Photo: Bert Heymans, Flickr
For many, smoked beers (also commonly known by their German name -- Rauchbiers) are an acquired taste. Though some favorably describe these brews as a delicious mix of the flavors of beer and bacon, others lean towards the suspicion that someone may have ashed a cigar in their pint.
Though the Yards Brewing Company's second annual Smoke 'Em If Yous Got 'Em event for Philly Beer Week did offer up a cigar tent, most patrons paid their admission to pair a healthy selection of professional and amateur barbecue with a world class selection of smoked brews.
The self-described "one-of-a-kind event (translation: there's absolutely, positively nothing else like it in the world)" definitely delivered on the beer front, offering up an exotic mix of 32 drafts (not to even mention the sizable bottled selection) from across the country and around the world, as well as extremely rare selections and one-offs, and one 34-letter beer from Stewart's Brewing that drinkers would be hard-pressed to discuss on Twitter.
After the jump, read more about Smoke 'Em If Yous Got 'Em and check out the amazing selection of smoked beers from this year's event...
Yards' founder and brewmaster Tom Kehoe could not be happier to bring this celebration of everything smoked back to Philly Beer Week for a second year. "You never get smoked beer normally," Kehoe pointed out. "Smoked barbecue, smoked beer, I mean, talk about complimentary. The beer tastes like bacon and so does the food."
What makes Yards' own smoked beer, the Yards Tadeusz Kosciuszko Smoked Pol, so unique is that where most Rauchbiers get their distinct flavor from drying malted barley over an open flame, Yards uses a wheat beer recipe and smokes the wheat, not the barley. "We went to Percy Street Barbecue and they smoked it with red oak," said Kehoe, describing their homespun process.
Luckily for drinkers, knowing how a beer got smoked isn't necessary to taste how well a Rauchbier can pair with ribs, pulled pork or anything cooked in a smoker. Smoked beers can still be hard to find outside of special events such as this one, but as brewers continue to search for new ways to separate from the pack in the growing craft beer sector, keep an eye out for smoked brews.
Here's the list of smoked beers from this year's event:
- Yards Tadeusz Kosciuszko Smoked Pol
- Captain Lawrence Smoked Porter
- Iron Hill Smoked Porter
- Iron Hill Smoked Pol
- Emelisse Rauchbier
- Stoudts Smoked Fatty (cask)
- Schlenkeria Fastenbier
- Schlenkeria Ur-Bock
- Schlenkeria Rauch Weizen
- Schlenkeria Marzen
- Spezial Rauchbier
- Caldera Rauch Bock
- De Dochter Van Koren Bravour Belgian Ale
- Dark Horse Fore Smoke
- Brasserie Illimites Smoked Porter
- Roy Pitz Ludwigs Revenge Rauchbier
- Manayunk Rauchbock
- Ithaca Gorges Smoked Porter
- Allentown/Bethlehem Rauchbock
- Sierra Nevada Fritz & Ken's 30th Anniversary Stout
- Deschutes Hop In The Dark IPA
- Schlenkerla Helles
- Oskar Blues It's Legal in CO Smoked Ale
- Coronado Smoked Nutter Brown Ale
- Flying Dog Smoked Imperial Schwarz
- Weyerbacher Smoked Imperial Stout
- Allagash Burnham Road
- Sly Fox Rauchbier
- Stewart's Kirschholzgeräucherterdunkelweizen
- Victory Scarlet Fire Rauchbier
- Stone Smoked Porter
- Furthermore Three Feet Deep