Thursday, July 17, 2014

August Schell Dampfbier (Weiss Beer 30th Anniversary Series)


August Schell Dampfbier. Third in the 30th Anniversary Series Weiss Beer Box that I'm taking notes on. A beer of this name was among the 8 historical draft-only brews that contended for the honor of being the 150th Anniversary Beer, from 2008 to 2010. I'll add my notes on that at the end.

Clear, golden color, large-lace-leaving, bone-white head.

Aroma: Bright, citrus-y hops leap out of the nose, nicely spicy, with a bit of the weizen yeast esters showing up behind.

Taste: Clean, crisp, dry. Hop burst up front, fading back, laying low. Great drinkability, but this is a Schell's hallmark. They make beers you can drink, no doubt about that. There's  just a bit of sweetness, a touch of fruit. This is a tasty one. It vaguely recalls the flavors of a hefe weizen, but that only comes to us through the yeast, not from any wheat.

What does the label tell us? "Schell's Dampfbier is an experimental Weiss beer made for this series. It is an all-barley ale, warm-fermented with Weiss beer yeast. It is mildly hopped with a subtle spicy aroma."

Now here are the notes from October, 2008, when this was the third of the eight beer in the 150th Anniversary Series. This was on tap, at the Blue Nile.


Clear, amber-colored, small white head on this pour.

Distinctive banana esters in the aroma, light spice.Sweet and inviting.

Banana/clove flavor pops up right away, and then it's smooth and clean thereafter.
"Dampf" is German for steam, and this is a lager/ale hybrid, much like Anchor Steam. Weissbier yeast in an all-barley lager, yet brewed like an ale. With light hopping.
Light bodied, soft finish, persistent weissbier flavor lingering on the palate. Great drinkability.

I think #1 is still my favorite in the series, but this is not bad at all. Quite approachable, and tasty. And if they hadn't made this, I don't know when I would have finally heard of "dampfbier."

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Since writing that, I have encountered exactly one other dampfbier, brewed by Surly last fall. I only ever had it at the taproom, so never really got a chance to take notes on that one.

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