Schwelmer Bernstein | Privatbrauerei Schwelm

82 Ratings
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Schwelmer BernsteinSchwelmer Bernstein

Brewed by:
Privatbrauerei Schwelm

Style: Vienna Lager

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 4.80%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by Bierman9 on 11-21-2003

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Ratings: 82 |  Reviews: 80
Photo of ggaughan
3.83/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Served in bottle. I have enjoyed their Alt before and thought this would also be good to try. The beer poured a clear golden color with a minimal white head with some carbonation. The smell of the beer is a pleasing caramel, malty aroma with some citrus notes in the background. The taste is a good balance of the caramel malts that I noted in the aroma but there is also some nutty notes in the taste that is enjoyable. This, as the Alt from Schwelmer are easy to drink and give you a nice taste that lingers for a bit.

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Photo of TheEclecticGent
3.75/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

I poured this beer into a mug from a 500ml swing top bottle. The beer pours a crystal clear ruddy copper color with a 1 inch head which settles down to a 1/2 inch fine layer atop the beer. It has a light to medium malty aroma, but there is also a hint of spice. The taste is of bread, very light citrus and is balanced with some spiciness. The mouthfeel is soft and clean and sits very light in the mouth. This was a very easy beer to drink, nice.

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Photo of soulgrowl
4/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Topaz-peach, clear and satiny body with a sudsy off-ivory head. Big bubbles, poor retention, and no lacing, but what a pretty color.

Smell: Grainy malts, a bit of lemony zest, probably from the hops, a long drizzle of honey and just a drop of coffee.

Taste: Tasty, well-balanced, and smooth. The sweetness from the malts does not overwhelm the palate. Slightly nutty. Undercurrents of toasty banana bread, punctuated by a minor uprising of citric hops. Vague diacetyl character as well.

Mouthfeel: Smooth and creamy, but with little, sharp, tingly bubbles. Surprisingly full-bodied but still light on the tongue.

Drinkability: This beer is a no-brainer; nothing out-of-the-ordinary going on, but quite delicious and easy to drink.

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Photo of joecast
4.03/5  rDev +11%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

cool looking 500ml flip-top brown bottle. best before 10/06/06

makes a surprising pop when the cap is opened. pours a clear light amber color with many small to medium sized bubbles rising evenly throughout the brew. vigorour pour produced a large head, egg shell white in color. settled to a decent foamy lace.

full sweet malty smell. some honey and floral notes. deeper sniffing uncovers aromas of much darker brews, sort of fruity.

flavor is middling? you know, not too light, not too full. leaning towards malt, but not too much sweetness. just enough bitterness. hop flavor does not intrude leaving a fairly clean taste. malt makes its presence felt mostly in the back of the mouth. dont know why you need to know that.

mouthfeel is full and smooth. very nice and easy drinking. vienna would be one of my more favored of the lager varieties, and this was an enjoyable example.

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Photo of beveragecaptain
3.53/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

500 ml flip top bottle. Schwelmer Bernstein pours out a clear yellowish brown color with a rapidly diminishing head. The aroma is apples, a little caramel, and floral German hops. Grainy malt flavor with a little bit of apple fruitiness. Finishes with German hops, and a bit of a metallic mineral flavor. The mouthfeel is not very crisp, but it's creamy. Decent drinkability. This is a fairly good beer, but it's not as good as other offerings from the brewery, especially the alt.

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Photo of jarmby1711
4/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Deep gold with a reddish tinge ,persistent but moderate bead and a scant but present lace and head.
This has all the qualities I was expecting.
Malt predominant , but certainly not sweet , more of a biscuity taste It is pleasntly bitter but the hops dont appear to contribute to the taste.
A beer I would happily drink again but as the style is not my favourite ,not one I would seek to drink a lot of

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Photo of Citadel82
4.22/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Swing top bottle purchased at Whole Foods in Middletown, New Jersey. As a rule I like this style because it has a nice sweet malty taste without being cloying or heavy. This brew did not disappoint, it was a superb example of the style. Pours a nice amber - brown with a generous white head that was not too short-lived nor was it long lasting. Left lots of nice lacing and had a sweet caramel malt profile with a nice short bitter hoppy finish. I will buy this one again.

