Schwarz | Heater Allen Brewing

51 Ratings

Brewed by:
Heater Allen Brewing
Oregon, United States

Style: Schwarzbier

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 4.80%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
1.013 BG, 4.6%, 30 IBU, 28 SRM

Added by msubulldog25 on 12-13-2007

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 51 |  Reviews: 21
Photo of HaveUSeenMyCellar
3/5  rDev -22.7%

Photo of RedDiamond
3.1/5  rDev -20.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

If you shine a flashlight through it, you can draw out some ruby highlights. Otherwise, this black lager is indeed black. It is casually sweet with some hints of molasses and a bit of roast in the finish along with retained maltose. Its light, estery aroma is too frail to dwell on.

Reasonably enjoyable but somewhat indistinct and far from exciting.

 352 characters

Photo of ADTaber
3.25/5  rDev -16.2%

Photo of Rick778
3.4/5  rDev -12.4%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Photo of BeerAndFilm
3.42/5  rDev -11.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of ygtbsm94
3.5/5  rDev -9.8%

Photo of oriolesfan4
3.5/5  rDev -9.8%

Photo of chumba526
3.55/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Appears black with a thin brown head.

Smells sweet and full of smoky malts.

It tastes of caramel sweetness, smoky malts. It is a little reminiscent of dark chocolate or coffee.

The carbonation is moderately low.
The sweetness and the smokiness are balanced nicely so the drinkability is quite high.

Overall a well made beer and a nice tasting beer but not my favorite from Heater Allan. It is better than most Schwarz biers but is nothing truly amazing. Worth trying though.

 479 characters

Photo of lacqueredmouse
3.6/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I have to say, I'm pretty sure I picked this out of the cooler at Belmont Station in Oregon because of the label. Especially with the other two beers from the brewery next to it, it's particularly compelling and striking.

Pours a clear, quite bright black-brown hue, with a frothy, insubstantial, but believable head of scungy white. Decent body and carbonation. Looks fair enough.

Nose is pleasantly balanced between crisp dark malts and a golden freshness of slightly herbal hops. It has a wholemeal, wheaten character to it, cut with a pleasant brightness. Not bad.

Taste is light but also pleasant. Crisp grain comes through with a light feel and a lingering greenness around the back. Slight bitterness makes it feel like a hoppier than usual dark lager, and the feel is pleasantly light and biting.

Very decent schwarzbier. It has a pleasant crispness and lightness to it, while maintaining some grips on its genesis as a dark beer. It's not particularly big or complex, but it serves its purpose well.

 1,012 characters

Photo of tempest
3.63/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Split a bomber with a friend and had this back to back with the Heater Allen Dunkel. That beer is a tough act to follow, but this is still quite a nice beer. My only gripe is that while the Dunkel was very true to style, this tasted more like a porter, with more roast than a typical Schwarzbier. Still, it held more than a enough lovely cocoa flavor to win me over.

 366 characters

Photo of Murrhey
3.65/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 2.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a standard pressure-cap bomber into a conic pint glass in high elevation Kalispell, Mont. Reviewed live. No best-by date.

A- One-finger light brown colored head with rapidly eroding retention. Very dark ruby color, very little light comes through.

S- Roasted malts, coffee grounds, chocolate and toffee.

T- Slightly burnt, mostly roasted malts. Rich chocolate and coffee flavors with a healthy malt body. Some crisp sweetness as well as a slight hop bite.

M- Medium bodied, with a thin finish.

O- Smell and taste are both nice. Feel and look are meh. I like Heater Allen quite a bit, but I don't like this style of beer much.

 644 characters

Photo of vkv822
3.72/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

22oz bottle into tulip snifter.

Pours black with a thin, bubbly tan head.

Lightly smoky, roasty malts blended with some espresso notes.

Espresso, cocoa and an almost sweet smokiness.

Light to medium body, soft carbonation.

A pleasant schwarzbier, just enough smokiness to add some complexity without becomming overwhelming.

 328 characters

Photo of jason_nwx
3.75/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of largadeer
3.75/5  rDev -3.4%

Photo of 1whiskey
3.75/5  rDev -3.4%

Photo of bluckbeyes
3.75/5  rDev -3.4%

Photo of nmann08
3.75/5  rDev -3.4%

Photo of Kmat10
3.75/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of mactrail
3.81/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Very dark mahogany brown with nice foam in the tall Pilsner glass. Pleasant sudsy mouthfeel brings to mind the German way with carbonation.

Slightly sweet and fairly malty. Light body and yet quite mouth-filling. Faint sourish touch with a distinct charred barley taste. This really taste black. Overall, though, it's warmly malty but tangy and full of nicely roasted flavors.

This is one of the better Schwarzbiers in my experience. Great drinkability and makes an often dull style come alive. From the 22 oz bottle purchased at Bine & Vine in San Diego.

