Tag Archives: Dortmunder

Shiner Frost

Spoetzl Brewery
Shiner, TX

The Dortmunder style was initially brewed in Dortmund (!!!), Germany, for the city’s coal miners. With the popularity of Pilsner, the once darker Dortmunder gave way to a paler sample.

The pour is a very rocky, sudsy head which soon dips down to the surface, even in this kolsch glass which often puffs up the foam. The color is straw with just a touch of deep gold , like a summer morning. The clarity is beyond excellent, like a pilsner, but not quite as pale.

Steady carbonation is uneven, both larger globules and fine, widely-spaced pearls from the inside out.

The nose is very malty, even sweet like cotton candy and burnt honey. Some faint powdery citrus notes – like Tang or powdered Gatorade – come through just slightly and hopefully hold some hop pop.

The mouthfeel is good, and the first sip gives a softer malt presence than initially considered. However, it is certainly not absent and rides smoothly over the tongue with a mixture of soft vanilla and hard water. There is a taste of mineral water to the brew, very much like a crisp pilsner, but with slightly more malt body.

The finish is all tangy hops, with overtones of pepper and spices like rosemary and parsley. It is a very nice crisp finish to a beer that is surprisingly full-bodied. I wouldn’t say it is necessarily complex, but it is not uninteresting. Certainly, this is a quaffable beer that you can enjoy a few of. It may just be the Welsh in me, but I really like this beer and you don’t need to have gutted it out in a coalmine to enjoy it.


Buzzards Bay Dortmunder

Buzzards Bay Brewing
Westport, MA
Dortmund Style Lager

A great pour with almost an inch of perfectly white head that seems to linger. The color is a light golden straw with slow effervescence. The beer has strong malt notes on the nose, smelling slightly of yeast, and a little bit like Cascade detergent seeing as I forgot to rinse the glass. There’s a slight sour odor that is pure yeast with a hint of what seems like German hops. This beer won Best European Style Pilsner at the 2000 GABF, so that makes sense. It’s a bit redder than the true gold of most pilsners and there isn’t quite the same crisp hoppiness either. The first sip, however, delivers quite an impressive and complex array of both smooth malt that is too crisp for breadiness, and a bubbly hop flavor that balances it with just the perfect amount of bitterness. The lace is sticking to the glass nicely, in the cathedral style, not in rings.

The brewery claims that it would be the perfect beer for the end of any workday and I agree. For me, it would be ideal for a summer afternoon. Or an autumn evening. Or spring gloaming. Or, hell, a winter morning.