Christian Moerlein Brewing Company - Emancipator Doppel Bock
- ABV: 7.5%
- Int’l Bittering Units (IBUs): 27
- Serving Temperature: 48-53°F
- Suggested Glassware: Pint Glass, Mug or Stein
- Malts: 2-Row, Munich Light, Crystal 120, Chocolate, Munich Dark
- Hops: Hersbrucker
Prohibition, aka “The Noble Experiment,” lasted 13 painful years from 1920-1933. The impact of this alcohol drought is still felt to this day and is a major contributor to the fact that mass-market beers in the US are the bland mess they are today. Simply put, Prohibition sucked. Which is why its repeal is something to be celebrated. The brewers at Christian Moerlein have celebrated big by creating a German-style doppelbock using five different types of malted barley to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the repeal of Prohibition in Ohio. Emancipator is a traditional offering, greeting the nose with bready, malty goodness. Look for notes of dark fruits like prunes and raisins, and a waft of rum. We get notes of toffee, caramel and coffee as well. On the palate, expect a big, chewy beer presenting impressions of figs, plums, raisins, salt and peat, with currants, a slight almond nut character and slight alcohol warmth. There are some slight burnt malt notes in the finish, perfectly appropriate for the style due to the extensive caramelization of the malts in the kettle as the beer is brewed. Malt-focused and sweet for sure, this doppelbock is balanced by a hefty herbal hop content that keeps the malts from becoming cloying. Overall, great balance in such a hefty style. Prosit!
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 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 few years we might add. For more information about the Christian Moerlein Brewing Company and the new ‘Moerlein Lager House’ restaurant and brewery that opened in Riverfront Park in early 2012, check out www.christianmoerlein.com.
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