Queen City Brewery

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Smoked Beer
Ranked #57
Ranked #25,999
3.88 | pDev: 12.11%
Queen City Brewery
Vermont, United States
Very Good
Notes: Steinbier is an ancient alpine beer style in which the wort is heated with hot rocks to reach a boil. The resulting unique flavors of caramel and mild smoke with mineral notes cannot be achieved in any other way.
Reviews: 5 | Ratings: 13 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of Bierman9
Bierman9 from New Hampshire

4.15/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Second of three biers I had on an enjoyable visit with Alewife on 25JUL20.... A 16oz pour was $6, and served in a tall, slender Pilsner glass.

Was a clear, medium copper color. Had light carbo, and a thin, short white head with light lacing. Had a caramel nose, on the mild side, with toasty action. Was medium bodied, with a fairly smooth feel.

Flavor had an abundance of caramel. with more toasty malts. Was quite smooth, with some nutty notes and light smoky characteristics. Clean and crisp, with subtle hopping in the finish. Nice! Prosit!!

4.15/5 rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25


Aug 01, 2020
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Lone_Freighter from Vermont

3.71/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

The appearance was a hazy burnt amber to orange color with a quickly dissipating white head. Barely any lacing. The smell started off with sweet caramel with subtle smoke sliding in underneath. The taste copies the smell nicely bringing subtle dry mineral notes. Light bready-like lager flavor rides in nicely. Dry smoky to burnt caramel aftertaste. Quick finish. On the palate, this one sat about a light on the body with a nice sessionable sweet smooth dryness hitting my tongue. Overall, I liked this one for me, but honestly I don't know much about the "steinbeer" style.

Jul 14, 2017
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NeroFiddled from Pennsylvania

4.14/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Queen City Brewery "Steinbier"
on tap at the brewery on 7 June 2016

The most interesting thing about steinbier has got to be how it's made, but what I truly love about it is that almost-smoky caramelization that you get from the wort against the hot rocks. To me it's incomparable, you just can't get that clean caramel note through using malt, and it's got that soft smokiness as well. You could probably come close just by using caramel and smoked malts, but where's the fun in that!? Besides, it's a history lesson, at one time all beers were made this way.

It's a clear deep copper in color beneath a creamy head of off-white. The head retention is good but I thought the lacing could be better, and I don't think that's because I had a dirty bar glass as I liked it so much I bought a couple of bottles to take with me and they performed in the same way.

The aroma delivers the smoky caramel in almost exactly the same way that you experience it in the flavor. Beyond that there are some very mild floral and subtly grassy noble hops to round it out.

In the mouth it's light-medium in body with a fine-bubbled moderate, lower than standard carbonation that gives a gentle caress to the tongue without becoming 'crisp'. It's just enough to help keep the malt from building on the palate.

As noted, the flavor reflects the aroma. It's not a complex beer in that it's just smoky caramel malt with some noble German hops going on, nor is it particularly rich, but it is unique and flavorful.

The fact that they've kept it so clean and really dialed-in the balance is what really bolsters it though. There are no rough edges, even within the smokiness, and it's remarkably easy to drink. I haven't tried all of the beers from Queen City, but out of what I've tasted so far this is the one that impresses me most. Well worth trying!

Aug 08, 2016
Photo of NotAlcoholicJustAHobby
NotAlcoholicJustAHobby from Vermont

4.04/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

L-The beer pours a clear reddish amber. The medium pour leads to a 3/4 inch off white head which recedes to a thin film. Lacing is minimal.
S-The nose is of light smoke and a some toasty bready malts.
T-The first thing to hit the palate is the light smokiness. The mineral taste from the hot rocks used to boil the wort is evident at the end and gives the beer a slightly dry finish. I find most Rauchbiers to be overwhelming in thier smokiness. This beer hits exactly the right note with my palate. All in all this beer is a really nice light drinking beer with an interesting flavor profile.
F-The mouthfeel is light despite the light carbonation. The mineral finish keeps the beer drinking light. Definitely the right approach to this beer.
O- Although I find the nose to be a bit weak, I love the flavor profile of this beer. It really opens up a type of beer I struggle to drink. If the usual Rauchbier is to strong in the smoke profile for you, this beer may be a good alternative to get into the style.

Jan 25, 2016
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founddrama from Vermont

3.63/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

LOOK: Reddish-brown, almost rusty. Solidly a finger's worth of densy, foamy off-white head. Nice lacing. Head hangs around for a while and clings nicely to the glass.

SMELL: Smoke and alcohol (Scotch whisky, specifically).

TASTE: Really smoky. Almost a Scotch flavor? Some malt sweetness under that. Mild Old World hop profile on the finish, but they're not really on display here.

FEEL: Smooth mouthfeel.

Not as exotic as I'd imagined but that's a good thing.

Mar 21, 2015
Steinbier from Queen City Brewery
Beer rating: 86 out of 100 with 13 ratings