Christian Moerlein Brewing Company - Friend of an Irishman
- ABV: 4.5%
- Int’l Bittering Units (IBUs): 38
- Serving Temperature: 45-50° F
- Suggested Glassware: Pint Glass or Mug
- Malts: 2 Row Pale, Chocolate, Roasted Barley, Wheat
- Hops: Galena
The era of the original Christian Moerlein Brewery was one of European immigration to the major cities of the United States. Cincinnati became the foreign home for waves of German and Irish immigrants. The two groups overcame cultural differences, and may have banded together to some extent in response to the temperance movement—the precursor to Prohibition—which vilified the Germans and the Irish for their alleged heavy drinking. Their friendship and alliance are celebrated by this beer, which is an example of an Irish-style dry stout. Traditionally modest in alcohol content, dry stout suffers from the misconception that it is an overly intoxicating, heavy beer. Quite the contrary, the style tends to offer up fewer calories than most far-paler Belgian-style ales or amber IPAs, for example, mainly due to the fact that it has far less alcohol. On the nose, expect notes of roasted coffee beans and a just a hint of chocolate. Flavorwise, this is a coffee-driven malt profile—all coming from the use of highly kilned malts. The feel is moderately light and even crisp in the mouth, right in line with the style. Roasty notes and lightly astringent bitterness linger in the coffee and faint chocolate notes in the finish. A highly drinkable domestic Irish-style Dry Stout. Sláinte!
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-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 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 www.christianmoerlein.com.
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