Defining the Sour and Smoke of an Adambier
A rough, ancient beer that's worthy of renaissance.
Written by Kenny Gould
Image by Kinsley Stocum
This is the original. “And Then the Lord pulled from Adambier a rib and created Evebier.” Yes, we’re kidding.
Like Dortmunder, Adambier came from the city of Dortmund, in Germany. But while Dortmunders traditionally hover at around 5 or 6 percent ABV, Adambier’s pack a 10 percent ABV punch or higher. Dark and sour, they were often aged in wood for several years: think strong Belgian sour beers, but with more hops. And smoke. Back in the day, maltsters didn’t have temperature controlled malthouses; instead, they malted their barley using wood-fired kilns. As a result, malt often took on a smoky flavor, which lead to many of the smoked beer styles we have today like rauchbier, grodziskie, and adambier. Today, many breweries making incarnations of the adambier have dropped the smoked malts in deference to the modern palate.