” I laugh, as I toss the bottle caps into a cardboard box with the empty bottles. “I suppose they would be worth more filled with beer.”

Yeah, well, cheers!

A statue of Hermann the German towers above the trees in New Ulm.

For more information about Hermann the German, click here: http://hermannmonument.com. Also check out http://schellsbrewery.com and http://newulm.com. Be sure to read my September 15 post, “What about this Hermann the German in New Ulm?”

© Copyright 2009 Audrey Kletscher Helbling