Black Bavarian Brewed by Sprecher Brewing Company - Glendale,
Black Bavarian is an intensely dark Kulmbacher style lager. It has a superb
malt complexity with the distinctive flavors and aromas of coffee, caramel
and chocolate. A renowned smoothness and a creamy, tan head make it a world
champion. Brewmaster and owner, Randy Sprecher has been brewing this beer
for over 35 years. Malts: 2-Row Pale, Black Patent, Caramel, Chocolate, Pale
Hops: Cascade, Chinook, Mt. Hood, Tettnanger. ABV: 5.9. IBUs: 32.
Beer Review by Beer Advocate:
The beer poured out black, as you would expect from a schwarzbier, but this one
gave off purple highlights when held to the light. Nice 1½-finger creamy tan
head with good retention and a tremendous amount of lacing. A good looking black
Big burnt roasted malt smell along with some caramel and a touch of coffee.
Lots of flavor to this one. Burnt roasted malt leads the way, followed by some
coffee flavor, a touch of caramel, and even some bittersweet dark chocolate.
Enough mild hop presence to keep it from being too sweet, in fact it leans more
to the dry side with even a bit of puckering tartness. A damn good mix.
Creamy, but not heavy. The beer stays on the light to medium side of things with
just a medium amount of carbonation. I found the mouthfeel to be absolutely
Drinkability is great with absolutely no trace of alcohol at all. By far the
best Sprecher product I've tasted yet.
Sprecher Brewing History
Sprecher Brewing Co. was founded in 1985 by Randel Sprecher, formerly a brewing
supervisor at Pabst Brewing Company, Milwaukee, Wisconsin. From 1985 to 1994,
the brewery was located at 730 W. Oregon Street in Milwaukee's Walker's Point
area. Through the first ten years the company grew steadily as more and more
people found out about Sprecher's high quality beers and sodas. Finally, the
company had outgrown its original facility and began looking for a new location
to continue its growth.
In 1994, Sprecher purchased its current building, located at 701 W. Glendale
Ave., a former elevator car factory. The new, larger brewery enabled the company
to continue growing, and allowed more people to enjoy all of Sprecher's fine
The history of brewing in Wisconsin began thirteen years before it became a
state and a year before it even became a territory. By the late 1890's nearly
every community in Wisconsin had at least one operating brewery.
In the 1880's Milwaukee was the home of more than 80 breweries. 100 years later,
the number of operating breweries in the area can today be counted on one hand,
and only one can still be considered a giant.
In 1919 the passage of Prohibition virtually sounded the death toll for all but
the most diverse breweries. A few struggled through by producing near beer (.05
alcoholic content or less), soft drinks and even vinegar. Beer making didn't
resume until 1933, when the 18th Amendment was repealed. But even then, people
were still reeling from the effects of the Great Depression, which of itself had
devastated both the coffers and hopes of many of the earlier breweries.
Like the biggest selling wines, many mass market beers are made to appeal to as
broad of an audience as possible. This means they have to be produced at a
highly competitive price and that they must offend no one. Much of the
distinctive qualities of the traditional regional type brews is lost.
Sprecher and other micro-breweries have revived both the distinctive quality of
regional beer and old world brewing methods as well. The term "Micro-Brewery"
refers to the relative size of the brewery when compared to gigantic beer
production facilities of mass marketed national brands. Where these
"Mega-Giants" produce from 20 million on up to 90 million barrels a year each, a
"Micro-Brewery" is a considerably small operation, brewing less than 15,000
barrels a year. Although some have grown to 50,000 to 100,000 barrels a year.
Quite a difference when you consider a barrel is equivalent to 31 gallons. In
that respect, the smaller Micro-Breweries such as Sprecher can focus more on its
specialty "Craft Beers" with an eye on the highest quality and tradition of
European style brewing.