Germany’s Best Kept Secret: the Weizenbock

Germany. The Promise Land of Beerdom. Where busty blondes sashay from long oaken table to long oaken table wielding beer by the liter and meat by the leg. While the Oktoberfest (Marzen) style might come to mind first to most beer drinkers when daydreaming about that glorious autumnal celebration, Germany actually has a vast array of beer styles and classic brauhaus’ that serve them each up everyday. One such style is the Weizenbock. 

For those students of the Germanic language (or avid beer drinkers), you know that any beer with “weizen” in it has wheat in the malt. I won’t bore you with the science of it all, but having wheat in the malt accomplishes a few things: 1. Thicker, fluffier, and stickier head 2. A cloudy appearance and 3. Slightly grainier and heftier mouthfeel. 

German beers typically fall into three families: weizens, bocks, and light lagers. Most drinkers are very familiar with the common German hefeweizen ale. This is the most common wheat beer style that is light on the palate and pale in color, and because of yeast contributions, finishes crisp, tasting of banana, clove, and fresh bread. Another common weizen style is the dunkelweizen, called so because of a slightly darker (“dunkel”) malt bill and the same weizen yeast. This yields a more developed malt flavor with pronounced toasted bread, caramel, and even pumpernickel bread like flavor that is then complemented by the same banana and clove yeast flavor. 

In contrast, Bocks are a family of dark lagers (remember, in the world of beer, lagers and ales are the two distinct overarching families. Lagers are cold fermented with a yeast that works from the bottom of the barrel and cold aged (“lagered”) for conditioning; ales are warm fermented with a different strain of yeast that works from the top of the barrel down and requires very little aging.). Bocks and Maibock/Helles Bocks start out at a sessionable 5-7% ABV and then progress to doppelbocks (double-bocks) and eisbocks (ice-bock) which can range from 10% to as high as 50+% ABV. Bocks are malt driven beers with very little hop flavor and a very sweet and rich malt finish. 

Long ago, in 16th Germany, the king passed a law called the Reheinsgebot, or Bavarian Beer Purity Law. This effectively ceased the production of any beer whose ingredients were anything other than barley, hops, and water (yeast was added to this law centuries later once scientists discovered what it was and how necessary it is for beer production). The only exception to this law was for Bavarian princes, who had grown fond of weizen beer, to continue production of wheat beer. Centuries passed, and in the early 20th century, the famous Schneider Weisse Brewery created the Weizenbock to revive weizen beers, which had fallen out of fashion after the invention of the Pilsner style beer in the mid 19th century. Schneider Weisse named their first Weizenbock “Aventinus” after a famous Bavarian philosopher from the 15th century. Ever since, the Schneider Weisse Aventinus, affectionately known as Tap 6 at the brewery itself, continues to be a best seller world wide, though many beer drinkers do not recognize it as a separate style from a typical hefeweizen. 

What separates the Weizenbock from its hefe-kin, is its malt character. Combining the ale yeast and wheat base of a weizen with the dark, melanoidin rich flavors of plenty heavily cooked barley malt of a doppelbock, the Weizenbock brings a vast array of flavors that includes pumpernickel bread, raisin, caramel, cherry, plum, vanilla, clove, banana, and even bubblegum. A great example of the style, like the ones below, are sure to dazzle and maybe even confuse your taste buds!

Beers to Try

Schneider Weisse Aventinus Tap 6

Perfectly embodying the style, this Weizenbock packs a wallop of raisin, pumpernickel, and dark sugar, with notes of banana and clove. A pervasive aroma of uncooked dough rounds out this terrific beer. 

Weihenstephaner Vitus

Paler in color and lighter the dark bock like flavors than most other Weizenbocks, but still bringing the clove and banana yeast character. Very drinkable. 

Great Lakes Glockenspiel

Strong clove, weak banana, with a hint of lemon. Very bready with a hint of sourdough. Without a doubt a great selection!

New Glarus Thumbprint

Hazy, dark, and rich with both dark fruit and citrus notes. A spicy clove and nutmeg character complements the 9.6% ABV mammoth. 

Foods to Pair

Because Weizenbocks display such a diverse range of flavors, the food pairing options are tremendous! Try a hearty Weizenbock with your favorite bratwurst, braised prime rib with au jus, or Indian Biryani. Or, pair one with pasta filata, or stretched cheese, like mozzarella, provolone, or paneer. For dessert, try with that fruitcake that’s still left over from Christmas! 


