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Zwickel - Urban Chestnut Brewing Company - Midtown Brewery & Biergarten

Not Rated.

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

44 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 44
Hads: 254
Avg: 3.85
pDev: 29.35%
Wants: 16
Gots: 47 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Urban Chestnut Brewing Company - Midtown Brewery & Biergarten visit their website
Missouri, United States

Style | ABV
Kellerbier / Zwickelbier |  5.20% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: Rifugium on 06-20-2011

Our flagship lager, pronounced ‘zv-ick-el’, is an unfiltered, unpasteurized, German classic that finishes as a smooth-drinking, vitamin rich (from the yeast), naturally cloudy bier.

20 IBU
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 44 | Hads: 254
Photo of tigg924
3.83/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Pours clear, bright gold, with high carbonation and one inch head. Taste is graham cracker, honey, and grass. A sweet lager with light hop balance. Nice and clean. A great lager to sit back with and enjoy.

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Photo of bwood06
3.87/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

500mL bottle into a pint glass

A - white frothy head that dissipates quickly. moderate to high carbonation. golden beer in color with ever so slight haze. 3.75/5

S - light bready malt. buttery. herbal and grassy hops. very light aroma overall. 3.5/5

T - light bready malt that pairs with a light butteriness. note of cereal is present as well. light flavor of yeast and herbal hops that balances with a slight caramel sweetness. very simple but very good. very clean finish. 4/5

M - no drying astringency. leaves mouth feeling wet. light to medium body with carbonation burn. 4/5

O - very good pilsner. much more flavor than the typical American pilsner. very simple and lacking complexity but very well executed and drinkable. 4/5

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Photo of irrevjim
4.26/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

look; slightly cloudy golden, slow bubbles, nice looking 1 1/2' white head that leaves quickly and leaves very little lacing.
smell; biscuit, honey, a little yeasty or grassy smell, nice
taste; honey, biscuit, wheat, gentle kiss of hops, delicious lager, perfect
feel; medium body, smooth but you can feel the carbonation, feels 'right'
overall; a perfectly balanced delicious bavarian lager

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Photo of brentk56
4.19/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Appearance: Arrives with a cloudy golden color; not sure what happened with the head but it has gone missing; no lacing to speak of

Smell: Graham cracker and wheat bread; slightly grassy

Taste: Graham cracker malt flavors dominate from start to finish with a modest amount of grassy bitterness developing; slightly fruity and lemony with a finish somewhat sweet

Mouthfeel: Medium body with moderate carbonation

Overall: An enjoyable quaff; the Urban Chestnut guys know there way around the German beer styles

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Photo of hoppytobehere
4.12/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

500ml bottle. Date on the neck puts this at about 2 months old.

This is one of my favorite lagers. It's perfectly balanced. A good alternative to AALs on a summer day. Too bad they don't can.

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Photo of SABERG
3.64/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Poured from an undated bottle into a modified tulip glass,
A - Wonderfully clear, with a steady train of carbonation, deep honey colored.
S - Floor malts, touch of adjunct no real floral components.
T - Well balanced lager, a touch of corn, nice bready element, slight bitterness is welcome.
F - right down the middle, medium in body, a touch to the sweet side, carbonation cleans it all up.
O - A really nice lager, a bit round and a touch oily but worth seeking out for certain.

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Photo of ryan1788a5
4.09/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

500ml bottle poured into a lager glass.

A: Dull golden with curiously good clarity for a zwickel. Rocky white head settles to about an inch in height.

S: Sweet and bready Pilsner malt, grainy toast, doughy, yeasty. Hint of fruit skins. And apple blossoms. Light sulfur. Grassy and herbal hops.

T: Sweet and bready pils malt. Doughy. Toasty grain. Pinch of confectioners sugar though the beer stays dry. Some yeast. Vague fruit skins. Floral. Hop spice, grassy and herbal. Lightly lemony. Doughy and yeasty finish.

M: Medium bodied. Round and full with a firm malt feel. Floury too. Mild hop astringency rakes at the enamel just a little. Moderate scrubbing carbonation.

O: It feels authentic. I have only had a few zwickels, like hofstetten and Mahrs, but this is comparable. Cleaner though. It is also curiously clear, as I expect a cloudy appearance from the style. Still very good though. Tasty and well balanced. Impressive lager brewing skills on show here.

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Photo of champ103
3.86/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

On tap at the Blind Pig Brewery in Champaign, IL

A: Pours a cloudy golden/yellow color. A one finger white head forms, and recedes in a second. Not much lace is left behind.
S: Fruity esters, banana is up front and center. Light biscuit malts. Even a bit of DMS, which is very light so not really a problem.
T: Big fruity banana esters up front and center. I would almost say this is closer to a Hefe than a Lager. Light malts, a bit grainy, with almost DMS like sulfur taste. Which is not displeasing, and very light to begin with. Overall, pretty enjoyable.
M/O: A light body and moderate carbonation. Not as crisp as I would like, maybe a bit watery. Really easy and enjoyable to drink though. I can see myself putting several away with ease.

A very good unfiltered Pils. Unfortunately The Blind Pig has made one of my personal favorites of the style from an American brewery, which is on at the same time this is. So, maybe I would enjoy this even more in a different circumstance. As is, very good in its own right, if not my favorite lager example still very much a great example of the style and well worth giving a go..

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Photo of dukeandduke
3.68/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

7/27/15 (Bottle) Cloudy golden colour with solid thick white head. Mild yeast aroma. ight textures, goes down smooth and easy. Perfect for a hot day and with a meal. Overall very good beer.

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Photo of Chaz
3.69/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Pours bright golden in color, and rather clear, topped with a rocky, shock-white head. Head drops after a few minutes leaving some nice Brussels lacing behind.

Bready, biscuit malt character dominates the nose . . . so far, so good.

Semi-sweet (but mostly dry) and lighter tangy character on the first sip. Malty for sure, with minimal hop bitterness, but it's not sweet (and especially not cloying), either. The bready malt from the nose is all over this one, coating the tongue and palate, but lightly. Carbonation is appropriate and rather on the soft side -- not brisk.

This one seems to be rather fresh*, as there are pale malt characters which will fade in time. I'm guessing that these would be obscured (in only a month or so more) by oxidation or other chemical degradation. As it is, this one hits all the right notes, and I can understand why so many love the style and have raved about this brewery.

Altogether -and despite the clarity vice cloudiness described in the language on the label- this is well above average for the style in terms of its flavor profile, especially considering how the style is often interpreted by domestic/Craft brewers in the U.S.A. Well done!

*Note: Despite the label instructing: "For 'bottled-on' date see neck", such a date was -not- to be found on either of the bottles of Urban Chestnut that I was able to sample, recently. Oh well. ;)

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Photo of Gobearswalter34
4.33/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Pours a light gold with a thick, creamy white head. Lots of carbonation.
Smells a smoky yeast, finishing with a funk.
Nearly perfect Bavarian style lager taste. Bready with slight hop bite, with that wonderful finish that makes you think you are drinking this in the old world. Great taste with refreshment.
Overall, the best non European Bavarian Lager I have had.

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Photo of steveh
4.4/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

My first go at this local favorite of A-B's backyard. Heard terrific reviews, hope they stand up.

500 ML bottle that is supposed to have a bottled-on date on the neck, but I can't find one. $9.00 per 4-pack.

A -- Hazy light gold color with a dense white head.

S -- Bready, yeasty nose with light, spicy hops back. Mild DMS toward the end.

T -- Light breadiness up front with some spicy hops in the middle and a crackery, grainy finish with spicy hop bitterness lingering through the otherwise clean aftertaste.

M -- Mouthfeel is soft and smooth with a lightly crisp finish and a light to light-medium body.

O -- As the beer warms a little more I realize that it's really reminding me of Spaten Helles from years back and Munich trips. The breadiness is definitely a yeasty character more than a melanoidin breadiness, but a little of that comes through in the aftertaste. Overall, this beer is a very good rendition of a Bavarian lager and will stand up to the best. I hope to be enjoying more of this over the summer months to come!

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Photo of JLaw55
4.5/5  rDev +16.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A super smooth, crisp, refreshing lager. It may not punch you in the mouth with flavor, but there is something to be said about it's excellent execution of subtle flavors and smooth taste.

Would absolutely purchase and drink again.

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Photo of humuloner22
2.77/5  rDev -28.1%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.75

I picked this one up on a trade. It was pretty unexciting really. I have a few more from this brewery but this one was a run of the mill lager.

Appearance: What you would expect from a lager. Golden foamy quintessential "beer" appearance.

Smell: Not much going on here, some malts grassy notes, some bready notes in there but fairly mild.

Taste: Blah, it really isn't all that great. I think AAL' almost do a better job of this style. It was not really all that tasty,It was a foamy soapy tasting mess.

Overall: Not impressed with this one. I wouldn't seek it out again. But then again I am not crazy about the style to begin with.

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Photo of Suds
4.45/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

I love a good lager, it is not always my style, but a solid well made version can be very rewarding. This one is exceptional. It is slightly hazy, and golden. Effervescent with a white head. The smell is of bread and hops....slight peppery hop scent, and very clean. The flavor is crisp, with a little up front sweetness and breads malt. Wonderful.

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Photo of 4DAloveofSTOUT
4.32/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25

500ml bottle sealed with pressure cap.

poured into HF wine stem.

Appearance: slighty cloudy; medium straw yellow bodied beer. This beer sports a giant and clumpy bone white head. This beer has great head retention. Spotty lacing is left all over the outside of the glass.

Smell: This beer has bready malts that imparts a slightly sweet aroma. Slightly fruity yeast and very mellow floral hop profile. Toasted and grainy malts also come to mind.

Taste: Really nice malt profile flavors here- bready, biscuity, toasty grains and cereal grains notes are prodominate. Also tasting some honey. Minerals and well water come to mind also. A nice general fruity yeast presence is found at the end of each swallow with a light floral hop bitterness in the finish.

Mouthfeel: light bodied beer with medium carbonation levels. The carbonation is surprisingly creamy with a slight lager dryness at the finish. This beer is unbelieveably crushable; drinkablity is seriously off the charts. This would be fantastic in summer because it is such a crisp and clean lager.

Overall: This is only the third zwickel that I have ever sampled. The first thing that I thought of when I took my first wiff and taste of this beer was a beer that is similiar to an Octoberfest style beer. If I would have gotten a blind pour and did not know who the brewer was... I would have guessed that Dan Carey brewed this beer. And we all know that Dan Carey is the master when it comes to brewing German lagers. This is definately a high quality german lager and it is on the same level as any of Dan's German lagers that he brews. I give this beer high regards, so get a sample of this brew from Urban Chestnut! What a gem!

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Photo of BEERchitect
4.1/5  rDev +6.5%

True to the heartland of Germany, the taste that put pilsner on the brewing map takes up residency with these St. Louis beer makers.

Its bright golden-straw color gleams with racing carbonation that shines with bright clarity. A cottony swath of foam accompanies the rim and explodes with floral hop aromatics. Honeysuckle, orange blossom, citrus and orchard fruit abound while the undertow of fresh baked bread and confectioner's sweetness play softly underneath.

While a memory of sweetness resides on the middle palate, the lager dries beautifully to a crisp and wafer-thin, cracker-like quality. Slight honey and powdered sugar dissolves on the palate and the floral perfume turns spicy, grassy and wonderfully herbal in balance.

Peppery, pleasantly grassy and with a herbal bite, the finish comes quick and dry. Its refreshing taste gives the medium-light lager an effervescent tingle with aftertaste of floral bouquet and pepper.

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Photo of barczar
3.77/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A hint of sulfury pilsner malt character in aroma, with slightly spicy and grassy hops. Flavor is crackery, with an interesting citrus tartness at the finish.

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Photo of Davepoolesque
4/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Great traditional German lager taste....................................................................................................................

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Photo of schematix
1.5/5  rDev -61%

I had this for the first time after drinking mass market american lagers so I reserved my opinion until I could taste it on a clean tongue.

