Bacon Beer?

I had chat with a friend on Monday.  It went like this:

him:  is it possible to brew a bacon beer?

me: BACON BEER!?? Hmm. I will have to research that. Sounds interesting. Getting the flavor without the grease will be a challenge… but I bet I can come up with something.

him :  Ever since having the jalapeno I can’t get the meaty flavor idea out of my head. The jalapeno is good and almost meaty in taste.

me:   I’ll work on it.

Well, that link above is from a blog that is SEARCHING for bacon-related things, so of course anything even remotely resembling bacon will show up there. I was interested enough to go search out this beer and am lucky enough to have a place between work & home with an awesome variety of bottles.

AECHT SCHLENKERLA RAUCHBIER MARZENGoing so far as saying this is beer is “bacon flavor” is just plain wrong in my opinion.  It is “meaty” and has so much smokey flavor that any hint of hops, malt, phenols, or anything else that resembles most other beer styles is almost entirely covered up.

That said, it is GOOD.   If I hadn’t already been thinking “bacon” that certainly would not have entered my mind.  It’s more like smoked pig… and the “pig” is only because that is the only animal I have ever had that was smoked to that extreme level… it’s SMOKE, not MEAT.

Rauchbier is a relatively underrepresented style even in the diverse American craft/import world.  Rauchbier simply means “smoked beer” in German and gets it prominent flavor from smoking the malts over an open fire before brewing.  Probably the main reason it’s not more popular is most breweries or maltsters don’t have the equipment.

Drinking this makes me want to give homebrewing this style a shot.  It would be an interesting experiment to roast my own barley and pour myself a pint of this while grilling meat.  I’ve heard of some homebrewers smoking barley themselves… so who knows, maybe this summer I’ll expand my brewing bag-o-tricks a little.  If it’s not bacony (is that a word? it should be.) enough the first go-around, I make no promises that the second batch will be vegetarian-friendly.

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