Smoke beers, sometimes called smoked beers, or ‘rauchbier’, are lagers that are brewed with the additional exciting element of malted barley to give them a nice, warming style. Speaking of warming, that barley has something special about it; it has been dried over an open flame, giving the beer a rich and smoky base. The level of this smokiness will vary from beer to beer, but this is the unique element of the smoke beer and why, if smoky beers are your thing, you’ll love this style.
Origins of the Smoke Beer Style
This is an old beer-making recipe that harkens back to the 16th century or so in Germany. Pretty much the only way that malt barley could be successfully dried was over a fire, so there were no options. If you wanted dry malt barley and you wanted to use that malt barley in a beer, it was going to be smoked, even if you hadn’t intended it.
Enjoy a Smoke Beer
A smoke beer is a hearty kind of drink that you can definitely feel in your nose, mouth, and throat as you drink it. It’s a deep and juicy kind of lager that is quite different from the lighter versions that we might be more used to today. However, just as with other lagers, it can be the ideal accompaniment to a barbecue or any kind of well-flavored meat. Drinkable all year round, the smoke beer really does come into its own during the summer.
Why Try a Smoke Beer?
Smoke beer is something people either love or hate with no in-between. Polarizing as it might be, if you do enjoy it, there are plenty of options to try. What’s even better is that smoke beer is usually made in small batches, so there will always be something new to taste.