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Photo of revdrjbob
2.43/5  rDev -33.1%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Purchased from the Berry bottlo, sampled with Teaser. I always find it interesting when you buy strange German beer as the labelling is in German, and it's kind of a lucky dip as to what you get. They had the Pils, but we went for the Bernstein hoping it would be a little different.

Poured a golden amber into the glass, very bright and clear, tight thick fluffy head that dissipated quickly to a 1/2 cm thick foam.

Aromas of big malt, doughy, slight caramel, hints of possible mistreatment, no hops.

Taste: Big malt, hints of caramel, crystal, smooth, slight fruityness, liingering gentle bitterness. Easy drinking, slightly syrupy, almost not a German lager. More of an English bitter.

An ok beer, but not a beer that I'd return to. Definatley better than locally brewed Macro lagers, and the bottle rocked!

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Photo of granger10
3.25/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

The swingtop bottle is cool and good for homebrewing, I wish more breweries would do this. Clear dark gold color with bronze highlights. Medium fluffy white head. Aroma is of roasted barley, doughy bread, and toasted almonds. Taste is lacking the flavor intensity I want. Palate seems a little thin and undercarbonated. Smooth but the flavors just don't come out. Caramel is there along with biscuit and some light floral hops in the finish. Kind of forgetable. No off flavors here but nothing great either. Decent and drinkable but I wouldn't recommend.

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Photo of garymuchow
3.52/5  rDev -3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

My notes seems to indicate that the dating on the bottle was 11.2.03. It didn't necessarily seem old.
Aroma shows initial hops follwed by malty character of some sweetness and a little heft.
Dark gold to amber. Smallish head. Water clear.
Matly, but water taste at the same time. Hops with a very mild bitterness. Mild dryness that increases in time. Matl is sweet at times, just pushing a caramel taste.
Carbonation is full. A slight body, but also an excessive watery quality.
A very quick drinker. Not that bad. Not complicated.

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Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.25/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Coppery orange with a quiescent interior. The splendid looking cap is the color of sandstone and is tight-bubbled and firm. Despite the apparent lack of feeder bubbles, the head is nicely persistent. Unfortunately, very little lace ends up on the glass. A few scattered hunks and chunks is about it.

The nose is decent, though it definitely isn't a standout. Toasted grain is the focal point, as it is for most beer of this style. The hops, while they give off a slight mustiness, are primarily earthy. There's nothing here to get excited about. It's a competent, serviceable nose, no more.

That uninspiring competence continues on the palate. The flavor consists of gently toasted barley with a mild hoppy bitterness. It all tastes and feels flat and two-dimensional; there's no mouthfillingness to the experience. In this particular case, the undercarbonated mouthfeel is as much to blame as the flavor profile. More bubbles would have at least given the impression of vigorousness.

Some Vienna lagers have a spiciness that is appealing. This one is virtually spiceless. The flavor arc has a shallow ascent and begins its descent before reaching an actual peak. The more I drink, the more the word 'bland' comes to mind. The body is light-medium and struggles to avoid being called watery on the finish.

Schwelmer Bernstein (sounds like the name of a concert pianist) is a rather ho-hum version of the style in my opinion. The lack of any horrendous missteps means that it's drinkable, but the lack of any bright spots whatsoever means that it's also forgettable.

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Photo of radshoesbro
4.17/5  rDev +14.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

.5 liter brown swing top bottle with best before date on back.

a - amber color with big two finger head that doesn't leave as much lace as i would like, but fair lacing.

s - sweet aromas that remind me of honey and bits of fruit leather. hints of freshly baked dough.

t - light with very mild hops, slightly malted, and a very floral feel to it. quite good.

m - light bodied lager that wouldn't let you down if you needed to just mellow out.

d - after drinking a bunch of strong belgian ales and some pretty terrible american brews over the course of the night this is exactly what i needed.

notes: goes very well with pre-season bruins hockey.

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Photo of oberon
3.93/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a nice rich light copper with a big fluffy white well retained head,aromas of lightly sweet pizza dough and and black pepper I like the beginnings of this brew.Very refreshing and quaffable some may think because of the darker color this lager maybe not as quaffable but they would be wrong here.Taste is toasty and lightly sweet but there is a nice herbal,spicey hoppiness that takes over adding to the drinkability and keeping it balanced.I personally love this beer and this style of beer its hard to find and this one is a gem.

