Friday, November 8

Homebrew IX: Dunkelweizen

Most of you locals know that the local hobby shop, Kremer's Toy and Hobby, sells Brewer's Best homebrewing kits and supplies, and they often run specials. So a while back I went in with a few extra bucks and a coupon, and decided to brew my first wheat beer -- not some lemony summer brew, either, but a dunkelweizen, a relative rarity among the imports and craft brews crowding local beer shelves. My dad likes a dunkel when he can get it, and Weihenstephaner seems the most frequently available to me (and a world-class example, apparently). Both Beer Advocate and Rate Beer describe dunkels as what I would call "swampy" beers: dark, murky, yeasty, unfiltered beers, brown in color, earthy in flavor.

This dunkel brings the fruit and the funk of wheat beers, big time. Both websites above mention banana and clove notes, but I tend to taste pear undertones in mine. It is same murky brown of the Tahquamenon River when it's swollen with runoff, with a sour yeastiness that is far more enjoyable that it sounds and serves in the place of hops to balance the sweetness of the grain. It comes off the keg with a thick, creamy head and invites sip after sip. A good fall brew that's a big change of pace for me -- hope you like it, too!

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