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Friday, May 21, 2010

Day 141 Drink: Spezial Rauchbier

Bamberg, Germany, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, that is home to nine breweries. Not all of them make smoke beer, in fact just two do it on a regular basis.

Few know that the Bamberg Beer Purity Law of 1489 was actually the first to dictate that only hops, malt and water could be used in brewing. (The Reinheitsgobot -- German Beer Purity Law -- was not put in place until 1516.) Prince Bishop Henry III Gross of Trockau had become frustrated by the use of herbs, berries and even mushrooms in the making of beer and decided to take a stand.

Spezial Brewery dates back to 1536. Like Schlenkerla, the more famous Bamberg rauchbier brewer, Spezial uses beechwood fueled fires to dry its malted barley.

Spezial Rauchbier is an amber brown color and has a soft malty character. Its subtle level of smoke leads you to think of having a second.

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