Another rendition of the famed Schlenkerla beer seen here in a can has just garnered high marks from SmokeBeerMinistry, 5 of them marks to be exact. This canned Helles (German for light in color) Lagerbier is important to note because this canning project is something new to the ministry. Not only for Schlenkerla, but for the industry. This beer was brewed in Germany and then pumped into a huge shipping container sized tank, shipped to Connecticut, and canned there unfiltered. Noticeably carrying with it every bit of Bamberg goodness a smokebeer can carry, this effort comes in a step above past formats of the same beer. One aspect of production I try not to shed too much light on is consistency. As in, “Can a brewery consistently produce the same flavor over time?” because oftentimes, they can’t. The brewer notes that “some samples having residual smoke character” which may be a variability I have detected. And I like it anyway. And in this case, the real question is “how do they get smoke flavor in this beer without the use of smoked malts?” Brewed and fermented in the 14th century beer cellars underneath the Schlenkerla brewery where the rest of the brewery’s beer lineup is fully smoked and brewed, along with using the same yeast harvested from past smokebeer brewing, allows for a still robust smokiness, although subtle from a Schlenkerla point of view. I still found that a pleasantly surprising result. Brass tacks = I can’t wait to drink this beer again. Final score 5* out of 7.
|Beer Name||Helles Lagerbier|
|Brewer’s Description||“Schlenkerla Helles” is brewed with fine Bavarian aroma hops from the area around the city of Nürnberg. It’s lagered in century old caves underneath the historic Schlenkerla brewery and maltings. Schlenkerla Helles is boiled in the same copper kettles and bottom fermented by the same yeast as the historic Schlenkerla Smokebeer. Its subtle smokiness without using smoke malt makes “Helles Schlenkerla Lager” a unique representative of the classic lager beer style “Bavarian Helles”. Editor’s note: Since this is not intended as a smoked beer, and is not billed as such, it has been classed here as a Helles, despite some samples having residual smoke character.|
|Food Pairings||Meats, cheese, nuts.|
|Brewer Location||Bamberg, Germany|
|Alcohol content by volume||4.30%|
|IBU (International Bitterness Units)||30|
|Beer opacity rate 1 – 7 (light – dark)||2|
|Smell smoke? 1 – 7 (No – George Burns)||3|
|Sausage detection? Y or N||sometimes|
|Smokepower taste: 1 – 7 Smokestacks||4|
|Overall Happiness Rating: 1-7 (low – high)||5*|
*denotes that variable element of mood, desire, and direction of wind in the depths of Bamberg, Germany, as well as in the depths of my heart, and is a factor that cannot be contained.
Their website is an oldie but goodie:
This link should be used for tank imagery only:
And here’s a link to the importer, and presumed bottlers: