Tag Archives: Dunkel

Von Trapp Dunkel Lager

Spring is a transitional season for beers. Dark, boozy and malty beers tend to dominate the cold winter months while light and refreshing beers perfectly complement warm summer days, but there isn’t a particular style that you point to for spring beers. It seems like some breweries skip over the season all together, I saw some summer ales pop up in the grocery store shelves over the last couple weeks, just what you want when it’s 30 degrees. I have a number of styles that I gravitate to in the spring months, Belgian styles like saison, dubbel and tripel are always flavorful and versatile, good for the crazy variety of spring weather in New England. I am also getting into malty lagers like bock and dunkel, which mix full malt flavor with easy drinkability, perfect for the transition from winter into summer. These styles are under-represented in craft breweries, where most lager production focuses on light pilsner or hop-forward American lagers. A few breweries make these malty lagers and do them well. One good example is the aptly named Dunkel Lager from lager-centric Von Trapp Brewing in Vermont. Von Trapp Dunkel Lager is available on draft and in 12 oz bottles year-round.

Von Trapp Dunkel LagerVon Trapp Dunkel Lager pours cola brown with a mild white head. The scent features some rich roasted malts. These malts also lead the flavor, hints of toffee, roasted nuts and coffee. This is balanced by some old world hops, earthy and floral with a little crisp bitterness at the finish. This is a clean and easy drinking lager, not overly boozy at 5.7% ABV. The finish is crisp with a little lingering malt flavor. This is a really nice beer to drink as winter transitions into spring, plenty of malt flavor but lighter than the boozy stouts and porters from the dark months of winter. Hoppy Boston score: 4.25/5.

Previous Von Trapp Reviews:

Von Trapp Helles Lager

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Ayinger Altbarisch Dunkel

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 DunkelAyinger 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.