What happened to Dunkelweizen?

Discussion in 'Beer Talk' started by RochefortChris, Feb 3, 2020.

  1. RochefortChris

    RochefortChris Meyvn (1,483) Oct 2, 2012 North Carolina
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    I was talking to a few beer buddies not too long ago, and why aren't many American craft breweries making this style? Is it not 'sexy' enough? I'm sure there are some smaller breweries making one but this style does not seem to be widely available from American brewers. While we're on the topic of wheat beers, I've noticed weizenbocks are seldom seen in the craft market.

    Here ends the rant coming from a beer traditionalist
     
  2. zid

    zid Meyvn (1,411) Feb 15, 2010 New York
    Society Trader

    I suspect that American craft brewers gravitated to their own take on wheat beers back in the day as opposed to making Hefeweissbier in the German tradition partially because the latter was comparatively a pain in the you know what. Once Widmer had a hit with their wheat ale, why would an American brewer look to something more German? Weizenbock and Dunkel Hefeweissbier are usually just going to be a fraction of the output of a producer who is already making German wheat beers, so they'd be even rarer.
     
  3. RochefortChris

    RochefortChris Meyvn (1,483) Oct 2, 2012 North Carolina
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    It seems as if hefeweizens are more common amongst craft breweries, even the larger ones like Harpoon. Could it perhaps be because dunkelweizens aren't as approachable?
     
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  4. zid

    zid Meyvn (1,411) Feb 15, 2010 New York
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    Dark beers don't sell as much as light beers. What Harpoon beer are you referring to?
     
  5. Mister_Faucher

    Mister_Faucher Crusader (776) Dec 3, 2014 Washington
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    Do you not have a Total Wine available? In IPA centric Seattle they still have the major German dunkle offerings. I guess I agree though. Supposedly the mid-west is the hotspot.Texas has a heavy German population and they still appreciate the styles heavily.
     
  6. RochefortChris

    RochefortChris Meyvn (1,483) Oct 2, 2012 North Carolina
    Society Trader

    Harpoon does a few fruited hefe's, perhaps I should have picked a better example
     
  7. HammsMeASAP

    HammsMeASAP Initiate (120) Jun 14, 2012 Minnesota

    I see quite a bit being made in MN.
     
  8. HorseheadsHophead

    HorseheadsHophead Poo-Bah (2,035) Sep 15, 2014 New York
    Society

    I said the same thing just the other day. Dunkelweizens are almost nonexistent in the U.S., except for maybe some microbreweries. Literally the only one I can find here now is Weihenstephaner.
     
  9. islay

    islay Disciple (328) Jan 6, 2008 Minnesota

    You could make the same post about dozens of styles. The consolidation of styles over the last few years in craft brewing, especially considering the explosion in the number of craft brewers, is shocking.
     
  10. Hoos78

    Hoos78 Aspirant (263) Mar 3, 2015 Ohio

    I just bought two (recently released) dunkelweizens in the last 10 days. One is very good (Sonder Brewing), the other (Great Lakes BC) is overly ambitious with non-traditional ingredients.

    You can never go wrong with Weihenstephaner Dunkelweizen...just a fantastic beer.
     
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  11. ypsifly

    ypsifly Meyvn (1,075) Sep 22, 2004 Michigan

    Great Lakes just released Bierwolf, a Dunkelweizen with cold brew coffee, chocolate, and orange peel...so there's that. Maybe they will come back, even if they are Frankenstein versions.
     
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  12. zid

    zid Meyvn (1,411) Feb 15, 2010 New York
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    I know you're just reporting what's out there (so I'm not aiming this at you), but to me that's not a Dunkelweizen. It's a spiced dark wheat beer. I know that runs counter to the way we usually think of things around here (and the way the industry works)... and it's not necessarily logical, but sometimes I feel like providing a little useless pushback for the sake of it. :slight_smile:
     
  13. HouseofWortship

    HouseofWortship Crusader (752) May 3, 2016 Illinois
    Trader

    I don't think the market for banana tasting beers is very big. If it was, you'd see more pastry stouts with the flavor combos of a Dunkel. The big question I would have if I were a commercial brewer is "how many glasses of these would a person drink in one sitting, in a week, and in a month?" One of the best beers I've ever had was a Dunkel, but no way in hell I'm drinking it more that a few time a year.
     
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  14. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa Poo-Bah (4,368) Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania
    Society

    Maybe if the craft brewers emphasized that bananas were added to the beer as an add-junk along with lactose and tropical flavors of expensive, hard to acquire hops this would be a hit with the Haze Bros?:thinking_face:

    Cheers!
     
  15. SudsDoctor

    SudsDoctor Zealot (598) Nov 23, 2008 New York
    Society

    Definitely a lack of the style around these days - even imports are scarce. The last online tasting inspired me to search for some that I'd never had. Only found two in my area, both imports. The only U.S. brewed interpretation I can recall having was the long-retired Weyerbacher Slam Dunkel.
    Here's the BA style list.
     
  16. keithmurray

    keithmurray Meyvn (1,357) Oct 7, 2009 Connecticut

    why would you only drink dunkels only a few times a year? If they were more readily available, I’d drink them all the time.
     
  17. Beer_Stan

    Beer_Stan Initiate (142) Mar 15, 2014 California
    Trader

    You dont get Erdinger?
     
  18. officerbill

    officerbill Devotee (452) Feb 9, 2019 New York
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    No Erdinger. Weihenstephaner and, occasionally, Ayinger ur-weisse.
     
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  19. bluejacket74

    bluejacket74 Poo-Bah (4,673) Jul 4, 2005 Ohio
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    I've tried Bierwolf, and the additions to it aren't really strong at all and don't overpower the other aspects of the brew. I still thought it tasted mainly like a Dunkelweizen for what it's worth. :slight_smile::beers:
     
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  20. Beer_Stan

    Beer_Stan Initiate (142) Mar 15, 2014 California
    Trader

    Damn that sucks, they have a solid dunkelweiss that's available all year long, some one needs to fix that out there.
     
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  21. DogbiteWilliams

    DogbiteWilliams Initiate (54) Mar 28, 2015 California

    I was sad when Trader Joe's stopped selling the retired Josephs Brau Dunkelweizen. It was one of my mainstay beers.

    I definitely prefer Dunkels to Hefes.
     
  22. HorseheadsHophead

    HorseheadsHophead Poo-Bah (2,035) Sep 15, 2014 New York
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    Just the Hefeweizen. Haven't seen the Dunkel.
     
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  23. Snowcrash000

    Snowcrash000 Poo-Bah (2,252) Oct 4, 2017 Germany
    Moderator Society Trader

    Dunkelweizen is not easy to find even in Germany, at least in my area. Weizen is everywhere, obviously, but ask for a dunkles Weizen and you actually get funny looks from people...

    Even Weihenstephaner Dunkelweizen is really hard to find where I live and that is probably my favorite Weizen.
     
  24. bwarner2015

    bwarner2015 Initiate (77) Mar 25, 2016 Connecticut

    When you ask "What happened to dunkelweizen", did it use to be more popular in the U.S., but has disappeared? I'm relatively new (6 years or so) to the current U.S. craft beer scene and culture, currently dominated by IPAs and BA Stouts, and don't know much about European brews. So I'm curious. Thanks!
     
  25. Coronaeus

    Coronaeus Meyvn (1,001) Apr 21, 2014 Ontario (Canada)
    Trader

    Look what I found on the weekend!

    [​IMG]

    Just sitting down to drink it. I will report back.
    Cheers!
     
  26. Coronaeus

    Coronaeus Meyvn (1,001) Apr 21, 2014 Ontario (Canada)
    Trader

    Not bad. The fruity notes are present in the nose to a greater degree than on the tongue. A little spicier than I remember having not had much of the style in a while. Pretty good. The brewery tends to do a decent job on the German styles they try to emulate.
     
  27. beertunes

    beertunes Poo-Bah (6,927) Sep 24, 2007 Liechtenstein
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    Well, back when "craft beers" were still called "microbrews" (A great term we should get back to, IMHO), a lot, if not most, small breweries/brewpubs would make one. Often, I suspected, it was just the Hefe with darker malts, but, when one beer is on tap for 6 months, and the other beer for the other 6........
     