American Royalty: The Imperial IPA


In an American beer culture that is remarkably similar to an episode of the Sopranos, where being bigger, meaner, and packing a harder punch than the next guy is the ultimate goal, the Imperial India Pale Ale has become the golden standard of American brewing. Over the last 20 years or so, American brewers have fought tooth and nail to craft an Imperial IPA that out-hops all other offerings to capture the fancy of the growing troop of “Hop-heads”, or those beer nuts who chase after the most tongue-blisteringly hoppy beers known to man. However, while the Imperial IPA might be as American as beer gets, many beer lovers don’t know that the IPA is actually British in origin, and dates back colonial era England.

After England settled in North America, they turned their attention to the East–India in particular. After many wars and imperialistic ventures by the Crown, the British colony in India was settled. For those of you who know any British folks, you know that they are creatures of habit, to say the least. Tea time is sacred, every meal consists of some combination of meat, potatoes, and gravy, and ale is meant to be consumed in large and frequent quantities. (Because of this, most of the ales in the UK are between 2-4% ABV) In order to satisfy the creature comforts of those well-to-do Brits who resided in India, British brewers were called upon to create a beer that could sustain the six month journey from England, south through the Equator, around the Horn of Africa, north into the Indian Ocean, and finally into India. Because most beer is meant to be consumed fresh (not aged like a whiskey or wine) and requires cooler temperatures to condition, this arduous and sweltering trip from England to India left the traditional ales of Britain spoiled and unpalatable. To solve this problem, British brewers starting adding a tremendous amount of hops to their pale ales with the theory that preservative chemicals naturally occurring in hops would slowly degrade over the course of the journey, so that by the time the beer arrived on Indian soil, it was roughly the same as the fresh-out-of-the-cask ale the Brits were used to at home. Hence, the title “India Pale Ale.” Soon, however, the IPA caught on in Britain, in its un-degraded state. Thus, the hop-head was born and the IPA started to become a more mainstream style of beer.

Flash forward about 300 years to present day America. We all know that the “Anything You Can Do, I Can Do Better” mantra is pretty much genetically coded into the American psyche. So, with his in mind and a plethora of uniquely American grown hops at their disposal, American brewers gravitated towards the IPA and have taken it to all new heights of hoppiness in pursuit of beer stardom. By adding more and different combinations of hops, and even genetically synthesizing new strains to achieve new flavors, American brewers have created one of the most distinctly American styles of beer on the market.

When considering whether to try an Imperial IPA (side note: “Imperial” in beer means double or extra, signifying a stronger version of the original style, a history I will tell in another article) or not, first ask yourself what sort of flavor profile of beer you enjoy. Do you like your beer bitter, balanced, or malty/sweet? Do you like more citrus/pine/earthy/floral or more bready/caramel/toasty aromas and flavors? If you answered bitter and citrus/pine/earthy/floral, then you may be a hop head. If not, not to worry, beer is something that should be enjoyed, not suffered through. If you’re interested in trying an Imperial IPA, give one of the selections below a try!

Beers to Try

The Alchemist Heady Topper

Without question one of the best DIPAs I’ve ever had. Very balanced and very flavorful with huge notes of citrus and biscuit balancing each other. Medium finish and drinkable body makes for an incredibly well made beer. Oh yeah, and it doesn’t hurt that it is rated the #1 beer in the world on…

Stone Brewing Ruination IPA

A great IPA that is nicely balanced, exhibiting great biscuit malt character that then succumbs to the piney and citrus hop flavor and gripping bitterness as any good IPA should. A great addition to any IPA oriented pick six.

Weyerbacher Brewing Company Double Simcoe IPA

Delicious and filling, a great addition to any Imperial IPA pick six. Only draw back would be the alcohol note on the finish, as some 9.0% abv imperial IPAs are able to keep all the flavor and strength but dodge the alcohol note. However, overall it is very good and exhibits one of the most flavorful hops out there.

Great Divide Brewing Company Oak Aged IPA

The oak aging balances the bitterness and really brings out the toasted bread malt flavors and piney hop character. We’ll worth a try!

Oskar Blues Gubna

Very citrusy but with strong underlying malt character and big, full body. Pour it from the can into a glass and enjoy!

