05 May 2011

Smokey the Beer(s)

Notes of two smoked beers in the Baltimore environs tonight and forwards.

First, at Metropolitan tonight:
This week we have a mouthful for you.  The cask for this week's Firkin Thursday is an oak-clad gravity keg of Aecht Schlenkerla Fastenbier from Bamberg, Germany.  Fastenbier ("Beer for Lent") is a 5.5% seasonal rauchbier ("smoked beer") that is reddish brown, unfiltered and naturally hazy.  Lightly smoked and malty.
Schlenkerla's "rauchbiers" have long been the standard against which almost any other smoked beers are judged; their Marzen has often been called "bacon beer" by those new to the concept or not used to a heavy dose of smoked Bamberg malt that is the signature of this brewery's well-known beers.

If that doesn't work for you, there's another option: Unibroue, the large Belgian-styled Quebecois brewery, has re-introduced its Raftman, an amber-red ale brewed with whisky-smoked malt.  It was available briefly in the U.S. market back in the mid-to late 1990s, but was later withdrawn.  It's now back, at least for the time being, so new that even Unibroue's website alleges that it's still only available in Canada; you may find it on draft or in bottles at the "usual suspects" for the best beers out there.

Hmmmm.  Maybe this should be paired up with Alewife's epic Smoke Burger..............

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