Beer of the Week – Top Out Schmankerl

Posted by on Jun 16, 2017 in Beer of the Week | One Comment

Another working week grinds to a halt and heralds the start of another two-day sojourn from the day job. The other thing Friday signifies is the spotlight being swung onto a Scottish beer that maybe doesn’t quite get the attention it deserves. Each and every week I’ll be doing just that, and letting you know why I think that particular beer needs to be on your radar, if it isn’t already. Plus I’ll be letting you know how you can get hold of it!

For this particular iteration – the 24th in the series – we turn that spotlight on to a style not brewed with any great regularity north of the border (well, not compared to stouts, amber ales and IPAs that have featured heavily so far). German-style Hefeweizens bring a huge amount to the party, the most telling of which being their celebration of brewing’s most unheralded ingredient – yeast. And if you want a perfect idea of what they can be like – try Schmankerl.

24. Schmankerl (4.9%)
Top Out Brewery, Loanhead, near Edinburgh
Style: Hefeweizen
500 ml bottle

Pick it up here:
At Alesela online shop (as individual 500ml bottles)

Starting with the obvious question, which is just what exactly the name means, Schmankerl is apparently a word in the Bavarian dialect for ‘delicacy’ or ‘treat’. Seeing as the Bavarians get through more wheat beer than pretty much any other group of people on earth, they should know. The beer is a fantastic balancing act – a beer that improves inordinately when the yeast is poured into the glass and allowed to filter slowly downwards – it really unleashes all of the different, more subtle flavours into the equation.

When served ‘mit hefe’ in this way (so after the header photo was taken) the overall take home point is a big whack of floral highlights – particularly coriander. The clovey Bavarian yeast comes into play with a hint of citrus on the finish – this beer would go brilliantly with seafood. The grainy, slightly bittersweet herbal edge is there as well – in fact, Schmankerl is a who’s who of Hefe with maybe only banana not being present (but then, you can’t have everything). What you do have, instead though, is a stunning wheat beer and an absolute pleasure in every sense.

Beer of the Week Series:
1. Fyne Ales Highlander
2. Swannay Old Norway
3. Broughton Old Jock
4. Traquair House Ale
5. Tempest Easy Livin Pils
6. Cromarty Brewed Awakening
7. Fallen Chew Chew
8. Black Isle Hibernator
9. Isle of Skye Red
10. Harviestoun Old Engine Oil Engineer’s Reserve
11. Orkney Skull Splitter
12. Windswept Wolf
13. Kelburn Dark Moor
14. Alechemy 5ive Sisters
15. Loch Ness Light Ness
16. St Andrews Eighty Bob
17. Harviestoun The Ridge
18. Orkney Dark Island
19. Williams Bros Seven Giraffes
20. Cairngorm Black Gold
21. Strathaven Craigmill Mild
22. Black Isle Red Kite
23. Spey Valley Spey Stout

1 Comment

  1. Tabitha
    June 16, 2017

    Fantastic recommendation! Love the sound of the citrus flavours peeking through toward the end of the taste alongside such floral, herbal initial tastes and would love to see how that tastes with a wheat beer.

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