Foods Pairing:
When considering what food to pair with any beer, always consider the bitterness-to-sweetness ratio and overall strength, intensity of flavor, and complexity. Imperial IPAs are the most bitter of all beers, very strong (typically 7-12% ABV), very intensely flavored but generally not as complex in flavor as other beers. Because of this, Imperial IPAs pair well with very rich, decadent desserts with fruity flavors, such as fruit cheesecake because the bitterness of the IPA balancing out the sweetness of the cake. Also, if you want to kick up the heat of your spicy chicken wings or pizza, the hops in the Imperial IPA will intensify the heat of any spicy food. Overall though, I tend to find that Imperial IPAs are best enjoyed by themselves, so I can enjoy the nuances of the hop flavor and, well, because Imperial IPAs just don’t play nice and don’t like to share the spotlight (cue the Sopranos theme music…)

Beer History’s Forgotten MVP: Porter


Now that fall is starting to wane and winter is coming on fast, it’s the perfect time of year for what I like to call a “transitional beer.” By this I mean a beer that complements two seasons decently, but complements the transition between the two seasons perfectly. For the end of fall/early winter, I find the best choice to be a good, sturdy porter.

Porter is an often forgotten beer style that bridges the gap between brown ales and stouts by embracing the nutty, caramel, molasses character of brown ales as well as the roasty flavors of a stout. If this isn’t enough to ignite your taste buds, then perhaps the history of the style will!

The porter originated in England during the 18th century. Prior to that time, publicans would brew and serve three generic types of beer: fresh beer, aged beer, and strong beer. Most pub-goers would prefer a mix of the three to balance out the flavor and strength (much like present day blended whiskies). One, most likely idealized, account of the origin of porter claims that publicans created one beer that embraced the flavors of all three because they were tired of having to mix the different strains. However, more likely, brewers experimented with the traditional brown beer by adding more hops and aging longer to create the style now known as porter. Whichever the case, the new dark brown, medium strength concoction became immediately popular with the working class of England in the 18th century. As a result, the beer was dubbed “porter” after the English word for the working class handy-man.

Porters remained the top selling beer in the United Kingdom throughout the 18th century, even spreading in popularity to the American colonies. A couple fun facts: many accounts claim the George Washington’s favorite style of beer was porter! In Ireland, Arthur Guinness began brewing what he called a “stout porter”, or porter of considerably more strength and roasty character in the late 1770s. This “stout porter” would eventually drop the name “porter” to embody a new style—the stout.

By the mid 19th century, however, porters were waning in popularity due to the invention of more precise ways to cook the malt. This resulted in the creation of “pale malt”, the building block of the two most popular beer styles in the world to this day: pale ale and pilsner. By the mid-20th century, because of war time taxes, rationing, and overall changing tastes, the porter style was almost in extinction. It took old fashioned brewers in the US like Yuengling, as well as up and coming micro breweries, to reinvigorate the old English style. Today, porters still struggle with popularity behind brown ales and stouts. But if you are looking for a happy medium between the two that complements food better than either, look no further than the porter. For some great suggestions of porters to try, read on below!

Beers to Try
1. Smuttynose Brewing Company’s Robust Porter
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A great porter, embodying the robust style by bringing a more developed malt character with fig, nuts, and molasses flavors to complement the roastiness.

2. Founders Brewing Company’s Porter
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A definite winner. I highly suggest this porter to anyone looking for a great session porter with all the flavor you want.

3. Scuttlebutt Brewing Company’s Porter
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Not bad overall, nothing revolutionary but definitely a solid choice. Roasty and medium bodied.

4. Anchor Brewing Company’s Porter
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A really, really great porter from a brewery that doesn’t get the credit it deserves. A delicious mix of nutty, dark fruity, and roasty characters that drinks malty but not mouth coatingly-so. Highly recommended.

5. Highland Brewing’s Oatmeal Porter
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A great mix of roasty, fruity, and bold flavors that finishes smooth and crisp. A great late fall quaff that can be either sipped or gulped.

6. Samuel Smith’s The Famous Taddy Porter
A nice English porter that brings great roasty flavor, sweet malty finish, but a smooth and medium bodied swig.

7. Fuller’s London Porter
Probably the best porter in the world. Straight out of London, this porter exhibits roasty, chocolatey, and nutty flavors with a perfect balance and bold flavor and aroma.

Beer and Food Pairing
The beauty of the porter is its ability complement almost any type of hearty meal, without overpowering it. Try one with grilled, seared, or barbequed meats, hearty casseroles or stews, spicy chili, or even Mexican food! One great pairing I have personally enjoyed is a Chicken Mole Negro dish with the Fuller’s London Porter. Don’t believe me? Try it and see!

