Imported by: Schwelmer Beer Imports North America Inc.
Available: MA, CT, RI, NY, NJ, PA, GA, FL, WI, IL, WA
The main building of Brauerei Schwelm was already a local fixture by 1701, and today is one of the oldest buildings in the area. The brewery dates from 1830.
Alcohol (wt.): 3.8
Alcohol (vol.): 4.8
This is a one-of-its-kind amber, a beautiful beer with enticing aromatics providing a ready invitation. A beer finely balanced between malt and hops, indeed this balance is near to perfection. It will go well in many ways: especially as a fine accompaniment to cheese, such as feta or mild cheddar. More than one is almost required; which is nice because of the half-liter flip-top bottle.
The label on the handsome flip-top bottle says this beer is “one of a kind,” and I must admit I’m stumped. It’s deep gold in color, but despite its claim of bottom fermentation, it’s lightly fruity with an almost Belgian whiff of spiciness under the malt. Hops are restrained on a dry palate showing nice malt; the finish is clean and pillowy soft. What is it? Not quite a helles or Kölsch, but close to each. A nice beer for delicate seafood, that’s what it is. A new German style? What’s the world coming to?
Nothing to do with Elmer Bernstein the composer of film scores. The first word refers simply to the brewery’s home town, near Wuppertal, in North Rhine Westphalia, Germany, The second translates simply as “amber.” Although the latter is one of the most common descriptions in beer labeling, it is also one of the most vague. I would call this beer bronze. In so far as color predicts flavor, bronze suggests a gently caramelized malt, used with restraint. This makes for a firm, cookie-like dryness. In this instance, against a very clean background, suggesting a lager yeast Very appetizing indeed…