This blog has traditionally focused on beers brewed in the U.S. I love fresh, local beer and there are so many interesting and delicious beers in the states that I’ll have a hard time running out of beers to taste. Occasionally, I will try some international beers, especially if they are of styles that are harder to find in the US. Most American styles are derived from beers that have been brewed in Europe for centuries, and sometimes it’s fun to compare local versions with original classics. With my Fall focusing on malty lager styles, I thought it would be smart to start with a beer from Germany, the country that invented most malt forward lager styles. I’ve had multiple recommendations of beers from Ayinger, a brewery just outside of Munich that distributes many of their selections to the U.S. The beer I chose was a dunkel, a German style dark lager similar to a dopplebock but typically lower in alcohol.
Ayinger Albairisch Dunkel pours a clear cola brown with a moderate off-white head. The smell is mild, with some toasted and slightly sweet malt at the forefront. The taste is also malt forward, notes of chocolate, caramel and toasted bread. The German yeast strain is mild but evident, contributing a slight clove flavor. There are also touches of earthy noble hops which add a little flavor and bitterness, but this is clearly a malt forward beer. Ayinger Albairisch Dunkel has the clean finish and drinkability that you expect from a lager. At 5.0% ABV it is not a heavy beer at all, perfect for a cool Fall afternoon. Ayinger Albairisch Dunkel is a solid dark lager, full of flavor and still easy to drink. Hoppy Boston score: 4.0/5.