Christian Moerlein Brewing Company - Barbarossa

Christian Moerlein Brewing Company - Barbarossa

Beer Club featured in U.S. & International Variety Beer Club U.S. Microbrewed Beer Club


Munich-style Dunkel


United States

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Alcohol by Volume:


Christian Moerlein Brewing Company - Barbarossa

  • ABV:

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  • Serving Temperature:

    47-52º F
  • Suggested Glassware:

    Mug, Stein or Pint Glass
  • Malts:

    Pilsner, Munich, Dark Munich
  • Hops:

    Hersbrucker, German Magnum

Pouring a dark, ruddy brown color with a well-retained head of tan foam, this Munich-style dunkel looks quite inviting in the glass. On the nose, look for notes of toasted crackers and fresh bread dough, caramel with some brown sugar-like tones, a bit of coffee, and supporting hints of fig-like fruit and a touch of rum. We found the palate presented a more caramelly, chocolaty, and roasty 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, this is a nice American version of a German dunkel lager with some bock-like character as well. 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” district. One of the individuals who were 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 Moerlein 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-founded 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 which 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 several years we might add. For more information about the Christian Moerlein Brewing Company and their ‘Moerlein Lager House’ restaurant and brewery that opened in Riverfront Park in early 2012, check out

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