I have a special place in my heart, and stomach, for German beers. It could be from my love of sausages, or my affinity for polka, or maybe I should look no further than my last name. Whatever the reason, I find myself time and time again at a German pub with a boot of beer in hand, sharing a night of drunken revelry with a group of close friends. The toughest part of all this is the fact that very few local brewers dabble in my favorite German style–dunkel weizen.
Summit Brewing Company to the rescue! The 9th installment of their Unchained Series, Summit Dunkel Weizen is the creation of brewer Eric Blomquist, who was “inspired by a memorable brew [he] enjoyed while on his honeymoon in Bavaria.” Often American versions of hefeweizen, dunkel weizen’s lighter cousin, come off clunky and lack the subtle touches that true German hefeweizens exhibit, so when I first picked up a six-pack of Summit’s dunkel weizen I was a little skeptical. All of my apprehensions disappear, though, after I poured it into my pint glass.
The nose was full of banana and toffee. The color was chestnut-brown and cloudy with a thin layer of head. The mouthfeel was smooth all the way through and the banana tasted subtler than it smelled, lingering pleasantly on the palette. In short, it was a great interpretation on the authentic German style. But there was something else that was beneath all the layers of flavor that escaped me at first taste and then I figured it out–the spirit of a homebrew. You could taste Eric’s individual creativity in it as though he brewed hundreds of batches in his kitchen. A true inspiration to a German beer-loving, homebrewer like myself. Prost!
Best Enjoyed: While brewing a batch of homebrew.
Best Paired With: Bratwursts and other sausages.
Where to Find: Only in Minnesota, sorry Wisconsinites.