The Eggnog of the Fall: Pumpkin Ales


Mid October has come, and even though pumpkin ales have been available in the market since late August, I finally feel that it is time to switch beer-gears from sharp and hoppy to malty and full-bodied. Thus, pumpkin ales are the perfect seasonal treat to embrace the Halloween and Thanksgiving season.
Pumpkin ales are somewhat of a new kid on the block in the beer world but have exploded in popularity in recent years, leading to an almost flooding of the market of ales cleverly named after pumpkins, Halloween, or the Headless Horseman and Ichabod Crane. So how are you supposed to know which ones are great and which are not worth your time? Or which ones are as rich as Grandma’s pumpkin pie and which are actually sessionable? Read on to see my picks for the best pumpkin ales on the market this fall!

Southern Tier’s Pumking

Boldly flavored and definitely not lacking in the flavor department! Strong pumpkin pie flavor with a lot of sweetness reminiscent of whipped cream topping. Great nutmeg and cinnamon spice flavor. Slight hop bitterness on the finish brings it all together. Very much a dessert beer, the sweetness can definitely become cloying. However, I still highly suggest this beer!

New Holland Ichabod Ale
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Quite possibly the most balanced of the pumpkin ales in terms of real malty beer flavor balanced with pumpkin spice flavor. Very pleasant and easy to drink despite full body and slightly chewy mouthfeel. A great pumpkin ale overall. Another fantastic beer from New Holland!

Devil’s Backbone Ichabod Crandall
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A good pumpkin ale that has a little lighter bodied than others in the style, but also a little less flavor. Good for sessioning, but only because it is not overpowering or particularly alcoholic. This is definitely a pumpkin beer that you could drink several of without exhausting your palate.

Weyerbacher Imperial Pumpkin Ale
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Definitely one of my favorite pumpkin ales. Like drinking pumpkin bread, with strong pumpkin and spice flavor and a balanced and thick mouthfeel. Absolutely stunning.

Dogfish Head Punkin Ale
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One of my favorite fall pumpkin ales because it balances pumpkin and spice flavors with real beer and malt flavors. Sometimes pumpkin ales are overdone and overwhelming to the palate with sweetness and dessert like flavors. I like this one because it is one you can definitely drink a full six pack of and not completely fatigue your palate.

Hardywood Park Farmhouse Pumpkin
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Great balance between real pumpkin flavor and Belgian yeast character. The spice notes of nutmeg and cinnamon blend perfectly with the spicy Belgian yeast notes. Overall very drinkable and delicious!

Beer and Food Pairing
Many of these pumpkin ales, particularly the stronger ones, would overpower a meal and thus would need to be consumed either with dessert or by themselves (as dessert!). Vanilla ice cream, creme brule, or a rich pecan or pumpkin pie would make suitable companions to the strongest pumpkin ales listed here. The more drinkable pumpkin ales would complement any Thanksgiving like meal of poultry, stuffing, potatoes, gravy, and vegetables.

Bridging the Gap Between Summer Ales and Oktoberfest: Vienna Lager

Autum colours in the mountains.
While summery weather closed its tab early this year, fall has stumbled its way into the bar ready to keep the party going. For me, times such as these are always a little awkward in terms of beer selection. Summer seasonals like kölsch, saisons, and IPAs just don’t suit the cooling weather, but fall seasonals like pumpkin ales, Oktoberfest/Marzen, and brown ales are just a little out of place when I’m still wearing shorts and flip flops. That’s why at this particular part of the year, my go-to beer is the Vienna Lager.

Vienna Lagers have an interesting history. Invented in 1841 in Vienna, Austria by Anton Dreher as a response to the new and wildly growing pilsner style, the Vienna Lager was a lager that utilized slightly more kilned malt, known as Vienna malt, that gave a toastier and more complex malt flavor and a light amber color. However, Vienna Lager soon fell flat as a style in its native Vienna due to the near fanatic European response to the pilsner style. Thus Vienna Lager brewers migrated to Mexico, of all places, in the late 1800s, where they re-popularized their style. To this day, Mexico is one the major producers and drinkers of the Vienna Lager style. Beers like Mexico City’s Negra Modelo and Monterrey’s Dos Equis Amber Lager are enduring and popular examples of the Vienna Lager style, though regrettably slightly watered down by grain adjuncts like corn and rice. The Vienna Lager style, in its original form, should be a lighter and more thirst quenching version of an Oktoberfest or Marzen beer. It features a subtle malt complexity with prevailing flavors of toasted bread and a slight nutty character. Medium levels of carbonation, medium to light body, and a very balanced finish make this style a very thirst quenching choice. The combination of malt flavor, easy drinkability, and thirst quenching capability make it a perfect choice for those late summer/early fall nights when you’re not sure whether or not to bring a light jacket out with you.

