Sprecher Brewing Company - Dunkel Weizen
- ABV: 4.7%
- Int’l Bittering Units (IBUs): 14
- Serving Temperature: 45-50º F
- Suggested Glassware: Weizen Glass
- Malts: 2 Row Pale, Wheat, Caramel, Carapils, Chocolate, Black
- Hops: Cascade, Mt. Hood, Tettnanger, Chinook
What’s in a name? Dunkel means “dark” and Weizen means “wheat” in German, making this beer, literally, a dark wheat beer. Look for a deep caramel amber color with orange hues capped by a very creamy light tan head that laces masterfully along the glass. Rich caramel and dough-like notes complement aromas of clove and banana and a hint of bubble gum. As expected for the style, there are some bread-like notes and these work very nicely against the fruity esters that evoke scents of musty orange peel. Amidst the complex flavors rises the core of many a good German-style wheat beer: the yeast. In this beer, there are subtle spicy characteristics when cool, a damp musty quality and an herbal, almost minty quality—all combinations of the yeast and spicy yet subtle hopping. As the beer warms, expect the spiciness to grow. Surrounding this core are notes of oranges, caramel, Portuguese sweet bread, and an almost creamy richness. Like all good weisse beers, it finishes with what is commonly described as a “wheaty twang” which is best described as a slightly sour, mildly acidic character that helps give wheat beers (light or dark) their thirst-quenching character. The finish is rounded out by notes of caramel, gingerbread, cloves, and after-breaths of cinnamon. Try pairing with German smoked sausage. Prost!
Sprecher Brewing Company has been impressing us for quite some time now. With more than 20 different beers in their brewing portfolio, including seasonal and limited release brews, we’ve pretty much liked everything we’ve been able to get our hands on. Likely the first thing you’ll notice is that the bottles look foreign; the German name implies German origins, and with the typeface and the griffin on their logo, one definitely gets the impression of an old German brewery (an impression that will be bolstered after trying the beer!). But, a little more examination reveals “Est. Milwaukee 1985.”
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. 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!). 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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