Sprecher Brewing Company - Black Bavarian
- ABV: 6.0%
- Bottle Size: 12-oz
- Int’l Bittering Units (IBUs): 35
- Serving Temperature: 47-55º F
- Suggested Glassware: Pilsner Glass or Mug
- Malts: Pilsen, Caramel 20L, Caramel 60L, Black, Chocolate
- Hops: Mt. Hood, Cascade, Chinook, Tettnanger
Sprecher’s Black Bavarian is brewed in the German Schwarzbier (“Black Beer”) style, and is one of the more robust and hearty versions we’ve seen of this lager style. On the pour, expect a very, very dark brown color with reddish flashes and a fluffy head. In the aroma department, notes of brown bread and chocolate come to the fore, with some nice toasty notes and an impression of moderate sweetness. We also were intrigued by a certain subtle underlying dimension reminiscent of red grape skins and prunes. In the mouth, Black Bavarian offers up a deeply toasty malt profile. Black patent malts provide some char-like notes that refrain from becoming too bitter and remain well-integrated into the overall flavor tapestry along with dark chocolate, scorched caramel, and smoke. We also noticed some flashes of dark, plum-like fruitiness that peak through the big roasty notes on the mid-palate. Hop bitterness is moderate to firm, and the body is a satisfying medium-full. This boldly-crafted schwarzbier gets our nod with any good cut of steak cooked over charcoal. Prost!
Randal (Randy) Sprecher, a former Pabst Brewing Company brewing supervisor, founded Sprecher Brewing Company in Milwaukee, WI in 1985 with an emphasis on German-style beers – an emphasis which continues to this day with beer styles such as Maibock, Oktoberfest (Märzen), Hefeweizen, Schwarzbier, and more. After about a decade, the company had grown to the point where they needed a larger facility, and in 1994 the brewery was moved to its current location a few miles to the north in Glendale, WI. The new, bigger brewery offered the company the room to keep growing, and they have established themselves as significant contributors to the city of Milwaukee’s impressive brewing tradition, which reaches far beyond the presence of the current mega-brewery that’s based in the city. In the late 19th century, Milwaukee boasted over 80 breweries until Prohibition led to the demise of most of them in 1919. Nevertheless, the city can be spoken of historically as a craft brewing haven, and the success of the Sprecher beers there in recent years shows that the enthusiasm for great beer is still alive and well.
If you’re ever in the Milwaukee area, check out the Sprecher brewery and buy as many brews as you can bring home with you. You might need an extra suitcase, though, because in addition to their multitude of excellent German-style brews they also make a number of excellent ales such as Irish-style Stout, English-style Brown Ale, Belgian-style Tripel, IPA, and more. For more information about the brewery and scheduled tours, visit their website at www.sprecherbrewery.com or call them at 414-964-2739.
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