Thursday, August 15, 2013

Oshkosh Beer Sampler 032: Dortwunder Lager

A slanted and endless survey of what’s pouring in Oshkosh, tallied one beer at a time.

What: Dortwunder Lager by Berghoff Brewing, now being brewed at Stevens Point Brewery.

Where: Festival Foods in Oshkosh; among other places here in town.

Why: Because when you have a world-class beer being brewed this close to home, you ought to drink it every now and then. Believe me, I never thought I’d attach “world class” to the Berghoff name, but there you have it. And if you’ve had this beer within the past year or so you probably think I’ve lost it. But wait, things have changed. Earlier this summer Berghoff revamped their line-up. They changed breweries, moving production from the Minhas Brewery in Monroe, Wis. to the Stevens Point Brewery, just to our north. And they nabbed homebrew guru Randy Mosher to reformulate their recipes, bringing them more in line with the styles they're brewing. They hit the nail on the head with this one. The new Dortwunder is a classic Dortmunder lager. It gives a clean aroma of bready malt and lightly spicy hops with a dab of sulfur waving in the the background. This is a beautifully balanced beer with its forward maltiness (not sweet, but malty) nicely balanced by an earthy bitterness that’s mild, yet lingering. It’s a refreshing and satisfying Lagerbier. But if you go out to purchase this one, check the label to be sure you’re getting the version brewed in Point. Berghoff has been selling the Point-brewed model since late June, but in Oshkosh the old, Monroe beers have been hanging around on the shelves. Festival in Oshkosh now has the Point version, but I wouldn’t be too surprised to see some of the old stuff shuffled into the mix as the distributor attempts to unload it. Don’t be fooled, friends.

What Else: I haven’t tried all of the reformulated Berghoff beers, but the two others that I have tasted are worth seeking out. Sir Dunkle is a German-style Dunkel that’s light on the hops and heavy on the malt. Where the old Sir Dunkle was wretchedly sweet, this one is rich without being cloying. A great beer for cooler weather drinking. I haven’t found Berghoff’s Germaniac Pale Ale around Oshkosh, yet, but if you see it in your travels grab it. This is a hoppy, German-style of pale ale known as Kotbusser that’s brewed with molasses and honey. Fruity and complex with a firm bitterness, it’s nothing like the sort of beer we’re accustomed to seeing from Berghoff.

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