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.