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Photo of BeerResearcher
3.68/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

16.9 oz dark brown bottle w/ a flip top. Freshness date "88 10 54" WTF?
It pours a brassy copper/amber color with a snow-white head and some sticky trailing lacing.
The aroma is very light. Just a light grassy smell w/ a touch of dry malt in the background, along with a faint whiff of citrus.
A mellow herbal and sweet malt body, blends well with sharp-edged floral hop bite. Minor tastes of limes vie for attention. This is a well-balanced and very quaffable Vienna. It finishes clean.

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Photo of feloniousmonk
3.95/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

When I first heard of this beer, I couldn't help but associate it's name with that of Academy Award- winning film scorer Elmer Bernstien (Walk On The Wild Side, The Magnificent Seven, Bird Man of Alcatraz, The Rat Race, Man With The Golden Arm, To Kill A Mockingbird, Hud, True Grit, Cape Fear (remake), Age of Innocence ...Leonard, Part 6,...okay, scratch that...) but Michael Jackson beat me to it in his All About Beer review, so I'm gonna skip the jokes...ain't you lucky?

Clear, light, golden amber color, lush head, dotted and lacing, cloud-like...nice...

Aroma: nice, malty, grainy, yeasty, pleasing enough...

Taste: sweet and happy, nice texture, good grit on the tongue. Light bodied, easily drinkable, tasty, tasty, good malt presence. Quite a delicious Vienna lager.

yum, yum...can't beat it!

If you just want a nice, tasty, easy-going, distinctively malty lager, this is right up your alley.

Go for it, please!

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Photo of TheLongBeachBum
2.91/5  rDev -19.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Presentation: Rather cool looking Half-Litre [1 Pt 0.9 fl.oz.] brown glass bottle which has a vertical neck label covering the steel wire which holds the red & white plastic flip top in place. Front label is partly generic in nature and looks like the other offerings from Schwelm. Labeled as “Bernstein – the one of its kind Amber beer. Temptation, brewed in accordance with the Rheinheitsgebot of 1516”. The back label says Best Before End “88 10 57”….I’m still trying to work this Calendar coding out. No listed strength.

Appearance: Dark polished copper body with a shining dark orange hue when backlit. Foamy Teutonic off-white head that starts thick and deep, it eventually drops down to a crusty rocky surface with some nice looking lacing.

Nose: Shallow aromas with a dollop of toasted malts and some digestive biscuit in the finish.

Taste: Toasted malts with a sweet caramel middle……and erm, well that’s it really. Metallic bitterness and some distant hop character. Nothing much doing in this one. Vague and ambient it doesn’t do anything at all for me. Nothing bad about this one, but it is about as exciting as watching George Bush playing Monopoly.

Mouthfeel: This body that suffers from a brown sugar soaked watery feel and sticky after effect.

Drinkability: Nothing to write home about here, it has enough appeal to assist in finishing the bottle but not much more to get me off my lazy ass and try another one, if indeed I had one that is.

Overall: Cost $2.69 at Hollingshead Delicatessen in Orange, CA. I enjoyed the Pils and the Weizen, but this one is a miss for me. Next…

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Photo of rocketmotor
3.68/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A very nice tasting lager beer. If all the lame beer drinkers would switch to this beer, I would respect them. Very easy drinking and it really tastes like beer. This should be great for a first time real beer drinker.

Pours with a decent head that recedes rather quickly. The smell is pretty weak, light lager malt. Tastes good, just enough hops and malt to make it a "real beer". Carbonation is high, but I like it. Good mouthfeel, light enough for the wimps and will satisfy real beer drinkers.

I will buy this to have around for my lightweight visitors, as I won't buy Spud Blight. Hell, I'll even drink one every now and again.

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Photo of Zorro
3.63/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

.5 Liter Flip top Bottle.

Pours a good clean amber colored lager. Appearance is similar to Sam Adams.

Smell is sweet and malty with a clean grainy aroma and a herbal hop scent. Lots of caramelized sugar scent here and a tea odor.

Taste is dry and malty with a nice bitterness that hits you in the back of the throat. Flavors of caramel and a bit herbal from the hops.

Mouth feel is good; Carbonation level might be a little high.

Good drinkable beer here not outstanding but not bad at all. I will buy again.

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Photo of aquatonex
2.23/5  rDev -38.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

I highly enjoyed the Alt from this brewery, was going in with high hopes...

