Leikeim Kellerbier

Image courtesy of Brauerei Leikeim

Image courtesy of Brauerei Leikeim

American brewers have started to dig deeper into the styles of traditional German beers, and I’ve enjoyed the results of their research.  Kellerbier, or Zwicklbier, is one of those styles that I especially enjoy, and domestic brewers like New Glarus, Boston Brewing Company and Metropolitan all have brewed kellerbiers.  That’s all well and good, but I like to see for myself what these brewers are basing their recipes on, and looking back to the old country is the way I like to go about it.  Naturally hazy, kellerbiers are cellared (lagered) at cool temperatures, and can be either top or bottom-fermented.  It’s the cellaring and lack of filtering that makes it a kellerbier.  Leikeim Kellerbier (Brauhaus Leikeim, Altenkunstadt, Germany) makes a kellerbier that I find quite good.  Hazy, medium gold and with a rich, lacey white head, Leikeim Kellerbier is a great example of the style.  There’s a good dose of earth yeast in the bouquet, followed by a grainy malt note and a hint of sharpness that may be from the hops or perhaps the alcohol, though Leikeim only weighs in at 4.9% ABV.  Leikeim Kellerbier is definitely malty with some bready notes.  This medium-bodied beer leaves plenty of lace that is reminiscent of Lascaux cave paintings, and the maltiness that makes that happen also thickens your saliva.  The finish is clean and refreshing, and substantial without being overbearing.  I can see this style, and this beer, becoming more popular.

90/100 kellerbier

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