Despite the dark and heavy appearance, I prefer a pilsner glass to appreciate the light texture and clean qualities of this dark German lager.
The beers from Glendale's Sprecher Brewing Company
Style: Schwarzbeir, or dark German lager, with medium to light body and moderate maltiness. These intense, black-colored beers are actually cleaner and much lighter bodied than their appearance suggests. This beer has firm sweetness with hints of caramel and chocolate. You'll also find some dry roasted coffee tones but not a burnt taste. There's low hoppiness, and overall this is a well-balanced beer. It is closely related to, and sometimes confused with, the Munich Dunkel style. The Schwarzbeir is generally darker and drier.
Background: This is one of Randy Sprecher's long-standing brews. He first made it following a trip to Bavaria in 1969, and has offered it commercially since 1985. Its recipe showcases black patent, caramel and chocolate malts. Available year-round, it takes about eight weeks to make and is 5.8% alcohol. Black Bavarian is currently ranked as the number-one Schwarzbier on Beer Advocate.
- Aroma: A light, yet firm, chocolate malt nose.
- Appearance: Dark black color with a thick, soft, brown head.
- Texture: Medium to light bodied. Some bubbly carbonation, but overall, incredibly smooth.
- Taste: Solid maltiness, especially an assertive chocolate maltiness.
- Finish/Aftertaste: Malty, with slight dryness from the hints of roasted malt.
Glassware: Despite the dark and heavy appearance, I prefer a pilsner glass to appreciate the light texture and clean qualities of this dark German lager.
Pairs well with: The caramel and dry chocolate tones of Sprecher's Black Bavarian cry out for warm German cuisine. Pork and venison are great companions to the Schwarzbier. It blends wonderfully well with sweet-and-sour flavors, such as liver and sauerkraut. Still, although these beers do have firm flavor, they are not tough enough to withstand acidity and intense fruity dishes.
Rating: Four Bottle Openers.
(I am using a one to four bottle opener scale: Four is a great beer, distinctive, you'll have this over others; three is a beer you enjoy, reliable, close to its described style; two is problematic, lacks distinction, but worth having again; one is a beer that isn't true to its style, you would not recommend it to a friend.)
The Consensus: A- (excellent) from Beer Advocate and a 95 from