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Rauchbiers employ a Marzen/Oktoberfest lager as their base, but any beer style can be smoked, and those others are judged in this category. Appearances, body, aroma and taste will vary from beer to beer, but they all should reflect the base style (common choices are helles, porters and dunkels) and present a low to strong smoky twist. Moreover, the wood used in smoking should harmonize with the flavors of the base style; how well the smoke enhances and balances the beer is the most critical criterion.

Pair: Couple these beers with fare appropriate for their base styles; notice how the smoke adds a new layer to the food’s flavor. Smoked beers also complement creamy cheeses like triple-crème or warm brie, as their dense flavors soak into the slightly sweet, thick cheese.

Glassware: select glassware according to base style


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