Welcoming Brother Benno – Our Dunkel Lager

Dunkels are cool beers. The OGs of lagers, and one of the world’s great session beers, Dunkels come across as a mashup of a porter and a lighter lager, rich and satisfying enough to keep you interested, but light enough to quench your thirst all night long. Originally brewed from a style of malt so closely associated with Munich that to this day maltster still calls it “Munich Malt,” no matter where they produce them, this was the dominant style of beer in Southern Germany before Pilsners burst onto the scene in the 1840s, and are still a mainstay of the breweries in and around Munich. Having had a chance to enjoy these fantastic beers at the source, we knew this was something we wanted to brew here in Maine.

We named this beer after Benno Scharl, a lay priest and brewer for several of the breweries around Munich in the late 1700s. He wrote the first book that outlined how to “lager,” or age beer at cool temperatures, from a practical perspective. This technique accounts for most of the beer brewed in the world today.

We also wanted to pay homage to this beer through our label art. München, the local name for the city English speakers call Munich, means “by the monks.” It is a reference to the monastery from which the city grew, and is so integral to the place that a picture of a monk is part of the official city seal, something we carried through in our label.

Not a common style of beer seen in the US, we thought it would be a fun beer to share that’s perfect for these shorter days and longer nights. We hope you get a chance to enjoy!