Schwarzbier. Black beer sure sounds good and while not really a Bavarian style, it has become a bit more popular in the last few years and there are a few old standbyes which can compete with the best. An ancient style from Thuringen and Saxony in the Middle Ages, these ales resembled stouts from their use or roasted malts.  As with most ales from Germany’s past, they turned into lagers and are the darkest of them. They are full-bodied and around 5%. They have a roasty palate though are not always particularly hoppy. One of my very first was the once seminal Mönchof Schwarzbier, a dry roasty treat.

the black beauties of Franconia

Klosterbräu Schwärzla from Bamberg is one of the longest running in Franconia and remains one of the best. Forchheim has the beloved Neder Schwarze Anna, a favorite at the Annafest. Town rival brewery Greif now has Greifla to compete and it’s good. Dremel Schwarzes was good the one time I had it, but I’m not sure if it was a one-off. My favorite is Weiherer Schwärzla, which uses some fair hopping along with the creamiest texture of the lot.

Next up Starkbier or back to Beer Styles.

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