Schwarzbier, made from roasted malt, makes it the darkest of all German lagers, with a fitting name to match its opaqueness – Schwarzbier means “black beer.”
Although Schwarzbier isn’t completely black like the name suggests, it will usually have rich copper and ruby tones. In contrast to the beer’s mahogany hues is the crown of thick creamy foam with a tanned tinge.
Despite German-style Schwarzbiers opaque appearance, Schwarzbiers are easier to drink than a dry-stout. It’s one of the lightest dark beers you can drink. Black beer is light-bodied, with often less than 5% ABV. So, you’ll have to drink a few glasses if you want to get a buzz from black beer.
With such a low ABV, the alcohol content in Schwarzbier is barely noticeable when tasting. Instead, Schwarzbier has hints of roasty bitterness, with chocolate malt flavors and coffee. As such, you may pick up malt scents, such as toast or bread. With additional delicious aromas such as caramel, nuts, and chocolate to accompany it.
Enjoy a German-Style Schwarzbier Beer
Start by pouring Schwarzbier, ideally at a temperature no less than 45 or higher than 50 Fahrenheit, into a tall and slender glass. Preferably a flute style glass, to give ample room for the beer’s foamy head to sit. This way, you can see the greatness of Schwarzbier as the pace of the bubbles trickle towards the top among the dense, dark mahogany liquid.
Food that pairs well with German-style Schwarzbier includes barbecued meat or sausages—cheese varieties such as Muster-style cheese. And fruity desserts like fruit tart or chocolate pudding.
The Origin Story German-Style Schwarzbier Beer
Schwarzbier could be one of the oldest brewed beer styles across the globe. Some of the earliest recollections of German-style beer dated back to 1390 at Braunschweig (Brunswick); this is where the Braunschweiger Mumme beer was created.
Northern Bavaria and Thuringia also crafted a beer in a similar style. The Kostritzer brewery in Thuringia began making a schwarzbier in 1534. This brewery is still active and creating schwarzbier today.
However, Schwarzbiers’ true origin is thought to have started in southeast Germany, in Kulmbach, much earlier than the dates mentioned above. According to archeological evidence, ancient Iron Age Celtic Tombs dating back to 800BC revealed beer replicating the qualities of Schwartzbier found inside the tombs.
At present, many German-based breweries today provide different varieties of black beer.
Why try a German-Style Schwarzbier?
Even if you’re not a typical dark beer lover, this craft beer type might surprise you. Unlike the typical darker, heavier stouts, new Schwarzbier drinkers will be pleasantly surprised to see how much of an easy drinker this brew is. Light-bodied and low in alcohol content, this might just become a new favorite!