Doc’s beer style #100: Roggenbier! It’s taken us a while to get here, 4 years in fact, but here we are and Roggenbier is lucky number 100. So what is Roggenbier? It is a beer style brewed with roggenmalz, duh! OK, but let’s pretend for a second we don’t speak German (das ist nicht gut!) what is ‘roggenmalz’ and how does it affect me as a beer drinker? There is a simple equation: Roggenmalz = rye malt = awesome sour/pepper notes3 in your beer. Easy. Now I will point out that this brew also contains weizen (or wheat) as well so expect some banana/clove Phenols as well.
Poured from a 500ml bottle into a stein.
A: This is one great looking brew: Cloudy toffee-coloured body with a 1 cm creamy dense off-white coloured head that sticks around like forever bro. Leaves a thick lace on the sides of the glass as it drains – this is a head of Guinnessian proportitions! 10/10.
S: Upfront weizen banana/clove Phenols suggest that we are in for more of a weizen experience along with the roggen which comes through with a slight sourdough bread note. Hints of some complex sweet caramel/toasty malts linger in the background as well. 8/10.
T: Then when you taste it there is a big underlying earthy flavour. It’s not nearly as weizeny as I was expecting but those banana/clove Phenols are there adding their own polite nod. The sweetness of the malts is less pronounced and gives way to sour (but interestingly not bread) characters with the finish being more sour and dry than anything else, this really is a new genre of beer for me, though it could use a bit more flavour kick IMHO. 7/10.
M: Medium bodied with a creamy Hefeweizen-like carbonation, it’s hard to complain about that. 8/10.
D: Well, well, well… well. The overriding opinion at the end of this review is: more roggen, less weizen please. Whilst I did enjoy the rye aspects of this brew they were slightly overshadowed by rye’s brash and charismatic cousin wheat – and there’s the rub Störtebeker – wheat will always eclipse rye in a straight shootout as it has the bold Phenol advantage that rye lacks. As it stands I will probably get this again as something that’s weizenesque and different to go to when I am almost tired of Weizens, but I will also continue my search for other Roggenbiers to whet my palate with. 8/10.
Food match: Can you say “bratwurst mit senf und roggenbrot mit sauerkraut”? Ja!