Thursday, 29 April 2010

Schwaben Bräu Das Schwarze

Due to popular demand (yeah, that means you, Russ), and the fact I did say I'd come back to this, I suppose I'd better pop up some notes on a beer that used to be my regular tipple every time I visited the local dive bar* in my wife's home town: Schwaben Bräu Das Schwarze. Beautiful looking, isn't it? But how does it taste?

 The label tells us to expect it to be "Vollwürzig und hopfenherb zugleich", so spicy and hoppy-bitter at the same time, I guess.

It looks pitch-black in the glass, but it's actually a fairly clear ruby-red/brown. That light beige head has little staying power, and the aroma is hard to capture, what little there is suggesting a light roast and a touch of floral hops. The flavour is quite grainy, with a malty sweetness just like wort. It has toffee notes, too, on top of a gentle roastiness and a hint of cherry fruitiness at the back. The hops are there, as promised on the label, and they do in fact give a pleasant herbal spiciness to counter the malt-juice effect.

So, sweet and juicy going down, followed by a drying, slightly peppery bitterness and a toasted finish. Another one that won't blow you away, but it's certainly a nice one to have a few of on a night. I think I still like it.

*When I say dive bar, it is nowhere near the epically bad shitholes I visited last year. This is more like the kind of bars I drank in in my late teens/early 20s. Rock/metal music, and according to my wife, pretty much the same people have been propping up the tables for 20 years or more. What I liked about it on my first visit, in addition to the music and crowd, was the fact these long-haired louts (as I was then) were playing chess and cards in the pub. So, a civilised dive bar. Das Schwarze and Rothaus Pils were what I usually drank there, unless someone was trying to get me drunk on whisky, but that's not a story for this blog.


Russ said...

Well now I have to leave SOME kind of comment or I look like a jerk! Reading that definitely made me thirsty for a nice Schwarz (something that's still relatively hard to find in the States, though it's getting better). Guess I'll just have to brew one myself!

Barry M said...


I think it's actually hard to find a *good* schwarzbier here too, or at least an actual black one :D

stonesean said...

As an American serviceman who lived in Germany for 6 out of the last 14 years, I have wandered across your blog in a vain search for Stuttgart beer in the USA.

Funny stuff, I have a favorite "civilized dive" myself back in the Vaterland.

I'll be wandering through your blog the next few weeks....

Barry Masterson said...

You've just given me a good reason to seek out some more regional beers and post them up :) Can you get Stuttgarter Hoffbräu stuff over there? Trying to think which ones might export :/ Good luck with the search!