Saturday, October 25, 2008

My First Smoked Beer

I first read about the German Rauchbier a year or two ago ... I think it was in one of Charlie Papazian's books. This special beer is made with a healthy dose of smoked malted barley to give it a unique flavor. Being a former resident of Florida where we spent many an early morning and afternoon sitting around the smoker waiting for pork shoulder, ribs, beef brisket and chicken to impart the magical flavors of hickory and apple wood smoke, this beer style made complete sense to me. Man, I miss southern barbecue.(photo courtesy of wikipedia)

My first rauchbier comes from the Brauerei Spezial in Bamberg, Germany, brewers since 1536 according to the Shelton Brothers website. This is very exciting and I cannot wait to try it!

(photo by Jef Loyola)

Into the glass it goes, and quickly a light foamy head appears and in a minute slides back down the sidewalls. The Spezial Rauchbier Lager is a medium brown, butterscotch color and it appears to be a tiny bit cloudy. Deep scents of smoke, chocolate and caramel fill the room. And now we taste ...

Whoa. Now that's certainly not like any other beer I've had before. There's a lot of caramel going on in there, you can taste the smokey flavor and a hint of black pepper. Man, I have to try more of these!

Okay, I know it sounds weird, smoked beer. What the hell, right? Well, I think you should give it a try. It's probably not something you're going to buy on the regular or bring in mass quantities to a backyard party, BUT, this beer style a great change of pace.

If I can find more of this, my next goal is to enjoy a rauchbier while eating some delicious barbecue. I think there's a joint in town. I'm going to have to give it a try.

Okay folks, that's it for me tonight. The Rays blew game three of the series, and well, I'm blogging off.


Overall Score of the Spezial Rauchbier: 3.5 out 5.0


  1. If you get a chance, try the Aecht Schlenkerla Rauchbier (marzen or urbock) at Stubbie's -- far smokier than the Spezial and hinting of summer sausage...oddly.

  2. O I know my other friend Matt is a huge fan of the smoked beers. I don't know about its Drinkability though. It's not as easy as drinking from a garden hose.