Kellerbier Pale Kellerbier

7C. Kellerbier: Pale Kellerbier
A very common seasonal summer beer brewed by many of the Munich area breweries and served in the beer gardens, where they are very popular.

Overall Impression:
A young, fresh Helles, so while still a malty, fully-attenuated Pils malt showcase, the hop character (aroma, flavor and bitterness) is more pronounced, and the
beer is cloudy, often with some level of diacetyl, and possibly has some green apple and/or other yeast-derived notes. As with the traditional Helles, the Keller version is still a beer intended to be drunk by the liter, so overall it should remain a light, refreshing, easy drinking golden lager.

Aroma:
Moderately-low to moderately-high spicy, floral, or herbal hop aroma. Very low to moderate diacetyl, possible very low green apple or other yeast derived notes. Pleasantly grainy-sweet, clean malt aroma, with possible low background note of DMS.

Appearance:
Slight haze to moderately cloudy, but never extremely cloudy or murky. Medium yellow to pale gold color. Creamy white head with good persistence. When served on cask, can have low carbonation and very low head.

Flavor:
Moderately malty with a rounded, grainy-sweet profile. Low to moderately-high spicy, floral, or herbal hop flavor, with a moderate hop bitterness that can linger. Finish is crisp and dry, but the aftertaste remains malty. Very low to moderate diacetyl, which should always remain at a pleasant, drinkable level that balances somewhat with the other characteristics of the beer; overwhelming diacetyl is not appropriate. Possible very low green apple or other yeast derived notes, and possible low background note of DMS.

Mouthfeel:
Medium body. Low to medium carbonation. Depending on the level of yeast in suspension, it may assist in creating a slightly creamy texture. A slight slickness on the tongue may be present from the diacetyl.

Comments:
Most Pale Kellerbiers are young, unfiltered, unpasteurized versions of Munich Helles beer, although Pils or a different, custom golden lager beer designed specifically for serving young could also be used. The best examples are served only on tap at many of the Munich area breweries. Bottled versions are not likely to have the freshness, hop character and young beer notes exhibited by the draft versions.

History:
Modern adaptation from the traditional Franconian style, using Helles instead of Märzen. Today, a popular summer seasonal beer.

Characteristic Ingredients:
Pilsner malt, German hops, German lager yeast; same as a Munich Helles.

Style Comparison:
Most commonly, a young, unfiltered and unpasteurized version of a Munich Helles, though it can be a young, unfiltered and unpasteurized version of other golden German lagers, such as a Pilsner or a seasonal golden lager made specifically for serving young.

Vital Statistics:
OG: 1.045–1.05
IBUs: 20–35
FG: 1.008–1.012
SRM: 3–7
ABV: 4.7–5.4%

Commercial Examples:
(local) Paulaner, Paulaner Brauhaus, Hofbrau, Tegernseer Tal. (bottled) Ayinger Kellerbier, Hacker-Pschorr Munchner Kellerbier Anno 1417, Hofbrau Munchner Sommer Naturtrub, Wolnzacher Hell Naturtrüb

Historical Beer Pre-Prohibition Lager

27. Historical Beer: Pre-Prohibition Lager

Overall Impression:
A clean, refreshing, but bitter pale lager, often showcasing a grainy-sweet corn flavor. All malt or rice-based versions have a crisper, more neutral character. The higher bitterness level is the largest differentiator between this style and most modern mass-market pale lagers, but the more robust flavor profile also sets it apart.

Aroma:
Low to medium grainy, corn-like or sweet maltiness may be evident (although rice-based beers are more neutral). Medium to moderately high hop aroma, with a range of character from rustic to floral to herbal/spicy; a fruity or citrusy modern hop character is inappropriate. Clean lager character. Low DMS is acceptable. May show some yeast character, as with modern American lagers; allow for a range of subtle supporting yeast notes.

Appearance:
Yellow to deep gold color. Substantial, long lasting white head. Bright clarity.

Flavor:
Medium to medium-high maltiness with a grainy flavor, and optionally a corn-like roundness and impression of sweetness. Substantial hop bitterness stands up to the malt and lingers through the dry finish. All malt and rice-based versions are often crisper, drier, and generally lack corn-like flavors. Medium to high hop flavor, with a rustic, floral, or herbal/spicy character. Medium to high hop bitterness, which should neither be overly coarse nor have a harsh aftertaste. Allow for a range of lager yeast character, as with modern American lagers, but generally fairly neutral.

Mouthfeel:
Medium body with a moderately rich, creamy mouthfeel. Smooth and well-lagered. Medium to high carbonation levels.

Comments:
The classic American Pilsner was brewed both pre-Prohibition and post-Prohibition with some differences. OGs of 1.050-1.060 would have been appropriate for pre-Prohibition beers while gravities dropped to 1.044-1.048 after Prohibition. Corresponding IBUs dropped from a pre-Prohibition level of 30-40 to 25-30 after Prohibition.

