The brewers at Queen City Brewery on Pine Street in Burlington will revive an ancient beer style when they use hot rocks to brew their Steinbier this coming Sunday. “The beer takes on a wonderful subtle smokiness and caramelized malt flavor”, says brewmaster Paul Hale. “It’s truly unique. You’ve never tasted anything like it!”
Steinbier (“stone beer”) harks back to days when brewing vessels were made of wood, and could not be heated directly over a fire. Instead, hot rocks were lowered into the unfermented beer to bring the liquid to a boil. The style is associated with southern Austria, although examples from Germany and Scandinavia have been identified. Steinbier died out in the early 20th century, but was revived in 1986 by German brewer Gerd Borges and is now made by only a handful of commercial brewers worldwide.
Queen City Brewery will brew 500 gallons of Steinbier at their brewery at 703-B Pine Street in Burlington’s South End on Sunday afternoon, October 19th. The Vermont-sourced rocks will be heated over local beechwood in the brewery parking lot, and then lowered into the wort in a metal basket. The finished Steinbier will be available at the brewery and in Vermont pubs and restaurants in December.