  28. TallSaint

    TallSaint Aspirant (275) Dec 10, 2010 New York

    I’m with you. I wish there were more, but yeah, they’re just not sexy. Schneider Weisse Original is likely the most accurate historical representation of a Hefeweizen, but it is on the darker side as far as modern Hefeweizens go, so much so that the BJCP considers it a Dunkelweizen. That’s a widely available option, if you’re ok with it being in a stylistic grey area.
     
  29. beerwego

    beerwego Initiate (44) Dec 5, 2019

    I frequent a German beer hall in my neighborhood, one which has a very strong following by German-Americans...and while it doesn't have the greatest German selection, brand wise, they stopped pouring DunkelWeizen beers three years ago, claiming the kegs would never empty. So even among this German clientele, the beer was not being had...same for Weizenbock.

    For me, I like both - but I also see them as specialty beers that I treat myself to. Just like other German styles such as Eisbock and Rauchbier...the latter which I would reguarly consume were there affordable 6-pack options.

    Anyway, the point is that beers need to move in order for breweries to distribute them, and right now craft beer is stuck on one channel.
     
  30. Domingo

    Domingo Poo-Bah (2,637) Apr 23, 2005 Colorado
    Society

    In may area the same can be said for "normal" hefeweizen, too. It simply doesn't sell like it used to and per at least a few of the people brewing it, it's a hassle to dial in consistently.
    Dark German-style beers don't seem to move in general, so that's a second strike against dunkelweizen. In Denver I think the Bull & Bush is the only place that has one on for more than 1/2 the year.
     
  31. HouseofWortship

    HouseofWortship Crusader (752) May 3, 2016 Illinois
    Trader

    Time to bring the Dunkel into the 21st century by adding fruit, chocolate, coffee, vanilla, or cinnamon....
     
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  32. Hoos78

    Hoos78 Aspirant (263) Mar 3, 2015 Ohio

  33. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa Poo-Bah (4,368) Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania
    Society

    You win the 'award'.

    When I read the post by @HouseofWortship I thought to myself: how long until somebody provides an example of what he listed?

    I am cynically thinking that there is at least one example of beer style A with crazy ingredients B, C, D,...

    Cheers!

    P.S. Did you read this post discussing brewing a beer utilizing rabbit!?!

    https://www.beeradvocate.com/commun...b-on-triple-hopped-lager.633390/#post-6791375
     
    #33 JackHorzempa, Feb 6, 2020
    Last edited: Feb 6, 2020
  34. Beer_Stan

    Beer_Stan Initiate (142) Mar 15, 2014 California
    Trader

    If your store has access to the hefe, they should be able to get the dunkel, just ask. Like me, a shop won't buy stuff just for the sake of having but will special order something if there's enough interest from a well known customer. I can't see a reason I have this beer all the way in California and you all are closer to Germany and don't get it lol I'd imagine it's available.
     
  35. RochefortChris

    RochefortChris Meyvn (1,483) Oct 2, 2012 North Carolina
    Society Trader

    I saw that post. That beer looks interesting to say the least....
     
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  36. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa Poo-Bah (4,368) Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania
    Society

    Do you require they purchase the entire case?

    Cheers!
     
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  37. Beer_Stan

    Beer_Stan Initiate (142) Mar 15, 2014 California
    Trader

    Only if they aren't as well known. I've ordered for customers before trusting that they would return for the product only to find they never came back or took too long to come back. Regulars usually live in the general neighborhood and frequent the store often enough that we're on a first name basis and I know they'll be in to buy that case over time.
     
  38. AlcahueteJ

    AlcahueteJ Meyvn (1,167) Dec 4, 2004 Massachusetts

    You forgot more hops.

    I heard those are popular these days.
     
  39. DogbiteWilliams

    DogbiteWilliams Initiate (54) Mar 28, 2015 California

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  40. steveh

    steveh Poo-Bah (2,595) Oct 8, 2003 Illinois
    Society

    What happened to the head? I guess it's not a Dunkelweizen mit Hefetrüb?
     
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