Brauerei Spezial • Germany
Bamberg may well be Germany’s most interesting brewing town, with more original specialty beers to its credit than any other. The most famous of all Bamberger styles is smoked beer, or “rauchbier.” The oldest rauchbier brewery in Bamberg is Spezial, which was founded in 1536.
Spezial is right in the heart of the city – a very congenial pub with the brewery in the courtyard behind. The brewery has its own maltings and barley malt is smoked right there in downtown Bamberg. The smoke of special beechwood logs burning just beneath the malt kiln filters up, imparting a natural smoky flavor to the fresh barley kernels. The brewer uses 40% of this smoked malt and 60% high quality Bavarian barley malt to make this delicious smoked beer.
Spezial’s Lager Rauchbier is a surprisingly refreshing treat – not so dark as the brewery’s Märzen Rauchbier (which uses 70% smoked malt). A malty sweetness perfectly balances the mild smoke flavor of this amber brew.
Many people will tell you that they just can’t enjoy a traditional rauchbier. Make them try this one, and it’s a fair bet they’ll end up loving it. The possibilities for creative pairings with good food are almost endless.