Lakefront Brewery: Eastside Dark

by: BeerAdvocate on 04-11-2007
Last week, we enjoyed Lakefront Brewery’s Riverwest Stein Beer, an all-malt amber lager. This week, we run to nearly the opposite end of the lager spectrum, for the fifth beer in our exploration of Lakefront Brewery’s variety eight-pack. Eastside Dark is a Munich-style Dunkel Lager that’s brewed with three different specialty malts—chocolate, black patent and Munich—and hopped with Mt. Hood, a hop derived from German Hallertau, which is known for its clean bitterness and spicy nose.

Lakefront Brewery Eastside DarkMunich Dunkels are generally smooth, rich and complex, without being heady or heavy. They boast brilliant ruby hues and full bodies from the large amounts of Munich malts used. Their moderate bitterness usually balances out any lingering sweetness. Hop varieties used tend to be of the German noble varieties, like Tettnang and Hallertau. We dig Munich Dunkels, as they offer both the drinkability of a lager with the malt complexity found in dark ales.

The Taste
The 12-ounce brown bottle drops a dark brew into the glass, with a vibrant brown hue and a tight and slightly off-white head that settles to a creamy ringed lace. Nose is a bit biscuity, with hints of bark, chicory, toasty bread crusts, nuts, subtle dark chocolate and coffee. Creamy on the palate, with an underlying tingle of carbonation highlighted by an aggressive citric-rind hoppiness and an acrid bite. Malts are toasty, roasty and moderately sweet, offering nutty flavors of biscuit, earth and roots, a bitey coffee backbone, chicory, powdery chocolate and brown bread. The finish is dry and powdery, with lingering hints of biscuit and bark.

Final Thoughts
Coming in at 5.5 percent alcohol by volume, Eastside Dark is full of flavors and complexities that capture your interest, quench your palate and set you up for wanting another. Its bite would make an excellent contrast against something sweet, while the nuttiness would make a good marriage with pad thai or a similar dish; it could also complement and quell some barbecue with an attitude. And it’s most enjoyable on its own, too. Regardless, it’s another great example of what a lager can be and why the world needs more of them. Speaking of which: If you’re a lager fan or have the urge to explore lagers, we highly recommend that you attend our Night of the Lagers on June 15.

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