Perhaps I had a bad batch here but I find this to be undrinkable swill. It has a thick cloying heavy moutfeel, with an estery and phenolic finish. The more I drink it, the more I dislike it. Tastes like a hot fermented amateur home brew cream ale. The only positive quality is that it has great head.

I'll try it again in the future and change my rating if it's any different, but suffice to say I'm very disappointed.

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Photo of joe1510
4.21/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

500ml Bottle

A big thanks goes out to Mark for the bottle! A favorite style of mine. Surprisingly good clarity with the smallest amount ofl haze throughout the body. The pokal really accentuates the 24kt golden body with a glow like no other. A sudsy off white head grows to a finger in height on the pour and crackles down fairly quickly to a thick ring and light foam. Spotty lacing is left behind on each drink. Lookin' good!

You could smell this guy as it was pouring. A couple feet away and I could smell deep, penetrating, clean graininess. Made my mouth water. Cereal grain and light white toast make up the malt base. A slight mineral character comes through from what I'm assuming is the water used. Grassy hops wrap it up along with some florals as well. Oh, yeah, this beer smells clean and crisp.

Same! Grain, grain, grain. Fresh cereal grains, crisp and clean. Easy going minerality runs from front to back and there's a touch of dry white toast. Grassy noble hops flash through first but the long aftertaste becomes slightly floral. Straightforward flavors profile that pops, is clean, and is mouthwateringly delicious.

The body is light with an ultra soft and silky feel across the tongue. The florals linger and a moderate grassy bitterness persists long after each drink. A drying finish accentuates that bitterness. Each drink leaves me wanting another immediately.

This is a well crafted Zwickel, no off flavors, moderate bitterness, crisp, and most importantly easy drinking. If I lived in Urban Chestnut's distribution area I would buy this by the case often. Such a great beer to have on hand at all times. Thanks again, Mark!

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Photo of jrnichols
3.49/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 16oz bottle. My glass is kind of small so I had to drink it in two pours. Swirling the bottle before the second pour kicked up some yeast from the bottom.

A medium head, disperses quickly leaving very little foam around the edges. Clear golden color with a few bubbles. The second pour was a little cloudier, remaining so for the duration.

Slightly fruity smell, kind of hard to place but it makes me think of apricot and a tiny bit of apple. The smell was stronger on the second pour.

Tastes somewhat like a typical commercial lager, but with a bit more complexity. The fruity aroma carries over into the taste with a very slight sourness on the back end.

Feels crisp and light, not very complex.

I don't usually seek out lagers because they are not usually very complex. In that respect, this beer is better than any commercial lager out there. But it's still approachable to the uninitiated Bud drinker. But it still leaves something to be desired. Definitely a sessionable beer, though.

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Photo of TastyAdventure
4.22/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Looks like a standard lager. Less than finger head.

Smells mildly fruity, surprisingly. A crisp fresh apple scent.

Smooth, almost creamy body. Smooth taste. Mild toasted biscuit following by mellow fruit. Pretty outstanding for a lager. In fact, the best light lager I've ever had!

This had been judged from the perspective of someone who doesn't really like lagers**

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Photo of Franziskaner
2.88/5  rDev -25.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3

Golden hued with great clarity. Minimal head. Aroma is slightly nutty with a bit of pale malt. Mouthfeel is salty and light. Flavor is strong in terms of light malt and somewhat salty and buttery. There's just something underwhelming here. This is not one of my favorites.

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Photo of brureview
4.08/5  rDev +6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

A friend brought this beer from St. Louis. It's the first beer
I have sampled from this brewery.

In a stein,the beer poured a pale yellow color with a 3F head. It's unfiltered,
so the color was not clear.

Very nice aroma from the head: malt and light fruit.

The mouth feel was lightly carbonated.

The taste-finish was surprising. Although, I am not familiar with this style,
there was an excellent balance of malt, fruit, and bitterness.
I was expecting more bitterness, and less balanced flavor with the malt and fruit.
The beer is well-brewed- which shows in the finished taste.

It's an easy drinking beer- but there is some complexity. I would like to explore more
beers in this style, and from the the brewery.

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Zwickel from Urban Chestnut Brewing Company - Midtown Brewery & Biergarten
86 out of 100 based on 44 ratings.