Great Lakes Brewing Co | Nosferatu
My love affair with Nosferatu began not with the beer but with the film by the same name. I was a junior at Miami University when I took German Film in Global Context, and Nosferatu was one of the first films we watched. An unauthorized adaptation of Bram Stoker’s Dracula, Nosferatu was released in 1922, and became influential in the world of cinema. Despite critics at the time saying the vampire appeared “too corporeal and brightly lit to appear genuinely scary,” I found Max Schreck’s portrayal of Count Olaf to be downright terrifying, especially because the film was completely silent, save for the orchestral accompaniment. Don’t believe me? That face staring back at you from the bottle is not some figment of Great Lakes‘ imagination, it’s Schreck. Eek! When I saw him on the shelf for the first time, I had to do a double take. And then I had to try the beer.
Great Lakes Nosferatu has become one of my autumnal favorites. Sure I love a good pumpkin beer as much as the next person, but sometimes I’m in the mood for something different. And Nosferatu is definitely different. Not only is it not flavored like pumpkin pie, as is common for this time of year, but it’s also not a(n) Märzen/Oktoberfest style of beer, which is just as ubiquitous in grocery stores this fall. Now that you know what it’s not, let’s talk about what it is. Nosferatu is an Imperial Red Ale brewed with three different kinds of malts and both Simcoe and Cascade hops. Great Lakes calls it “The Beer With The Bite.” Coincidence then that it’s named after a legendary vampire? I think not! In keeping with the Bavarian Purity Law of 1516, the only other ingredients are yeast and water; no chemicals or preservatives are used.
Nosferatu pours a deep copper color with a foamy, off-white head that dissipates quickly and leaves a thick lacing on the glass. American red ales are traditionally medium-bodied, and this one is no exception. Where it does differ, and why it’s labeled “imperial,” is the extreme hop flavor and aroma. Although Nosferatu is significantly hopped, the rich malts give it incredible balance. According to Great Lakes, it pairs great with soft cheeses, root vegetables and red meat. I had some tonight with a bowl of homemade venison chili, and it was delicious! Released annually in September, Nosferatu is only available for a limited time, so if you’ve never had the pleasure of getting to know Count Olaf, I highly suggest you make his acquaintance! At 8% ABV, I promise it’s a meeting you won’t regret!