Guide to Schwarzbier

The darkest coloured of lager styles, schwarzbiers are surprisingly light to medium bodied and only somewhat creamy in their texture.

As a general guide, these beers are an excellent choice to consider for those looking to begin their venture into the dark beer segment as they’re nowhere near as roasty, thick, or intensely flavoured as many examples of stout ales are, making them far more approachable.

Schwarzbier Characteristics

Flavourwise, these beers will typically possess a moderately intense malt profile that partners low to moderate amounts of malty sweetness with flavours of chocolate and coffee.

Although definitely a malt-forward style, these beers are not overly sweet and their finish is usually quite dry but smooth, with malt bitterness generally being kept to a minimum, allowing for some mild hop bitterness to come through instead.

A medium to highly carbonated beer style, they also have a virtually non-existent hop profile, meaning the presence of hoppy fruit flavours will be very much in the background, if present at all.

This guide to schwarzbier explores some of the other main attributes of this style.

Pairing Food with Schwarzbier

Pairing Food with Schwarzbier

Thanks to the previously mentioned attributes, these beers are a perfect match when paired with dishes with added layers of smoky or fruity complexity.

With this in mind, smoked cheeses are an excellent choice, as are those cheeses that contain berries or fruits, as the flavours present in the beer add to the flavours present in these types of cheeses.

On top of this, smoked or grilled meat dishes are paired wonderfully with these beers as the rich flavours contained in schwarzbiers are complemented nicely by the smokiness of the meats.

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