Brewer: Aecht Schlenkerla
Style: German Rauchbier
When Schlenkerla was founded in Bamberg, Germany, in 1405, the fact that its beers were smoky was probably not remarkable. It would be centuries before technology was introduced that could dry and roast malt without adding smoke flavor. While most of the world's breweries hopped on the bandwagon for smokeless beer, Schlenkerla stuck to their guns and now uses beechwood-smoked barley to continue churning out a range of distinctly smoky beers.
The Schlenkerla Rauchbier Marzen smells like a campfire. It's not in the least bit subtle and it's not for everyone, but it remains balanced with the light toasted notes of a classic Marzen, also known as an Oktoberfest lager. The beechwood smoke adds instant depth to any pairing with grilled meat, making it one of the greatest food beers on earth.