Ales are the centerpiece of America’s craft beer boom. The quicker fermentation process allows breweries to crank out beer faster without having to hold beers at the lower temperatures required for lagering. Despite the popularity of ales, one of the pioneers of the current craft beer craze has been brewing lagers since day one, and they’re marking the end of their 25th year with a special release.
When Dan Gordon and Dean Biersch opened the doors to their Palo Alto brewpub in 1988, they hardly could have known how far their project would have gone. A quarter-century later, Gordon Biersch has 34 brewery restaurants and a thriving production brewery that also brews for Costco and Trader Joe’s. The only beer available on opening day at their first location was Dunkles, an unfiltered dark lager. It’s only appropriate that they brought it back to celebrate their silver anniversary.
With a dark opaque appearance and creamy head, Dunkles looks the part of a traditional dark German lager. The beer has a roasted malt aroma that’s present, but not overwhelming. The dark roasted Munich malt gives a slight caramel and toffee sweetness with a biscuit flavor on the back end. A restrained hop profile balances out the malty sweetness without being obtrusive. A crisp, dry finish and 5.4% ABV makes this a very drinkable and refreshing beer.
Gordon Biersch is staggering the release of Dunkles with California getting first crack, followed by Arizona, Hawaii and Nevada. The roll-out continues with additional states, which Gordon Biersch will announce in the coming weeks. Unfortunately, the garlic fries are sold separately.
Brewery: Gordon Biersch?
City: San Jose, Calif.
?Style: Unfiltered dark lager
?ABV: 5.4% ?
Availability: Limited, 750 ml swing top bottles