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Photo of msubulldog25
3.83/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Another of the fresh bottles dropped off by brewer Rick Allen, just before Thanksgiving. This 22 oz. pours to a pint glass.

The H-A website describes as: "This is our interpretation of the little known Schwarzbier, or “black beer” of Germany...when I brew this, I use a lot of flavorful amber malts, and just enough black malt to get the color right – a total of nine different malts in all. The beer’s rich malt/espresso aroma, leads to complex malt, caramel, chocolate, and espresso flavors. There’s just enough hop bitterness to keep everything in balance. (1.014 BG, 4.8%, 36 IBU, 29 SRM)"

My review:

A: Deep, deep brown opacity - nears blackness but for a scant amber-hued thinning toward the edges. Modest bubbliness atop, visible in just that lightest portion; head is very slim, creamy/fizzy and light but with a short span of retention. Leaves a pencil thin trim of light rusty-tan and virtually no lace.

S: This one smells malty, with notes of sugared dark fruit, caramel and smoked grain. Unfortunately, to me it's also pretty metallic (beyond typical 'lager yeast' smell), like a kettle after a good steel wool scrubbing. This twang mellows as the beer warms; still it's worth noting.

T: Malty caramel sweetness upfront, then developing a deeper and more bitter roasted-ness. Dark chocolate and coffee grounds are really strong in the backing. Hops add a slightly sharp citrus zest, but don't entirely cut through the grainy roasting. It's balanced well between hops and dark malts, just a little heavy with bittering in the finish.

M: Light-to-medium body initially, modest carbonation. This became surprisingly heavy as a sticky maltiness crept up; my experience with the schwarzbier style is that it's mildly toasty/husky, yet clean finishing; this one is more clingy, almost chewy. Leaves a lasting coffee bittering.

D: Pretty good beer, definitely worth a try. Not my favorite of the Heater-Allen brews I've tasted so far, but one I'll return to for more evaluating/enjoying. Flavors are good, but mouthfeel and aroma are not quite as pleasing as I'd hoped for. Or, this may be one that needs to grow on me, as I'll admit my experience with this interesting style is relatively's a fine, sessionable lager (under 5%) that I'll be having again (2 more in the cellar).

 2,309 characters

Photo of jlindros
3.88/5  rDev 0%

Thanks to familynight (Reddit) for this interesting beer. Haven't had anything from this brewery before, and I do enjoy a good schwarz.

Pours a darker fizzy slight creamy smaller head covering, super dark molasses cola brown colored that is essentially pitch black other than the thin bottom, mild lacing, and even some legs surprisingly. 4.25

Nose is pretty nice, dark malts, caramel, toffee, a little nutty, bit of sweetness and candy like, with touch of black malt and faint coffee roast, eventually even gets chocolatey and cocoa dust, as well as a bit of grainy toasty malts. It has a mild lagered softness. Seems more like a baltic porter than schwarzbier. 4

Taste brings more juicy malts mostly dark, with more black malt and mild coffee roast like, little char but not acrid, into faint cocoa dust and a little dark chocolate, and it even gets a bit creamy. then mild grainy malt note, with more caramel and toffee sweetness but not as sweet as the nose lead it to be, with a soft fluffy but slight crisp lager note but not too crisp. Touches of a grassy hop note on the far back end, mixed with a bit of a bitter roast brings a little bitterness but not a lot. Finish is a bit more bitter as it dries quite a bit and brings a bit more grassy hop and more roasty malts, little sticky and fluffy not really crisp, little char and little cocoa. 3.75

Mouth is fluffy and creamy med bod, nice fluffy carb, slightly crisp. 4

Overall not bad, nice malts, light hops with a nice bitter finish, wish it was a bit more crisp but was decently fluffy, nice dark malts, but esp that aspect brings more of a baltic porter character. 3.75

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Photo of South2NW
3.88/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of Metalmonk
3.91/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Schwarz and schwarz can be, this thing is quite lovely, with a stout-like cap of foamy foam on top. Not much lace, and a quick thinning of the head.

Aroma is nothing special, has that typical lager-ness to it, with a very mild hint of roasted malt inside of that. Try as I might, it's not leaving much of an impression, but there's nothing bad about it either.

Flavor is very good: a pinch of anise, coffee bitterness, dark fruit sugars, lactic goodness, and a big juicy/creamy mouthfeel that delivers the flavors beautifully. Coffee hangs around in the finish...seems like morning.

Another great lager from Heater-Allen that will turn the heads of lager-lovers and lager-disbelievers alike. There's nothing more to say--it's simply very good.

Thanks to msubulldog25 for this rare treat.

 793 characters

Photo of NWHopinator
3.92/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Photo of chossboss
3.94/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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Schwarz from Heater Allen Brewing
Beer rating: 3.88 out of 5 with 51 ratings
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