|Look for it!|
Now Rauchbiers have been around for quite some time, since the mid 1500’s in fact, and trace their origins to the town of Bamberg and the district of Franconia. This style is normally mid to dark brown to ruby red, looking much like a Marzan or Oktoberfest styles we are more use to. What sets these beers apart is that the raw (green) malts are dried over open fire pits of (normally) beech wood. This imparts a very unique “smokiness”, hence the name “Rauchbier” (rauch is German for smoke). This is the way all malts were roasted prior to the advent of kilns drying and roasting came into place.
A few tips I would offer you if/when you get your hands on one of these gems. First, don’t drink this one right out of the bottle; get a proper glass to drink it out of, in fact, an large bulb wine glass would work perfectly (I’ll be writing more about proper glassware at a later date). One of the most defining features of this beer is its aroma, and you won’t get to experience most of that drinking it right out of the glass. Second, open the bottle, pour it in the glass, and let it sit for a few minutes. This beer is at its best at about 50 degrees.