History:
A version of Pilsner brewed in the USA by immigrant German brewers who brought the process and yeast with them, but who had to adapt their recipes to work with native hops and malt. This style died out after Prohibition but was resurrected by homebrewers in the 1990s. Few commercial versions are made, so the style still remains mostly a homebrew phenomenon.

Characteristic Ingredients:
Six-row barley with 20% to 30% flaked maize (corn) or rice to dilute the excessive protein levels; modern versions may be all malt. Native American hops such as Clusters, traditional continental hops, or modern noble-type crosses are also appropriate. Modern American hops such as Cascade are inappropriate. Water with a high mineral content can lead to an unpleasant coarseness in flavor and harshness in aftertaste. A wide range of lager yeast character can be exhibited, although modern versions tend to be fairly clean.

Style Comparison:
Similar balance and bitterness as modern Czech Premium Pale Lagers, but exhibiting native American grains and hops from the era before US Prohibition. More robust, bitter, and flavorful than modern American pale lagers, and often with higher alcohol.

Vital Statistics:
OG: 1.044 – 1.060
IBUs: 25 – 40
FG: 1.010 – 1.015
SRM: 3 – 6
ABV: 4.5 – 6.0%

Commercial Examples:
Anchor California Lager, Coors Batch 19, Little Harpeth Chicken Scratch

California Common

19B. California Common

Overall Impression:
A lightly fruity beer with firm, grainy maltiness, interesting toasty and caramel flavors, and showcasing rustic, traditional American hop characteristics.

Aroma:
Typically showcases rustic, traditional American hops (often with woody, rustic or minty qualities) in moderate to high strength. Light fruitiness acceptable. Low to moderate caramel and/or toasty malt aromatics support the hops.

Appearance:
Medium amber to light copper color. Generally clear. Moderate off-white head with good retention.

Flavor:
Moderately malty with a pronounced hop bitterness. The malt character is usually toasty (not roasted) and caramelly. Low to moderately high hop flavor, usually showing rustic, traditional American hop qualities (often woody, rustic, minty). Finish fairly dry and crisp, with a lingering hop bitterness and a firm, grainy malt flavor. Light fruity esters are acceptable, but otherwise clean.

Mouthfeel:
Medium-bodied. Medium to medium-high carbonation.
Comments: This style is narrowly defined around the prototypical Anchor Steam example, although allowing other typical ingredients of the era. Northern Brewer hops are not a strict requirement for the style; modern American and New World-type hops (especially citrusy ones) are inappropriate, however.

History:
American West Coast original, brewed originally as Steam Beer in the Gold Rush era. Large shallow open fermenters (coolships) were traditionally used to compensate for the absence of refrigeration and to take advantage of the cool ambient temperatures in the San Francisco Bay area. Fermented with a lager yeast, but one that was selected to ferment relatively clean beer at warmer temperatures. Modern versions are based on Anchor Brewing re-launching the style in the 1970s.

Characteristic Ingredients:
Pale ale malt, non-citrusy hops (often Northern Brewer), small amounts of toasted malt and/or crystal malts. Lager yeast; however, some strains (often with the mention of “California” in the name) work better than others at the warmer fermentation temperatures (55 to 60 °F) typically used. Note that some German yeast strains produce inappropriate sulfury character.

Style Comparison:
Superficially similar to an American Amber Ale, but with specific choices for malt and hopping – the hop flavor/aroma is traditional (not modern) American hops, malt flavors are more toasty, the hopping is always assertive, and a warm-fermented lager yeast is used. Less attenuated, less carbonated and less fruity than Australian Sparkling ale.

Vital Statistics:
OG: 1.048 – 1.054
IBUs: 30 – 45 FG: 1.011 – 1.014
SRM: 10 – 14 ABV: 4.5 – 5.5%

Commercial Examples:
Anchor Steam, Flying Dog Old Scratch Amber Lager, Schlafly Pi Common, Steamworks Steam Engine Lager

Eisbock

9B. Eisbock
Overall Impression:
A strong, full-bodied, rich, and malty dark German lager often with a viscous quality and strong flavors. Even though flavors are concentrated, the alcohol should be smooth and warming, not burning.

Aroma:
Dominated by a balance of rich, intense malt and a definite alcohol presence. No hop aroma. May have significant malt-derived dark fruit esters. Alcohol aromas should not be harsh or solventy.

Appearance: D
eep copper to dark brown in color, often with attractive ruby highlights. Lagering should provide good clarity. Head retention may be moderate to poor. Off-white to deep ivory colored head. Pronounced legs are often evident.

Flavor:
Rich, sweet malt balanced by a significant alcohol presence. The malt can have Maillard products, toasty qualities, some caramel, and occasionally a slight chocolate flavor. No hop flavor. Hop bitterness just offsets the malt sweetness enough to avoid a cloying character. May have significant malt-derived dark fruit esters. The alcohol should be smooth, not harsh or hot, and should help the hop bitterness balance the strong malt presence. The finish should be of malt and alcohol, and can have a certain dryness from the alcohol. It should not by sticky, syrupy or cloyingly sweet. Clean lager character.

