Brues Alehouse Brewing Co
Our Impression: In 2019 we took an inspirational and educational visit through Germany and Austria. One of our stopping places was Weyermann Specialty Malts in Bamberg, Germany. When talking to Axel from Weyermann, he described Schwarzbier as a style in which, “if you close your eyes and drink the beer, you will not know it is a dark beer.” He also explained that many breweries use Sinamar, a dark liquid derived from grain, to obtain the dark color in this beer style. However, he advised that this is not the traditional way nor the best way to brew it. We think back on this approach when we brew Black Vinyl. There is a very particular balance to this beer, and we perhaps err a bit on the roasted side to better fit our demographic. Still, we are respectfully within the style guidelines... apart from the addition of the Madagascar Vanilla Beans. While adjuncts like Vanilla are strictly prohibited by the German Purity Law, we absolutely love the distinct earthy-sweet character it contributes. This truly is one of our favorites! We hope to continue on with Black Vinyl as a flagship for years to come.
Style: Schwarzbier, BJCP 4C
Grain: Pilsner, Munich, Munich II, Carafa I Special, Carafoam
Hops: Perle, Hersbrucker, Spalt Select
Yeast: Lager Yeast originating from a Munich Lager Brewery
Adjuncts: Madagascar Vanilla Beans, Hand-Processed
Water: Reverse Osmosis Base with light additions of CaSO4, CaCl2
Original Gravity: 13.1 Degrees Plato
Estimated IBU: 32 IBU
Color: 52 SRM
(Lab Analyzed by White Labs)
Aroma: Mild Roast, Vanilla, Fresh Malt
Appearance: Pours Dark and clear. When held up to the light, Black Vinyl glows deep ruby. Nice head retention and lacing with a light-tan colored foam.
Flavor: Black vinyl is exquisitely smooth and restrained in the roast department for a dark beer. A hint of residual sweetness balances well with the Vanilla, making for a complex, yet elegant dark lager. The malt body is rich, yet not cloying or overly sweet. The hops are of the spicy/earthy/floral German variety and play a supporting role. The Vanilla lends a distinct layer that has notably been perceived as a mild and pleasant tobacco.
Mouthfeel: Silky, smooth, with medium body and carbonation.