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Craft Beer Times | Reviving the Smoky Tradition: Matthias Trum of Schlenkerla on Rauchbier in Podcast 305

Reviving the Smoky Tradition: Matthias Trum of Schlenkerla on Rauchbier in Podcast 305

Reviving the Smoky Tradition: Matthias Trum of Schlenkerla on Rauchbier in Podcast 305

The Smoky Secret Behind Matthias Trum’s Schlenkerla Rauchbier

The Beginnings

Matthias Trum is the brewmaster of Schlenkerla Rauchbier, a traditional German beer known for its smoky flavor. The brewery has been in operation since 1405, making it one of the oldest in the world. However, Trum wasn’t always in the beer business. In fact, he used to be a kindergarten teacher.

The Inspiration

Trum’s love for beer and brewing began when he was a student in Bamberg, Germany. He discovered the local rauchbier, which is brewed with malt that has been dried over an open flame, giving it a distinct smoky flavor. Trum was captivated by this unique taste and decided to try his hand at brewing it himself.

The Process

Brewing rauchbier is a delicate process that requires precision and patience. The malt is dried over beechwood fires for hours, which imbues it with the smoky flavor. Trum uses a classic brewing technique, taking his time to ensure that the beer develops its signature taste. The result is a rich, full-bodied beer with a smoky aroma and flavor that is unlike anything else.

The Experimentation

Trum is constantly innovating and experimenting with different techniques to push the boundaries of what is possible with rauchbier. He has created variations on the classic recipe, such as adding cherries or aging the beer in barrels to create a more complex flavor profile. He has also collaborated with other brewers to create unique beers that blend different flavors and brewing practices.

The Future

For Trum, the future of rauchbier is all about preserving tradition while also embracing innovation. He believes that there is still so much to discover and explore when it comes to brewing this unique style of beer. As craft beer becomes more popular around the world, Trum hopes that more people will discover the joy of rauchbier and appreciate the artistry and skill that goes into making it.

The Bottom Line

Matthias Trum’s Schlenkerla Rauchbier is a testament to the power of tradition and experimentation in brewing. With a rich history dating back hundreds of years, this German beer remains a beloved staple of the craft beer scene. Its smoky, full-bodied flavor is a reminder of the artistry and skill that goes into creating truly exceptional beer.


Dustin is a writer about craft beer and a professional brewer in the city of Chicago. He has written for several magazines and has over a decade of experience in the beer industry. He is currently working on a book about the history of beer in Chicago.

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