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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Sunner Kolsch Kellerbier

6 barrels of Sunner Kolsch Kellerbier have made it to the United States, and one of them is in Lisle, IL, at The Bavarian Lodge.  Although I favor this type of beer in the warmer months, it is well worth a trip to experience a great Kolsch any time of year.  Fresh, slightly hazy, mild bubblegum whiffs, sweet and clean on the tongue, and very drinkable!  For those who are not able to make the trip, I’ll have one for you.

Summer Teeth Lager

Summer Teeth is another winner from one of the most consistently good regional breweries, that being Columbus Brewing Company, Columbus, OH.  (BTW Jim and Andrew, why was Columbus named Columbus?)  Summer Teeth (named after the best Wilco album, I assume) is a kellerbier, an unfiltered lager style that originated in the Franconia region of Bavaria, and is nicely rendered for the American audience.  For an unfiltered beer, it pours amazingly clear and golden, with moderate carbonation and a fine bead, white head.  The bouquet off the head is grainy, doughy and has just a bit of sulphury hops, but it is still quite appetizing.  When the head dissipates to a single filmy layer, the bouquet favors the sweet side, still with plenty of grain.  The taste is crisp and again grainy with a lightly sweet finish and just enough bitterness, however fleeting, to let you know that the hops can pull their own weight.  Summer Teeth is a really good, refreshing summertime beer, a lager with personality.

85/100