Saturday 3 March 2012

Local Beer Review: Propeller Munich Style Dark Lager (One Hit Wonder Series)

It's no secret that we were big fans of the 2xIPA, the first offering in Propeller Brewing Co.'s One Hit Wonder Series of 2012. Accordingly, we were very much looking forward to the next instalment in the limited-release, growler-only series. Early this week, we were intrigued by a less-than-subtle (and intentionally so) note via social media that suggested the second release would be something of the 'Dark' variety. The suspense was short-lived, as it was announced the following day that the next One Hit Wonder would be a Munich Style Dark (Dunkel) Lager.

We don't have much experience with this particular style, but we knew we needed to try it, and so loaded our growlers into the Earlmobile and made our way to the brewery on the day of its release. About an hour later, we sat down with our first glasses of the dark and somewhat mysterious (to us, anyway) brew.

The Munich Style Dark Lager pours a stouty brown, with a nose of roast barley and toffee. While containing notes typically associated with darker beers, it remains light and upbeat... a hint that you've got something different in your glass. Any suspicions are quickly validated with a drink, as the body turns out to be much lighter than you would expect. The Dark Lager starts off with some light bitterness, but quickly transitions into a moderately long toffee-sweet finish. The result is a very drinkable beer, and empty glasses in very short order. And at a moderate 5.3% ABV, the refills that inevitably follow shouldn't make for too groggy a morning.

It seems that after the 2xIPA, Propeller decided to let the hops take a backseat and have the malt do the driving this time around. Overall, the result is positive, as this beer successfully melds stout flavours with a lager body. While the early March chill is still very much stout weather, this beer is a perfect bridge to the warmer days to come.


  1. Nice to see they're doing these growler-only releases... it's a great way to try some new styles that may not necessarily warrant bottling for the masses.

    I would have loved to try this one; I brewed a Munich Dunkel last month that will still be lagering for awhile before bottling.

  2. Agreed, it's really nice to mix it up a bit. We're working on it, but we don't have a huge breadth of experience with different styles, so it's great when local brewers introduce something that's relatively new to us.

    Interested to hear how your Dunkel turns out. How long are you lagering for? Do you have a separate fridge? Or are you my hero and have a secret underground lagering cave?

  3. Still working on the cave. I haven't found enough bats yet to up the coolness level to 11.

    I usually brew two lagers back-to-back, so that I can lager them together. I have a freezer that's been converted to a fermentation chamber via a digital temperature controller. They both fit in really well, so I like to lager them both and kill two birds with one lager stone. I also like to use the word 'lager'.

    I think I'll do the Munich Dunkel for 1-2 months, since it's not a very 'big' beer. The Doppelbock, however, will likely be for a minimum of 4-6.

  4. Bats aren't known for being super cooperative, so I wish you luck on that front :)

    I think we'll need to invest in a similar lagering vessel, so that we can expand our repertoire a bit. Would love to try to make a hopped-up Pils like Victory's Prima Pils. Loved your post on lagering, by the way. Provided some really nice, hands-on perspective.