Brooklyn Winter Lager, a German-style Schwarzbier by Brooklyn Brewery

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Brooklyn Winter Lager is a German-style Schwarzbier brewed by Brooklyn Brewery, and for the purposes of this craft beer review, the lager was served in a shaker pint glass from a 12 oz. bottle.

Packaging art for the Brooklyn Winter Lager by Brooklyn Brewery

Packaging art for the Brooklyn Winter Lager by Brooklyn Brewery

Appearance

The lager pours an opaque mahogany without any light showing through. It’s topped by an inch thick cap of creamy, tan foam that shows modest retention. Droplets of residue coat the glass down to a soapy collar. An aggressive pour yields the best results.

Aroma

The aromatics are a blend of floral hops and caramel. A scent of roast malt asserts itself as the beer warms.

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Flavor

The palate begins with a taste of bready malt and transitions to a piney flavor punched with spicy noble hops. The finish has a touch of chocolate and is marked by roast malt that’s nearly burnt. The base has an earthy character of black tea mixed with dark bread. A slight tangy citrus also appears in the background.

Mouthfeel

The feel is smooth and somewhat dry with a medium body and moderate carbonation.

Label art for the Brooklyn Winter Lager by Brooklyn Brewery

Label art for the Brooklyn Winter Lager by Brooklyn Brewery

Overall

The appearance could be improved upon. The aroma is pleasant and appropriate for the style. The feel is spot on. At first, the palate’s use of hops seems too aggressive and the roast character of its malt is a bit burnt. However, as the beer warms, those flavors mellow and the lager becomes reaches its expected balance.

The Brooklyn Winter Lager is smooth, easy to drink, and does satisfy that craving for a darker beer. Sure, there are better examples of a Schwarzbier available, but this one is pretty good, too.

Recommended Pairings

Brooklyn Brewery recommends the following food pairings with their Winter Lager: dark bread, hearty meats, barbecue, stews, root vegetables, pastries, and Gouda cheese.

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