Pacific Schwarzbock

Reviewed by on March 11, 2016 in Spring Guide

The Details

  • Brewery: Pacific Western Brewing Company

  • Origin: Prince George, BC, CA

  • Rated On: March 11, 2016

  • Best Before: canned December 23, 2015

  • ABV: 8.0%

  • Ideal Temperature: cool to cellar temperature

  • Style: Schwarzbock

  • Rating: GOOD !

The Review

Brewed in remote northern British Columbia, this ‘schwarzbock’ (black bock, sure) apparently has some intriguing ‘lost at sea’ Bavarian recipe heritage, if you’re the type who believes the marketing babble on back labels.

This 473ml can pours a clear, dark red-brick brown colour, with three fingers of puffy, densely foamy, and mildly creamy beige head, which leaves some broad instances of spiderweb lace in places around the glass as it very lazily subsides.

It smells of lightly toasted, bready and grainy pale malt, rye crackers, coffee dosed with sour milk, a twinge of nutty cocoa, and plain leafy, weedy, and musty hops. The taste is more grainy, sort of doughy pale and caramel malt, hints of spicy rye, bittersweet chocolate, wan cafe-au-lait, a sort of prominent oily nuttiness, watery brown sugar, and subtle earthy and leafy noble hop bitters. The carbonation is quite light on its feet, in a low-key frothy manner, the body an adequate medium weight, and mostly smooth, just a wee ashiness poking its nose around a bit, to no avail. It finishes well off-dry, the MMA (mixed malt array) doing well to persist amongst the last rites of coffee, cocoa, and hop. As for the supposed 16-proof booze, an APB has now been issued for its whereabouts.

Not a bad rendition of this springtime Teutonic staple – nothing overly complex, sure, but agreeable and easy enough to drink in its own right. I gotta say, I always love it when heretofore underwhelming breweries suddenly surprise me with something actually good – and at such a thrifty price, I feel a bit guilty enjoying this as much as I am.

Brady White



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