German-style Beer Part III: Dunkel

Dunkel beers are typically dark lagers but with Dunkel meaning “dark,” it may be accompanied with other beer styles to refer to its dark tones. It is typically deep-brown or mahogany in color. Dunkel was the first beer to be regulated by the German Beer Purity Law (see Weissbier) making it Germany’s first “true” beer style. This beer is primarily brewed in Bavaria but is also brewed in other areas. The Warsteiner Dunkel is a beer that is distributed in the U.S.

The Yard House in Denver, Colorado currently has the Warsteiner Dunkel on tap and it is also bottled at many liquor stores. It is very dark in color but it is medium-bodied, much lighter than a stout or porter. The Warsteiner Dunkel is smooth and malty.


The B3K by the Wynkoop Brewing Company (picture to the right) is a Schwarzbier which is a type of Dunkel that is usually a darker version. A Schwarzbier is mainly brewed in Thuringia and Lower Saxony. Schwarzbier translates to “black beer” which is evident through its very dark color and opaque character. The B3K is rich and creamy with hints of chocolate and coffee with a very nice finish. Common to most German dark beers, there are only hints of hops with a more defined but not overpowering malty flavor.

Related Topics: Bock, Doppelbock, Maibock, Weissbier

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8 responses to “German-style Beer Part III: Dunkel

  1. My SO is German and she introduced me to German beers. I fell in love! One of our favorites is Bitburger, which is a Lager. Sort of like Yuengling or Sam Adams, but with a different bite to it.

    • That is great! Yes I still love are many great beers here but there is something simple and different about the German beers. Can the Bitburger be found in the U.S.? If so, I want to try!

      Thanks for stopping by!

      • You can definitely get in the U.S. Most beer distributors that carry German imported beers has it. You might have to ask around in your area. It’s not quite as common as Beck’s or anything like that. But you can definitely get it and I highly recommend it.

        Another one of my favorites (not from Germany) is Negro Modela. It’s a dark, yeasty Mexican beer. Divine with Mexican food! (and available in the U.S.)

        Can you tell I love beer, too? :)

        Enjoy!

      • I love “meeting” other beer lovers! It is great :) I will keep my eyes open for the Bitburger. And yes Negro Modelo is a good dark Mexican beer. I also enjoy the Modelo especial on a hot day.

  2. I love a dark ale in the cooler months and then I do a flip and love a clear cider in the warmer seasons. :) I think you need to consider giving up engineering to go into your own boutique micro brewery!!!

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