Christian Moerlein Brewing Company - Barbarossa Double Dark Lager

Christian Moerlein Brewing Company - Barbarossa Double Dark Lager

Beer Club featured in U.S. Microbrewed Beer Club


United States

Alcohol by Volume:


Christian Moerlein Brewing Company - Barbarossa Double Dark Lager

  • ABV:

  • Int’l Bittering Units (IBUs):

  • Serving Temperature:

    47-52° F
  • Suggested Glassware:

    Mug, Stein or Pint Glass
  • Malts:

    2-Row Pale, Light Munich, Dark Munich, Chocolate, Black
  • Hops:

    Galena, Saaz
According to our sources, this was the first beer brewed by Christian Moerlein back in 1853. While the label mentions “Double Dark,” it’s really only double dark if you’re thinking Natty Light, not if you’re expecting something like a doppelbock. On the nose, look for notes of toasted crackers and fresh bread dough, with a bit of coffee and supporting hints of fig-like fruit and a touch of rum. We found the palate presented a more caramelly and chocolaty character than the aroma suggested, with some dark fruits akin to raisin, plum, and fig. Finishing quite dry with some lingering hints of apple skins and apple cider, this is a nice American version of a German style beer, riding the line between a Munich-style dunkel and a bock. The brewery recommends pairing with a dark chocolate soufflé and we think that’s a great idea. Cheers!
There’s a rich brewing tradition in and around Cincinnati, OH. In fact, at its peak Cincinnati was home to at least 36 operational breweries, with many not surprisingly located in the German “Over-the-Rhine” area. One of the individuals who was key to establishing the city as a brewing hub was Christian Moerlein, a blacksmith and apprentice brewer from Bavaria who came to America in 1841 and settled in Cincinnati a year later. In 1853 he founded the Christian Moerlein (pronounced like “more-line”) Brewery, which grew to become the most well-known in the city and was ranked among the top ten nationally. Moerlein’s beer was sold across the U.S., and, quite remarkably for the era, internationally as well – which made them unique among Cincinnati’s breweries. Though the brewery carried on after Christian Moerlein’s passing in 1897, Prohibition in 1920 caused the brewery to close its doors. Luckily, though, our story continues. Hudepohl, another of Cincinnati’s famous German-brewed beer companies (dating back to 1885), brought the Christian Moerlein brand back from extinction and reintroduced their beer as a high-end offering in 1981. This put the Moerlein brand on the forefront of the U.S. beer renaissance which was just beginning to take shape. Eventually, however, the Hudepohl Brewing Company fell on hard times and was purchased by the Snyder International Brewing Group who kept the Moerlein brand going, although just barely. Production of these Ohio-centric beers shifted to Maryland until 2004, when Cincinnati area resident and beer business veteran Greg Hardman bought the Moerlein name and beer recipes in order to rebuild the brand back home in Cincinnati – which he has done with great success in the past few years we might add. For more information about the Christian Moerlein Brewing Company and the new ‘Moerlein Lager House’ restaurant and brewery coming to Riverfront Park in 2012, check out
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