Happy Sixth Birthday … Raise a Civil Pint of Dortmunder
We just celebrated our sixth anniversary. If all of you fine regulars keep coming in, we may make it another six years. To celebrate this milestone, we brewed a special beer. In keeping with our philosophy of reproducing some of the world’s great traditional styles, we made our first Dortmunder-style beer.
This crisp, refreshing lager originated in the late-nineteenth century in Dortmund, a town in southern Germany. In those days, the beer of choice was dunkel, a dark, malty, somewhat sweet beer. Dortmund is in the middle of a region with lots of coalmines and steel mills. After a long, hot day of hard labor, the workers weren’t terribly excited about consuming dark malty beers; they needed crisp golden beers to quench their thirst. They gravitated to helles.
Dortmunder Export was created to compete with helles. The epithet “export” was appended to the name since much of the beer was sent north, were the people of Holland and northern Germany were thirsty for the style.
Much like Burton-on-Trent, Dortmund had hard water with exceptionally high sulfur content. This water gave the beer a special character lacking in the helles lagers of the day.
The beers were light, crisp, and dry. Hard water gave them a lighter color, like many of the pilsners in northern Germany. Dortmunders are similar to both pilsners and helles beers. They are a little more hoppy than helles and a little less hoppy than pilsner. They are somewhat malty but quite dry, consequently satisfying and refreshing in equal measure. They generally come in around five percent alcohol, an ideal strength to promote conviviality but not incivility.
Our Dortmunder drinks like a big pilsner. It has a grainy/bready malt intensity, but remains crisp and refreshing, with classic noble hop spice.
Come down to the pub and help us celebrate our anniversary, as well as the long and noble brewing traditions of Germany. You won’t find a beer more suitable to the waning days of summer in Saint Louis, a city with no mean heritage of German brewing. Thanks for supporting us for six years. Prost!
The Civil Blog has returned. It is predominantly authored by Civil Life Barman, Dr. Patrick Hurley, who can be found tending to our bar patrons on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays. He is also responsible for tending to our draft lines, which is recognized as one of our most important tasks. Special guest writers will appear from time to time. We hope reading this blog will give you much insight about the Civil Life and most importantly help you understand a bit more about all of us that work here and the beers we put our hearts into.