Rebel Mettle Brewery | Volume Juniper Schwartzbier
- Jereme Zimmerman
- On October 13, 2021
Volume, a Schwarzbier (Dark Lager) brewed by Rebel Mettle Brewery in Cincinnati, is an exercise in contradictions. It’s smooth and supremely drinkable, yet it sits at a respectable ABV of 8.5%. It’s dark and roasty, yet it’s no Porter or Stout. It’s brewed with juniper berries but this ain’t no gin.
Head Brewer Josh Dietner doesn’t pull any punches when describing it: “I like it, but you shouldn’t try it if you’re afraid of strong roasty beers. The juniper is lightly herbal, not as prominent as gin so don’t be a scaredy cat.”
When asked how he came up with the idea for Volume, Dietner said that he had brewed a similar higher ABV one-off at a brewery he had worked at previously and liked the results. “I think that it’s a complimentary style/ingredient combination that works well,” he noted, “yet I haven’t seen it done by anyone else.”
Not afraid to let their rebellious spirit shine, Rebel Mettle includes Volume as one of their three flagships. It functions in place of a Porter or Stout in their regular lineup, which consists of primarily Lagers. According to Matt Cremeans, Director of Sales, “Rebel Mettle was founded with a Rebellious Spirit and love of craft beer by our CEO, Mike Brown. Along with CFO Duane Donohoo, VP of Operations, Greg Goeke and Head Brewer, Joshua Dietner, Rebel Mettle came to fruition in September of 2020. Rebel meaning rebellious spirit and mettle, by that of which we are tested, RMB is open to all and driven by the continuous pursuit of life, liberty, and lagers!”
Volume is brewed with a blend of Pilsner malt, along with a touch of Munich and debittered black malt to up the volume while keeping things smooth for those who like their Mettle smooth without turning down the Volume. The malt is complemented by blue juniper berries in the mash, along with Perle hops for bittering and aroma. As for yeast, Dietner notes that they use W‑34/70 Lager yeast, “always oxygenated well and overpitched.”
If you enjoy Metal (or don’t), like Lagers (or don’t), enjoy strong beers (or don’t), and can appreciate just a bit of juniper flavor (fine if you don’t too), check out the exercise in juxtaposition that is Volume Juniper Schwarzbier. Just be careful about having more than one or you may end up banging your head to some Smooth Jazz.