September is a weird month for beer. The weather is still relatively warm, but autumn is right around the corner. To split the difference, I dug up a great German beer style that combines the roastiness you want in a cold weather beer with the lighter body you need in a warm climate seasonal: the Schwartzbier. Schwarzbier (“shvahrts-beer”) is simply German for “black beer.” Unlike other dark beers, like porters or stouts, they are not overly bitter with burnt and roasted malt. Instead, hops are used for a good portion of the bitterness. Take a sip of these trusted Schwartzbiers, both local and national.
Baba Black Lager
Serving Style: 12 oz Bottle, 12 oz Can, On Tap
Description: This organically made beast pours black with a nice, light-tan cap. The nose is malty with some coffee, soil and leather. The flavor is robust with leather, cocoa, dark chocolates, espresso and a slight earthy character. It satisfies your need for something bold while it quenches. Well fucking done, Uinta!
Overview: I invite you to come up with a certified organic beer that’s as satisfying as this year-round favorite.
Brewery/Brand: RedRock Brewing Co.
Serving Style: On Tap
Description: This award-winning beer delivers a big surprise upon first smelling it. This nose is all about the malts. There’s a rich, nutty aroma that structures the whole thing, but on top of that are porter-like roasted notes—chicory and faint coffee. This is one of the best tasting black lagers I’ve ever had. The roast flavors here are deep and satisfying, providing a nice bitterness to contrast with the nutty, toasty malt flavors. Some hints of cherry round the whole thing out. It is fantastically balanced and flavorful for a session lager.
Overview: Though this is a classic Schwarz-style beer, its eight different malts and extended lagering time give it a dark color and smooth flavor that makes it stand out from the rest.
Session Black Lager
Brewery/Brand: Full Sail Brewing Co.
Serving Style: 11.4 oz Bottle
Description: This beer pours a very dark red-brown with an off-white head. The nose is more restrained than the others—roasted grains, caramel and dark fruit come through. The taste is primarily of roasted malts, grassy hops, a bit of malt sweetness, dark fruit and then some chocolate in the aftertaste. Mouthfeel is a little on the thin side, but the carbonation is good.
Overview: Don’t dismiss this beer because of its squatty little bottle—this is one of Full Sail’s most award-winning lagers. Plus, you get a hell of a lot of flavor for a relatively small price.
Check out more of Mikey’s thoughts on beer at