I love it when my friend Matt comes to town.  My Craft Beer counterpart from Germany always has a special treat for me.  And this year’s visit was no exception.  This year I received a little taste of German’s budding craft beer scene:  Gruthaus.


But before we dive into the beer let’s take a quick second to talk about the German Craft Beer scene.

Currently the German Beer scene is made up mostly of pilsners, with a few specialty beer sprinkled in the South like the bock family.  Sure, you have Kölsh and Dortmunders sprinkled in regionally, but for the most part:  good luck finding an IPA in that country.  On top of that, many of their golden lagers are being gobbled up by global companies like InBev and Heineken.  But the craft beer movement is coming, and they are even getting help from some famous names in the Craft Beer scene here in the good ole’ US of A.  Breweries like Stone, Sierra Nevada, and Boston Brewing (Sam Adams) have either opened up breweries, or are in the process of building one.

But the Germans are not ones to sit back and watch us do all the work.  The larger cities are starting to host some local craft breweries of their own.  This brings us to our beer review today of Gruthaus’ Pumpernickel Porter from Münster, Germany.

Gruthaus Pumpernickel Porter

 This beer poured a nice dark amber.  You can clearly see through this beer.  The beer had a nice foamy white head to it.  The aroma of this beer reminded me of a fresh loaf of baked bread.  I also picked up some subtle fruity notes in the background.  The beer was heavily carbonated for what my perception of a porter is, as well as it had a thinner mouth-feel. In those two respects the Pumpernickel Porter really came across as more of a lager than an ale. The taste came across as very sharp and refined.  It has very nice malty notes and the pumpernickel aspect comes through in a nice smooth rye bread like flavors with a hint of chocolate.  I detected a slight smokiness to this beer in the aftertaste, and the beer finishes clean with almost no lingering tastes.

This beer would pair well with roasted meats, as well as a let of sharp domestic cheeses (think cheddar).  It is best served in a nonic pint glass, and tastes great at room temp, or slightly chilled.

Overall, this is a beer with seeking out if you ever find yourself in Münster.  It tasted re-fined, clean, and had good flavors if you are looking for a break from all those pilsners.  Gruthaus Pumpernickel Porter was designed for the German beer drinker.  It is lighter, sharper, and a smoother finish than a lot of homespun porters.  It is also a great beer to drink to get your feet wet in the dark beer world.  I can’t wait for my next trip to Germany to get my hands on more of this excellent beer.  Until next time, PROST!