Beer of the Week: NW Peaks Lichtenberg Dunkelweiss

By Iron Chef Leftovers

Dunkelweiss is a style that you just don’t see too often in Seattle, so it was a nice surprise when NW peaks decided to brew one as part of their Mountainbeers series.

From the NW Peaks Website:

The name. The mountain. Lichtenberg mountain is situated just off of the PCT overlooking Hwy 2 east of Steven’s pass. Lichtenberg rises from the shores of Lake Valhalla, a deservedly popular day hike or snowshoe destination. The upper slopes above the lake offer some rock climbing routes as well as a few gully scrambles to reach the summit.  However, we went up in the winter when accessibility, terrain, and the N ridge were great for skiing. A great place to frolic in any season.

The Beer. The dunkelweiss style is slightly lesser known than its hefeweizen cousin, but has many similar attributes – the most pronounced being a low ABV, light body, and refreshing – with significant notes of banana and cloves. We brewed this German style with the typical amounts of wheat and munich malts, and added a little chocolate malt to give it some color and add some darker essence. We fermented Lichtenberg with the same strain of yeast that weihenstephan uses which produced a nice banana character and some clove notes. The result was a light-bodied, cloudy, dark beer with the nice banana and clove character.

Malts: Wheat and munich with a tad of crystal, chocolate, and flaked. Hops: Hallertau. ABV: ~4.25%

The beer pours amber brown in color with note of roast and caramel appearing first on the nose, followed by copious amounts of malt. A slight sweetness appears on the initial taste, yielding quickly to light roast coupled with some toffee and caramel interspersed. The finish is a bit short by pleasant – hints of malty sweetness that fades quickly. The flavors are more pronounced as the beer warms, 47-50 degrees seeming to be the sweet spot, where you can really appreciate the balance between the stronger roasted flavors and the sweetness of the malt.  Overall, a nice beer for a cool, rainy day hanging out with friends and watching some sports on TV around a roaring file.

NW Peaks paints a work of art with the Lichtenberg Dunkelweiss with 4 Crows in the Wheatfield out of 5.

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