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SMOKEY THE BEER

SMOKEY THE BEER

Matthias Trum, the 15th generation family member to run the Heller Brewery, gave us the brewery tour. First came the malt house where malt was being smoked using burning beech wood logs, the specialty of Bamberg. History has it that after a fire in one of the monastery breweries in the Middle Ages, the monks didn’t want to throw out the malt that had gotten the smoke treatment. Another classic brew was born out of the ashes. Mixed with premium class hops, the final brew matures in cold cellars hewn deep into the Bamberg hillsides. Aecht Schlenkerla is not pasteurized and has a smoky aroma and dryness the moment it hits the tongue. The full, smoky flavour lingers forever. So imbibers can feel free to pour some healthy smoke down one’s throat. The region around Bamberg is also well-known for growing onions. One of the staples of the Schlenkerla tavern is the “Bamberger Onion.” The perfect foil for the beer, it consists of a hollowed-out onion, filled with a spicy ground pork and meat mixture. Baked and served with mashed potatoes as a side, it is topped off with an onion, beef and beer-based gravy. Google “Bamberger Onion – Schlenkerla” for the ingredients and preparation instructions. Comfort food meets comfort beverage – a great combination in these waning days of our cold Canadian winter. Michael Jackson, beer guru extraordinaire, referred to Aecht Schlenkera “not only among beers  but also among all alcoholic beverages, a classic.”

AECHT SCHLENKERLA RAUCHBIER G409110, $3.80

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