One thing to keep in mind with this style is that it is not one that will ever knock your socks off or blow your mind with taste, creativity, or strength. This is as easy drinking of a style as they come, with a short finish and crisp mouthfeel. When approaching these beers listed below, my only recommendation is to try to appreciate them for what they are: an easy drinking session beer with subtle complexity. With that being said, if you are interested in grabbing a six pack of something good for your early fall football tailgate or dinner party, look no further than these beers below.

Beers To Try:

Abita Amber
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Pours amber-gold with a clean lager aroma with prevalent bready and nutty aroma. Overall very balanced and thirst quenching, this Vienna Lager is definitely worth a try!

Devil’s Backbone Vienna Lager
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Great balance, great flavor and great drinkability. Toasty, warm, bready, and a little nutty with a crisp and slightly bitter finish solely to curb the sweet malt flavor, Devil’s Backbone’s flagship is one of the better Vienna Lagers on the East Coast.

Blue Point Toasted Lager
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The name says it all. The first word that should come to mind about Vienna Lagers is “toasty”. This beer exhibits the toast front and center with bready and biscuity undertones. Very balanced overall and a fantastic choice for a non-craft drinker or weekend football tailgate.

Great Lakes Eliot Ness
Probably the standard by which all present day Vienna Lagers should be judged. Caramel notes play along with toast and even slight raisin and walnut hints. More full bodied and certainly more flavorful than the above beers, this beer is a world class Vienna Lager.

Beer and Food Pairing

Vienna Lagers traditionally pair well with most bar or tailgate foods. Chicken wings or fingers, burgers or sliders, BBQ pork, chips and dip, and especially pizza all work well with the crisp and cleansing mouthfeel and toasty, malty taste. Due to its historical popularity in Mexico, it also pairs well with most any Mexican dish and can usually be found in authentic Mexican restaurants. This is one of those beer styles where you almost can’t go wrong with pairing it with any substantial dish. Get tailgating, and get drinking Vienna Lager!

The Thirsty Monk in Asheville, NC

In my past articles, I have tried to detail various beer styles as well as encourage my readers to give them a try. I believe it is now time to add a new facet to the Globeertrotter blog: interesting places in which to drink! I believe that where you drink can have just as much effect on your overall experience as what you drink, and with whom you drink. Thus, I believe it is high time I share with you all some of my favorite places to toss back a few delicious brews, as well as open my blog for guest writers who have a favorite watering hole they want to share with the other Globeertrotter followers. If you wish to write a brief article praising your favorite bar, pub, or any other drinking destination, email or tweet me your article and I’ll publish it on the blog. So get drinking (and writing)!

DogFish Head’s Immort Ale, an English Strong Ale

I figured I would start the discussion of great beer bars and pubs with a bar/restaurant that may be small in size, but always comes up big in terms of great beers on tap. The place? Asheville, North Carolina. The bar? The Thirsty Monk. Not only does this bar sport a two floor set up with bars carrying different beers at each, it also features some of the best beers produced in the US and the world! As you would expect from the title, the Thirsty Monk’s European beers are typically Belgian. When I was there a few weeks ago, they were featuring sour beers—Belgian geuzes, Flanders Reds and Browns, and American interpretations of the distinctively Belgian style. If sours are not to your liking, the upstairs bar carried top American craft breweries like Dogfish Head, Avery, Ballast Point, and Bell’s. However they do not just carry the typical 60 Minute IPA or Bell’s Oberon that you can find at pretty much any beer bar. No, The Thirsty Monk carries small batch and special brews like Bell’s Expedition Stout and Schmaltz’s HeBrew Bittersweet Lenny’s R.I.P.A. (featured in my article on RyePA’s), among other tough-to-find beers. At the time of this publishing, the Thirsty Monk is about to start it’s Thirstyfest 2013, featuring “Rare, Obscure, and Wild” beers like Stone’s Expresso IRS (Imperial Russian Stout), Great Divide’s Oatmeal Yeti, and Allagash Confluence. Heard of any of those before? If you have, kudos to you. If you’re like most, you haven’t. Thus the beauty of one bar offering these and many more obscure beers all in one location. Thirstyfest 2013 kicks off September 2nd and last thru the 8th. So if you aren’t doing anything on Labor Day, get down to Asheville, NC for some beers you’re sure to never forget!

