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November 9th, 2011 MARTIN CIZMAR | Drank
 

Drank: Dunkelweizen (Occidental Brewing Co.)

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Traditional Germanic brews are often ignored by American craftsmen who might rightfully resent the fact that “beer” is synonymous with Bohemian pilsners in red states. By making only German styles—Hefe, Kölsch, Alt, Dunkel—North Portland’s Occidental Brewing Co. is squeezing into a thistly niche. Any newish brewery not attempting an unbalanced Tripel with an irritatingly punny name is worth a sip or two, and Occidental heartily rewards. Its fall seasonal, a dark wheat Dunkelweizen called (get this!) “Dunkelweizen” manages to be both refreshing and complex. It’s a mature and bready brew, headlined by bananas that have gone spotty, ready to unpeel themselves at the slightest touch, and red apples that have surrendered their crispness. It’s a round, relatively dry wheat beer with rich flavors but without loud esters. Poured into a tall, thin 12-ounce glass that could pass for a stange at BeerMongers, it’s surreptitiously contrarian and cheerfully traditional. Recommended.

 
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