When you think of the styles and how many there can be? I was doing some research and found over 100 different recognized styles by the BJCP (Beer Judge Certification Program) So it hit me as we have so many “new” flavors these days. Hazy, non hazy, added adjuncts and what have you. What about the original styles? The one that have been around and are proven winners. This week I am going with the Dunkel the weather is cold out and I loved the Dunkel when I first started my beer quest. Maybe it was the name that first got me to try one but whatever the case may be lets talk Dunkel.

Dunkel is the German word meaning dark, and dunkel beers typically range in color from amber to dark reddish brown. They are characterized by their smooth malty flavor. In informal terms, such as when ordering at a bar, “dunkel” is likely to mean whatever dark beer the bar has on tap, or sells most of; in much of north and western Germany, especially near Düsseldorf, this may be altbier.

In Bavaria, Dunkel, along with helles, is a traditional style brewed in Munich and popular throughout Bavaria. With alcohol concentrations of 4.5% to 6% by volume, dunkels are weaker than Doppelbocks, another traditional dark Bavarian beer. Dunkels are produced using Munich malts which give the Dunkel its color. Other malts or flavors may also be added.

Many dunkels have a distinctive malty flavor that comes from a special brewing technique called decoction mashing. Most commonly, dunkel beers are dark lagers, but the term is also used to refer to dark wheat beers such as Franziskaner Hefe-Weisse Dunkel. Dunkel weizen is another term used to refer to dark wheat beers, which are fruity and sweet with more dark, roasted malts than their lighter counterpart, the hefeweizen.

Examples – Chuckanut Dunkel Lager, Ayinger Dunkel, HackerPschorr Alt Munich Dark