The IPA Pizza with Avery’s Anniverisary Ale-Twenty, an American Imperial IPA

In addition to a uniquely diverse beer offering, the food at the Thirsty Monk is all beer based. Just take a look at the pizzas—all named after the beer it is designed to be paired with and made with New Belgium Fat Tire in the dough. The Stout, the Porter, the IPA, and the Tripel are the four speciality pizzas concocted by the chef and are all worth the drive down to Asheville, NC. In addition to their famous pizzas, the Thirsty Monk offers appetizers, salads, and sandwiches all made with a delicious craft beer in the recipe and guidelines on what beers to pair with what foods. You simply can’t go wrong.

If all these reasons weren’t enough for you to stop by the Thirsty Monk in Asheville, North Carolina, I have one more: it was rated the 3rd best Craft Beer Bar in America in 2012 by and the best craft beer bar in the South region. Cheers to the fine people of Asheville, North Carolina and the wonderful beer lovers at the Thirsty Monk—you’ve got one heck-of-a bar!

The American IPA’s Goth Little Brother: American Black Ale

The American Black Ale, or Black IPA, is a sly and peculiar style that happily marries the dark, roasty flavors of a stout with the hoppy, bitter flavors of an IPA. The American Black ale is a hybrid beer, invented and developed solely by American brewers. Taking inspiration from the German Schwarzbier, or Black Lager, style, American brewers sought to create a beer that balanced two flavor counterpoints: roastiness and bitterness. First brewed at the Shed Restaurant and Brewery in Vermont, the style was built upon and popularized by the brewers at San Diego’s Stone Brewing Company with their Sublimely Self-Righteous Ale. In an interview with famous beer journalist Joshua Bernstein, Stone’s head brewer Mitch Steele commented on the creation of the brew, “We wanted it to drink like an IPA but look like a stout.” He found that using dehusked black malt, the same variety used in German Schwarzbiers, “allowed the hops to come through.” When tasting an American Black Ale, expect a well balanced beer with roasty overtones but a bitter, citrusy, and/or piney finish.

When you think about it, a “Black IPA” is really an oxymoron, considering an IPA is an India PALE Ale. But ignoring these semantics and diving lips-first into any of the Black IPAs below is sure to both tickle your taste buds and expand your beer horizons.

Stone’s Sublimely Self-Righteous Ale
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One of the originals of the style, the Sublimely Self-Righteous Ale combines citrusy hop flavors with smooth roasty maltiness. A must try for anyone interested in the American Black Ale.

21st Amendment’s Back In Black
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Utilizing more piney hop flavor than citrus, the Black In Black balances the hoppy bitterness with dark roastiness and a creamier mouthfeel that is more similar to a stout than Stone’s Sublimely Self-Righteous Ale. All these elements combine for a bitter and long finish that could leave even snobbiest of drinkers satisfied.

Uinta Brewing Company’s Dubhe Imperial Black IPA
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Probably the maltiest and heaviest of the four beers listed here, the Dubhe manages to be both very malt forward, as well as very hop forward, a rare and commendable feat in beer brewing. By being so strong in both polar opposite beer qualities, the Dubhe ends up being overall quite balanced. A roasty, malty drink that finishes citrusy and bitter with some significant alcoholic strength (9.2% ABV) makes this a beer to be reckoned with.

Bear Republic Black Racer
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Probably my favorite of these listed, but only by a little. The Black Racer differs from the 21st Amendment Back In Black in that it drinks much more like an IPA than a stout, with a mouthfeel that is much more refreshing and thirst quenching than a creamy and thick. Balancing citrus with roasty flavors, the Black Racer is a beer that would be good in almost any season.

Beer and Food Pairing
American Black Ales pair perfectly with grilled, smoked, or roasted beef or pork, as well as charcuterie. As for dessert, rich, intense dark chocolate desserts like triple chocolate cake or chocolate truffles would pair well with the Black IPA because the hoppy, bitter finish would help cut some of that richness. The roastiness and bitterness of these beers also complement meaty, earthy tasting cheeses like most Cheddars, Swiss, Gruyere, and Parmesan. Most of all, German cuisine makes a delicious partner to the Black Ale with its many grilled dark meats, roasted potatoes, and overall heartiness of flavor. Because American Black Ales are medium to full bodied, they will be much better suited for entrees or desserts rather than appetizers.