Titletown Brewing Company - Dark Helmet
Int’l Bittering Units (IBUs):28
Serving Temperature:45-50º F
Suggested Glassware:Flute, Tulip, Pilsner Glass
Malts:Pilsner, Munich, Chocolate Wheat, Melanoidin, Dextrin, Special B
Hops:Hallertau Mittelfrüh, Magnum
This schwarzbier (German for “black beer”) unsurprisingly presents a super dark brown color – virtually black – capped by a robust head of medium brown foam. Schwarzbiers can run the gamut from quite mildly toasty on one end to decidedly roasty on the other, and Dark Helmet orients itself more on the robust side. On the nose, look for plenty of toasty elements conjuring impressions of scorched caramel, roasted coffee, bittersweet chocolate, and charred toast. A hint of leather pops through, as well, while hops offer up a mild touch of overlaying herbal spice and maybe a little woodiness. The roasty notes are realized nicely on the palate too, and the central malty core offers a hint of deep-down caramel sweetness as a counterpoint to the roasty character and a moderate dose of hop bitterness. Despite the big roasty-toasty notes, this lager remains light and nimble on its feet, quite easy to drink, as we expect for a schwarzbier, and weighing in at a modest, sessionable 5% ABV. For pairing options, of course Spaceballs is a must. But, seriously, it’s hard to go wrong with anything off the grill. Barbecued beef or pork ribs, smoked brisket, and charbroiled burgers sound good. Bratwurst and other German sausages with stone ground mustard are a good call, as well. Or, try a dessert pairing like coffee ice cream with a drizzle of chocolate. Cheers!
Titletown Brewing Company was founded in 1996 as the brainchild of Brent Weycker and John Gustavson, at a time well before the craft beer revolution had really taken off in the U.S. In fact, convincing Green Bay’s city leaders that a downtown brewpub was a good idea was no easy task. The founders found an ally in John Hickenlooper who advocated for Titletown’s plans, bringing a lot of legitimacy to bear as the owner of Denver’s Wynkoop Brewing Company (before becoming mayor of Denver, governor of Colorado, and a US senator), which was among the country’s largest brewpubs at the time. Ultimately, Weycker and Gustavson were successful, and Titletown opened for business in the newly renovated former Chicago & Northwestern Railway Passenger Depot, an historic fixture of the downtown Green Bay community since 1899.
Until 2013, Titletown operated as a brewpub, and a large one at that, ranking among the twenty largest in the country. Most of their beer was sold on premises at the brewpub, so to expand, a new facility was needed. Luckily, another set of historic buildings adjacent to the railway depot were available and made an excellent location for a full scale package brewery. Previously the home of Larsen Cannery, the new facility maintains many original materials including century-old window frames, fans, and light fixtures, along with the massive smokestack which serves as a landmark proudly displaying the Titletown name. The entire Titletown operation is now located in the new facility, including their Tap Room and the Roof Tap Bar which offers a rooftop view of downtown Green Bay. The brewery currently produces about a half-dozen year-round brews in addition to a number of seasonals and limited releases. For more info on this historic brewery in a historic location, visit them at www.titletownbrewing.com.
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