It’s Day 5 of the Brewer’s Advent Calendar and to me this is the beer I wanted to have when I bought this Advent Calendar. Not this specific brand but this taste. I couldn’t help but adapt Mel Brook’s line from Space Balls “May the Schwartz be with you.”

Kraftbierwerkstatt’s Der Schwarze Bock is dark, roast, smooth, chocolaty. Yummy. Now under full disclosure this was kind of a beer slushy. I but it in the freezer to get it chilled and took too long to take it out. Beer’s freezing point is slightly lower than water but beer has water in it. So the beer was in a supercooled state. When you disturb the supercooled state, like opening a can or bottle and letting the CO2 in the mixture do it’s thing then the freezing point increases beyond the current temperature and the beer will start to freeze.

It was liquid as it poured out and slowly turned to slush after a few seconds in the glass. The slush kept expanding so I had to keep taking sips to keep it from overflowing. After about a minute of keeping ahead of the ever expanding head it started to turn back into a liquid state. If I was wanting to have a beer slushy this is the flavor I would it to be.

Turning to my handy Oxford Companion to Beer it goes into more detail that I want to cover. Basically Schwarzbeir is “literally “black beer.” It goes on to say it “is a black lager with a light to medium body and a moderate to high bitterness.” But as you dig through the details it appears that Schwarzbeir fell out of favor many years ago because it was too similar to a British Porter and drinking anything British was considered unpatriotic especially during WW1.

After WWII Schwarzbeir was being made in Eastern Germany but not in West Germany.After reunification it started a comeback but this time instead of being the dark bitter beer it once was it started to be more mellow and less than 20 IBU. But I have to remind myself that this is also a Bock, which is a style originating in Germany with roots possibly as old at the 1300’s. This style usually has a higher gravity, maltier body, slightly sweet and with some fruity notes.

This brew is 14 IBU. After it warms up there is a hint of bitterness on the finish. But when it’s good and cold, the way I drank it, it is nice and mellow. Dark and roasty. I could drink this beer year round.

As their name implies Kraftbierwerkstatt appears to be brewery in the same vein as American craft breweries. Their Men’s Hell shows a devil on the label. They have a Sud No. 1 Toxic Harvest Ale (looks like their flagship beer)( and a beer called Chinook which is a very American hop.

Kraftbierwerkstatt's Der Schwarze Bock's front label.  The featured image shows the back
Kraftbierwerkstatt’s Der Schwarze Bock’s front label. The featured image shows the back
I used Google Translate to handle their description of this beer: “The finest rye malt makes this strong beer specialty almost black, yet it is incredibly tasty and goes down like oil. Countless aromas follow in the aftertaste: chocolate, dried fruit, coffee … the list is almost endless.” If I read the “Purity Order” which most American’s call the German Purity Laws, rye would not be allowed in German beer. The label clearly states “Deutsches Reinheitsgebot.” With that I’m going to go back and read up on the German Purity Laws before I stick my foot too deep into my mouth.

At 6.2% this brew is one you want to drink slow. I can’t say that I drank this one slow. It was too good. I would love to find another so that I can try it a bit warmer. I get the feeling that any American craft brewer to walk into the brewery in Böblingen and sit down and feel at home.

But then again they might not have a brewery to visit. I finally found this an About Us that translates as “The Kraftbierwerkstatt is a gypsy brewery based in Böblingen (Stuttgart region). To brew our beers, we rent from small, medium-sized breweries. Craft beer is brewed with a lot of beer love and beer rage. Result: Exceptional beers apart from the uniform mass trend.” Based on their label these gypsy brewers have been at it since 2014. I wonder if older Germans stick their noses up at their beer as Bud drinking Americans do over here with most craft brews.

I think I lost my review of the beer itself in the history goobleygook I wrote above. This is a nice dark, roasty beer with a hint of chocolate. Tastes like a dark beer, drinks like a dark beer. It is a dark beer. It sweetens up a bit as it warms. A lightly bitter edge on the finish. I really like this beer.

I hope these guys have some more brews in the calendar and if not I hope that are some dark dunkels or more schwartzbeir to be had.

Wonder what Day 6 has in store.


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