Chuckanut Brewery wants to introduce you to smoke beer. Properly brewed smoke beer. The brewery will host a smoked beer fest at each of its two locations (Burlington, WA and Portland, OR) on Saturday, March 5th. You’ll find more info below. In the meantime, a quick word about smoke beer. (Above, three smoke beers from Chuckanut Brewery.)
I think a lot of American beer drinkers don’t really understand “smoke beer.” I would suggest that’s because some breweries in the U.S. don’t do it well. Some brewers are heavy-handed in the use of the smoke character, and it ends up tasting like someone put a shot of liquid smoke in the beer. That is not a properly executed smoke beer. You’re looking for smoke, yes, but also nuance. You’re looking for subtlety and balance.
Chuckanut Brewery does not do things the wrong way, especially with regards to traditional German beer styles, so this event is a great introduction, or reintroduction, to smoke beers.
Proper smoke beer (Rauchbier is the German term) is brewed with smoked malt. To create this smoked malted barley, the barley is dried over a fire, which lends it a smokey character. This beer style is most often associated with the city of Bamburg in the Franconia region of Germany.
Here’s all the info straight from Chuckanut Brewery:
Chuckanut Brewery Smoke Fest on March 5
Historically all beers were smoky due to the fires on which they were brewed as well as smoking the malt as it dried during the malting process. Now smoke beers are a rare, special treat and hard to find at that, but Chuckanut Brewery is celebrating these delicious beers with a Smoke Fest.
Chuckanut’s P. Nut Beer Hall in Portland and South Nut Brewery & Tap Room will be hosting Smoke Fest on March 5 in celebration of smoke lagers! Both locations will have three smoke beers on tap: Grodziskie Polish Lager, Rauch Marzen Lager and Rauch Helles Lager.
All three beers use a different variation of smoke malts and are unique in color and flavor. To help our communities in wildfire relief Chuckanut will be donating $1 of each smoke beer sold at both locations on March 5 to Direct Relief an organization that supports firemen and people who have been affected by wildfires.
The festivities will include a brewery Open House at South Nut with free brewery tours from 12-4 pm and food pairings ordered from local Skagit Valley Provisions and Skagit Landing Restaurant. At P. Nut in Portland Poblano Pepper Food Truck will be on site as well as Sip & Knit with its first meet up (no charge) for those that want to knit while they sip their beers!
Grodziskie is an old Polish style beer sometimes referred to as “Polish Champagne” that’s brewed with oak smoked wheat malt. It has a subtle smoky flavor and finishes dry as a bone due to the use of the wheat malt. Grodziskie has mineral notes on the nose and great back-end vanilla on the palate. Weighing in at a whopping 3% ABV this beer is extremely crushable.
On the other hand, Rauch Marzen Lager is a more medium bodied amber colored beer. Known as the beer from Bamberg, every brewery in Bamberg, Germany where this style continues to be brewed, makes their own rendition of a Beechwood smoked malt lager. The complicated malt bill used in a Rauch Marzen rewards one with a balanced malt/hop combination covered in smokiness!
Chuckanut Rauch Marzen Lager is modeled after the style Spezial Brewery in Bamberg makes. And last but not least, the Rauch Helles Lager also uses Beechwood smoked malt but in the body of a Helles (light colored) beer. This rauch bier has the body of a Marzen but the color and lightness of a Helles Lager. With its well-developed bready flavors and elegant maltiness Rauch Helles has an added layer of smokiness too!
All smoke beers are great food beers and Chuckanut would like you to experience the possibilities with the presence of a Mexican food truck in Portland and two different pairings created by local food purveyors in Skagit Valley. Make sure to visit Chuckanut’s P. Nut Beer Hall and the South Nut Tap Room for some new smoky beer fun on March 5! See you there!
Chuckanut Brewery’s P Nut Beer Hall is located at 920 SE Caruthers St, Portland, OR 97214. Chuckanut Brewery & Tap Room is located in the heart of Skagit Valley at 11937 Higgins Airport Way, Burlington, WA at the Port of Skagit. Chuckanut has won multiple awards from the GABF, World Beer Cup and WA Beer Awards. Both locations welcome guests of all ages! Check out additional information about Chuckanut at http://www.chuckanutbrewery.com.