If you know me, you know that my favorite time of year is fall. The smell, the chill, the leaves changing, and the German drinking holidays. The St. Benedictine Octoberfest is an annual fund raiser at the school that happens every year. I have not been the past couple of year but will mark it on the calendar.
When I worked at Brown, I could name every import that we carried. Now that I am at Specialty it isn't that easy. We distribute for B. United that has an import portfolio bigger than our core portfolio. It has been a real challenge to learn all of these brands, and some have a bit of seasonality to them. Schlenkerla is a B. United brand that we carry four or five SKU's from year round.
Rauch beers, or smoked beers are the German way of adding flavor to beers and keep with in the purity laws. Water is added to grain to encourage it to sprout, and once it has sprouted they dry or smoke the grain to stop at this point of growth. One practice was to layer the grain between moss, thus imparting some flavor. Schlenkerla does a bit of blending to express many degrees of smokiness. These beers are often described as a meal in a glass. It's like drinking a slab of bacon or rack of ribs. I have yet to try to Oak Smoke yet, this could be a long learning process.