Mouthfeel:
Full to very full-bodied. Low carbonation. Significant alcohol warmth without sharp hotness. Very smooth without harsh edges from alcohol, bitterness, fusels, or other concentrated flavors.

Comments:
Extended lagering is often needed post-freezing to smooth the alcohol and enhance the malt and alcohol balance. Pronounced “ICE-bock.”
History: A traditional Kulmbach specialty brewed by freezing a doppelbock and removing the ice to concentrate the flavor and alcohol content (as well as any defects).

Characteristic Ingredients:
Same as doppelbock. Commercial eisbocks are generally concentrated anywhere from 7% to 33% (by volume).

Style Comparison:
Eisbocks are not simply stronger doppelbocks; the name refers to the process of freezing and concentrating the beer and is not a statement on alcohol; some doppelbocks are stronger than Eisbocks. Not as thick, rich, or sweet as a Wheatwine.

Vital Statistics:
OG: 1.078 – 1.120
IBUs: 25 – 35 FG: 1.020 – 1.035
SRM: 18 – 30 ABV: 9.0 – 14.0%

Commercial Examples:
Kulmbacher Eisbock

 

Doppelbock

9A. Doppelbock
Overall Impression:
A strong, rich, and very malty German lager that can have both pale and dark variants. The darker versions have more richly-developed, deeper malt flavors, while the paler versions have slightly more hops and dryness.

Aroma:
Very strong maltiness. Darker versions will have significant Maillard products and often some toasty aromas. A light caramel aroma is acceptable. Lighter versions will have a strong malt presence with some Maillard products and toasty notes. Virtually no hop aroma, although a light noble hop aroma is acceptable in pale versions. A moderately low malt-derived dark fruit character may be present (but is optional) in dark versions. A very slight chocolate-like aroma may be present in darker versions, but no roasted or burned aromatics should ever be present. Moderate alcohol aroma may be present.

Appearance:
Deep gold to dark brown in color. Darker versions often have ruby highlights. Lagering should provide good clarity. Large, creamy, persistent head (color varies with base style: white for pale versions, off-white for dark varieties). Stronger versions might have impaired head retention, and can display noticeable legs.

Flavor:
Very rich and malty. Darker versions will have significant Maillard products and often some toasty flavors. Lighter versions will have a strong malt flavor with some Maillard products and toasty notes. A very slight chocolate flavor is optional in darker versions, but should never be perceived as roasty or burnt. Clean lager character. A moderately low malt-derived dark fruit character is optional in darker versions. Invariably there will be an impression of alcoholic strength, but this should be smooth and warming rather than harsh or burning. Little to no hop flavor (more is acceptable in pale versions). Hop bitterness varies from moderate to moderately low but always allows malt to dominate the flavor. Most versions are fairly malty-sweet, but should have an impression of attenuation. The sweetness comes from low hopping, not from incomplete fermentation. Paler versions generally have a drier finish.

Mouthfeel:
Medium-full to full body. Moderate to moderately-low carbonation. Very smooth without harshness, astringency. A light alcohol warmth may be noted, but it should never burn.

Comments:
Most versions are dark colored and may display the caramelizing and Maillard products of decoction mashing, but excellent pale versions also exist. The pale versions will not have the same richness and darker malt flavors of the dark versions, and may be a bit drier, hoppier and more bitter. While most traditional examples are in the lower end of the ranges cited, the style can be considered to have no upper limit for gravity, alcohol and bitterness (thus providing a home for very strong lagers).

History:
A Bavarian specialty first brewed in Munich by the monks of St. Francis of Paula. Historical versions were less well-attenuated than modern interpretations, with consequently higher sweetness and lower alcohol levels (and hence was considered “liquid bread” by the monks). The term “doppel (double) bock” was coined by Munich consumers. Many commercial doppelbocks have names ending in “-ator,” either as a tribute to the prototypical Salvator or to take advantage of the beer’s popularity. Traditionally dark brown in color; paler examples are a more recent development.

Characteristic Ingredients:
Pils and/or Vienna malt for pale versions (with some Munich), Munich and Vienna malts for darker ones and occasionally a tiny bit of darker color malts (such as Carafa). Saazer-type hops. Clean lager yeast. Decoction mashing is traditional.

Style Comparison:
A stronger, richer, more full-bodied version of either a Dunkles Bock or a Helles Bock. Pale versions will show higher attenuation and less dark fruity character than the darker versions.

Vital Statistics:
OG: 1.072 – 1.112
IBUs: 16 – 26 FG: 1.016 – 1.024
SRM: 6 – 25 ABV: 7.0 – 10.0%

Commercial Examples:
Dark Versions -Andechser Doppelbock Dunkel, Ayinger Celebrator, Paulaner Salvator, Spaten Optimator, Tröegs Troegenator, Weihenstephaner Korbinian,; Pale Versions – Eggenberg Urbock 23º, EKU 28, Plank Bavarian Heller Doppelbock