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A brewery as established as Weihenstephaner is no friend to the neophile beer drinker. I certainly don't associate it with a stream of new releases and special editions. But here were two I hadn't seen before, picked up in DrinkStore.

1516 Kellerbier first, pouring orange coloured and very hazy, looking a lot like a weissbier, but with a looser head. The aroma is enticing and offers just what I would expect from a kellerbier: crisp crackers and an air of lemon. The flavour is richer than anticipated, being malt forward with notes of fruitcake and malt loaf. The hops are muted, bringing a grassy bite to the finish but not much other flavour. This is fine but unexciting, beginning to turn a little worty and cloying by the end. I was in need of hops next.

Step forward Weihenstephaner Pils. The pure limpid golden colour is outstanding and the aroma is just as pure: fresh damp grass in spades. Its Bavarian origins are more apparent on tasting: although it has the herbal sharpness German pilsner does so well, this is no severe northern example. There's a softness at its heart, a rounded and fluffy quality which makes it feel a little like a helles even though the hop kick is unmistakably pilsner. You need to be quick if you want to study that hop-malt interplay as the finish arrives quickly; the big flavours suddenly silenced. This is a magnificent beer, one where I made sure the review was done before the halfway mark so I could settle into the second half, because that's how it really needs to be enjoyed, with another on standby for afterwards.

It must be odd for a brewery as technically proficient as Weihenstephaner to try and create lab-perfect kellerbier, a style where random roughness is part of the spec. Maybe that incompatibility of approaches is why theirs didn't turn out great. Much more the brewery's milieu is a pilsner you can set your goddamn watch by.