Last week I had my first exposure to a style of beer known as smoked beer and was it ever unique! The style of beer dates back to 1405 in Germany and is achieved by drying the malted barley over a fire/ open flame. Most beers in modern times are dried in a kiln using indirect heat but by drying the barley over an open fire smokiness is then imparted into the grains which will in turn become a characteristic of the beer. Smokebeers are typically dark, aromatic, bottom fermented beers that have an average IBU of 20-30 and come in a whole range of ABV from 4-10%. The smokebeer I tried was Aecht Schlenkerla Rauchbier (LCBO# 409110) which translates to “Original Schlenkerla Smokebeer” and it still made today in the historical tavern by the same name in Bamberg, Germany. This beer is featured on a number of beer bucket lists and is the first beer that comes to mind when the style of smokebeer is mentioned. Here are six smokebeers to keep your eyes out for if you would like to try this beer style that come recommended by Food Republic.
Aecht Schlenkerla Rauchbier
Colour: Dark brown, with red/amber undertones when the light passes through, with an off-white/tan foam.
Smell: Intense smoke, beef jerky, roasted marrow, smoked sausage, leather and sweet cedar smoke.
Taste: Charcoal, smoke, smokey meats with a smoked meat-like lingering after taste. It tastes unlike anything I have ever tried before!
Suggested food pairings:
- Grilled meats: German sausages, ribs, brisket or cedar planked salmon. Would also be fabulous as part of a marinade!
- Grilled veggies: Mushrooms or asparagus.
- Aged cheddar cheese or a spicy cheese.
Have you tried this smoke beer or other smoke beers? Tell me about it/ make recommendations below! Cheers!