Tuesday, August 18, 2009
Smoke 'em if you got 'em
McCoy's is having a smoked beer & food dinner on Tuesday, Sept 1st and both food & beer look great. If you've never had a smoked beer before, you're in for a treat. I don't know if I've met anyone who was very ambivalent about smoked beer; either you like it or you don't.
Smoked beers originated in Germany, out of the town of Bamberg, where the malt was dried over an open flame instead of in a kiln (where smoke escapes via another route). The smoke is imparted to the grain and - voila - smoke beer.
Alaska Brewing Company basically popularized the style in the US. Stone, Rogue, Spoetzl (Shiner), Goose Island, and several others have followed in suit. I'd recommend trying out the Bamberg originals from both Schlenkerla and Spezial, as well as Rogue's smoke ale and Shiner's Smokehaus. Schlenkerla offers several smoke beers: maerzen, weizen, and urbock (which will be at the McCoy's dinner).
McCoy's will also feature O'Fallon's Smoked Porter which I believe is a fabulous representation of the style. It is everything I love about smoke beers - smokey, smooth, complex, and flavorful - but not so much that you can't finish your beer. If you can't make it to the dinner, the smoked porter is easily available at Gomer's, Lukas, Royal, and various other liquor establishments.