Other sources of oak last post from Alex Mares, Jeremy Eubanks, Bill Mochoruk and inderpal singh. Good point on hybrid/chimera barrels from inderpal singh.
This week: Rauchbier
What are the guidelines for production? Where is it from? Name two producers. What would you eat with it?
Rauchbier is from the Franconia region of northern Bavaria, centered around the town of Bamberg. It's an old-style smoked beer, in the style that was made before the advent of direct-fired kilns, when wood was used to kiln the malt over an open fire giving it a smoky quality. Beech wood is usually used in the kilns, and the beers are brewed from various proportions of smoked and unsmoked malt to achieve the desired smoke level. Producers include Aecht Schlenkerla and Brauerei Spezial, both based in Bamberg, and there are U.S. craft brewery versions of this style such as Right Proper Lubitsch Touch from D.C. and Bell's Smoked Lager from Michigan. Pair a smoky beer with a smoky cheese such as Applewood smoked cheddar.
Live Oak Brewing Company in Austin, Texas produces several smoke beers. Examples include the Weisser Rauch and Smoaktoberfest. Pairs great with BBQ!
The Spezial and Schlenkerla breweries in Bamberg has been continuously making smoked beer since the 15th century up to the present. Both utilized beechwood smoke to dry their malt and make a range of rauchbiers, including a bock, a marzen and a weisen.
The Spezial beers are generally considered more elegant and lighter on the palate than the Schlenkerla which many think is more complex and weightier. The Slow Food Foundation in fact includes Schenkerla in its Ark of Taste catalogue because of the long history involved.
Smoked sausages, smoked ham, rye bread and suerkraut are traditiopnal pairing.