Yay! It’s Atlanta Beer Week! That means lots of stuff going on concerning beer here in the ATL, though sadly for me I have this work thing going on and I’ve really not the time to appreciate much of it. If you want to see what’s going on, you really have to check with some of our local breweries to see what’s up, as there’s not a really central place to see a listing. Then too, there are non-local breweries taking part in the fun, one of which is New York’s Southern Tier. Southern Tier Zero Mile is an annual specialty draft made just for Atlanta Beer Week, and for 2014 they’ve cooked up a smoked Schwarzbier. Yum!
It was a thirsty Thursday night when I showed up at my local Canton Taco Mac to try the Zero Mile. Luckily they had it (as well as their first ever tapping of three beers from the Reformation Brewery in Woodstock, also for Atlanta Beer Week). Reformation isn’t exactly zero miles away (it’ about 10), but that’s close enough as makes no odds in my book.
The first beer I was after though was the Zero Mile, and I was glad to see they still had it. From the Southern Tier website:
This is a German style Schwarz bier brewed with a small amount of smoked malt. I smoked the malt here at the brewery with the help of our kitchen staff. We used local hickory rather than the traditional Beech wood, to give it an American twist…. Also very lightly hopped using traditional German noble hop varieties.
No details on ingredients other than it is brewed with 6 malt and 2 hop varieties. The beer has an alcohol content of 5.3% by volume and I paid just $6 for a full 20-ounce mug. That seems a good deal to me.
My mug of Southern Tier Zero Mile arrived a murky brownish black color with a good sized head of tan foam. I got generous amounts of chocolate and subtle smoke in the nose, then more of the same in the palate but the smokiness comes through just a tad more here. The beer is a little roasty with some cookiesh chocolate and a dry lightly smoky finish.
I think I would have liked a bit more roast and smoke in this one, but on the plus side the beer did have a delightful delicate balance of flavors to it that it made very, very enjoyable. A solid effort indeed and one I very much enjoyed.
And remember, try a new beer today, and drink outside the box.
*Pricing data accurate at time of review or latest update. For reference only, based on actual price paid by reviewer.