German beer of, oh, the past month or so

7 December 2009

So I’ve also been bad at updating this feature, but that’s been partly due to the case of Dom Kölsch I’ve been working through since the beginning of November (good news, I won’t have to go on a serious Kölsch bender the day before I leave, so long as I average two beers every three days the rest of my stay).

I did want to get to this one, though, because it’s the first thing I’m making when (someday) I have a lagering setup. Now, imagine a beer with the malt profile of a really good stout, but without all of the stout downsides (mostly the sense that someone just served you a bread smoothie). Add in the light hop flavor and yeast characteristics of a Pilsner (because it uses a similar variety of hops and comes from roughly the same region)

I give you schwarzbier:

Yes, that’s a lager, with a good thick head and a body so dark that you could watch solar eclipses through it (amazingly, it has a pretty significant refractive value). I had two of these when my mom and I were at the hotel bar her last evening in Germany, and picked up another when I got back to Bonn for the picture. It’s a characteristic style from Saxony, in Eastern Germany (one of the reasons it hasn’t really hit the import scene), but I get the sense that it’s really starting to be picked up a lot of places over here (Köstritzer is probably the biggest brewer, of maybe a half dozen that get some distribution).

Now, doing a little bit of research, I did discover that Sam Adams Black Lager (which I do like) is supposed to be a schwarzbier, but that doesn’t even come close on body. I’m not kidding about the stout thing.

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