#rauchbier Archives – PorchDrinking.com
In this episode of Bean to Barstool, host David Nilsen talks with Caleb Michalke of Sugar Creek Malt in Indiana, an artisan malthouse providing a range of unusual smoked malts for smoked beer. We also talk with Natalie Suwanprakorn of Xoconat in Bangkok, Thailand, and Eric Parks of Somerville Chocolate in Somerville, Massachusetts, who are both introducing smoke flavors to their bean to bar chocolates.
Austin, TX’s Live Oak Brewing Co. is known for its commitment to tradition in brewing European-style beers. Launched in 1997, they have been brewing old-world lagers and ales with more than just a nod to tradition for 25 years. Schwarzer Rauch (Black Smoke), a smoked black lager, is brewed in the tradition still carried on by breweries in Bamberg, Germany, who still smoke the malt for their beers.
I am 100% sure summer just started, and now everyone’s talking about fall. But you know what, I’m not falling for it. Football can happen in hot weather. Pumpkin beers can cool you off on a warm summer evening. Oktoberfest can wait its happy little self a few more weeks so I can cram in some more patio time. But I suppose if I have to give in and deal with cooler nights, at least I know the PorchDrinking team’s out there, drinking good beers. The PD team abides. I don’t know about you, but I take comfort in that. It’s good knowin’ they’re out there, takin’ it easy for all us sinners in this week’s What We’re Drinking.
Days before the craziness of Chicago Craft Beer Week (CCBW), I was offered the opportunity to tour soon-to-open Dovetail Brewery, which is co-owned, operated and run by Bill Wesselink and Hagen Dost. What better way to begin the beer week, than with a preview of the next chapter of Chicago’s burgeoning beer scene.
Dovetail is a reference to the carpenter’s joint of interlocking boards, it is famed for its resistance to being pulled apart. As Bill so elegantly expressed, “It’s coming together to make a stronger brewery. A mix of old and new, American and European to create what we feel is our interpretation.”
Smoky flavors in food and drink have a long history. When the only method of cooking was using an open fire, you could pretty much expect smoke to impart a scent or flavor into whatever you were putting over it. Beer was no different. In fact, up to the 1700s, pretty much every beer was a smoke beer since the only method to dry the malt would be over an open flame. It wasn’t until after kilning methods were developed that pulled the smoke away from the malt that beer started tasting the way we know today. And smoke beers began their fast decline quickly thereafter.
If you’re going to the most incredible bottle share of all time, somebody needs to bring some amazing food. Not only are the patrons going to need something to soak up the alcohol in their bellies, they will also need something to cure the munchies when the booze takes over. To feed the masses of the PorchDrinking.com 2nd Anniversary Party, I knew as the founder of Drink and Spoon, that I had to come up with something scrumptious, plentiful, and cooked with beer. This is how Rauchbier Baked Beans were born.