Heavy Hops Ep. 065: The Fire Still Burns (Matthias Trum/Schlenkerla)

Smoked beers are thought to be an acquired taste. Aromas and flavors of campfire or bacon, when presented in the context of a pale or dark lager, can be surprising, jarring or intriguing. However, when we think broadly about our own relationship to this sensory experience we can be transported to familiar and even nostalgic places: an outdoor gathering with friends and family, the smell of breakfast, or a barbecue. Enjoying a glass of smoked beer is a window into not only our own past, but also the history of beer.

Joining us this week is Matthias Trum, 6th generation brewmaster and patron of Schlenkerla Brewery and tavern located in Bamberg, Germany. Brewers and fans of smoked beer hold the distinctly smokey lagers and wheat beer from this Bavarian brewery in the highest regard.
Known for its unique malting handling and preparation methods that impart a distinctly smokey aroma and flavor, Schlenkerla’s Märzen, Wheat beer, bocks and pale lager are gateways into a special sensory experience. We discuss how Matthias translates historical brewing records into modern recipes; what his experience as family business owner and operator has been like; and how he balances modernity, tradition and innovation. This conversation wouldn’t have been complete without a discussion of the Reinheitsgebot, the evolution of the purity laws in Bavaria, and how they are employed and relevant to consumers today.

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Episode Art and HH Logo By: Bryn Gleason

Audio editing, mix and mastering: Esben Willems / Studio Berserk

Music by: Sam Cangelosi

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