Pours light straw amber colored, moderate carbonation, no head. Smells consists of minute malts, alcohol, and a punch of flowery hops. Taste was not a very good balance. Mainly was hoppy, watery, and alcoholy. Minor hints of citrus and flower. Gave me heartburn going down.

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Photo of RedDiamond
3.83/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

First of all, what’s with the freshness date? It says “Best before end 881050”. Is that some sort of euro-metric deci-date? Venusian lunar months? Dog years? Dick Cheney’s bomb shelter zip code? Sure doesn’t look like the Gregorian calendar I’ve come to know and love.

But no matter. This is a very satisfying beer and in all probability I drank it long before 881050, whatever that is. My half-liter swivel-top bottle of Bernstein was soft-bodied with surging carbonation, clear warm yellow with a gentle white head and soothing malt aroma. It featured a grainy malt taste with agreeable bittering. This light, dry lager is built to gentle contours. It is admirable and easy to drink though not especially amber as it is described on the label.

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Photo of TongoRad
3.5/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Freshness date reads 881050

Pours crystal clear pale copper color with a two-finger head which almost immediately settles down to a fine layer atop the beer. For a fleeting second this was a great-looking beer; at least the color is spot-on.

Toasted malt dominates the aroma, but there is also a creamy quality trying to share center stage. Some spicy hops are also there, as is some lemon peel. Unfortunately, the aroma fades with the head- swirling brings it out, then it vanishes again.

The palate is actually fairly elegant- lots of bready malt is balanced with some spiciness. The mouthfeel and finish are soft, yet there is a decent clean bitterness as well.

This beer actually gets better the more you drink it. At first I wasn't too impressed but now I quite like it as a session beer.

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Photo of ADR
2.95/5  rDev -18.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A 500 ml swing top bottle...clear dark gold color, not red enough to be called amber. Big fluffy head of foam that has big pockets and so falls down in less than a minute. Small but sticky and persistent lacing. Aroma is malt-laced, toffee-ish with sweet butter. Mouthfeel is lighter than expected, carbonation is less-than-average overall. Taste starts out fairly well, like the aroma in many elements, but soon mixed with distinct papery tones and an autumn leaves yeasty mustiness that reminds me of old postage stamp hinges for affixing them to collecting albums. Doesn't pull out of this by the aftertaste, more of the pastey qualities seem to come through, and the buttery aroma doesn't mix well. Not as bad as Fischer Amber, but some similarities.

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Photo of Skidz
4.25/5  rDev +17.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours out crisp light gold and sits bright amber in the glass with a large creamy white head, fading slowly to a nice skim and leaves a few stray lacings around the glass. Absolutely brilliant in the fluted glass, gradient running from a brilliant peach-tinted gold to deep reddish amber.

Smells rich and toasty. Thick grainy breadish character with scattered nuts. A light honey-like sweetness shines through. Apple skins and crushed walnuts. Some fair caramel offerings.

Tastes lightly sweet, good toasty malt presence. Walnuts and maplewood push in from the sides while caramel flows down the middle. Slightly grassy hops penetrate and lend some moderate spiciness. Finish is nicely bittered and boasts lingering hop spiciness.

Incredibly crisp and refreshing in the mouth with firm, yet forgiving carbonation. Medium-light in body.

Schwelmer delivers yet again. I found this beer to be quite tasty and eager to be drunk. Very appealing and perfect for any session.

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Photo of mkobes
4/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle. Deep amber in color with a wisp of a white head. Malty and hoppy flavor. Mild malty flavor. Mild hop flavor. Citrus hops. Crisp and refreshing. Smooth tasting. Well balanced beer. Nice smooth character. Crisp and clean tasting. Nice beer. Enjoyable. Drinkable.

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Photo of John
3.59/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

0.33L (11.2 oz.) stubby bottle. This brew pours a clear gold, lighter than expected. Head is off-white respectable in stature. Aroma exeeds expectations, consisting of toasted milled grains and whole grain bread. Hops are noted in the aroma as well lending a spicy peppery element. Aromas meld into a flavorful brew with biscuity, toffee, hoppy, spicy and fruity (maybe green apple) notes. Could be a light colored Oktoberfest or Vienna Lager labeled as an Amber for the US market? Dunno. Nevertheless a tasty brew.

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Schwelmer Bernstein from Privatbrauerei Schwelm
3.63 out of 5 based on 82 ratings.
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