Long before I stumbled across the likes of Schlafly, Rogue and Sam Adams my idea of stepping out of my comfort zone, in terms of beer consumption, was to drink Berghoff – specifically Berghoff Dark.
Berghoff Dark was different, but not too different. It was dark and smooth and its label was drab and inoffensive. It was the perfect beer for a guy in his early 20’s who didn’t know what craft beer was yet but knew he wanted something other than MGD and was too timid to go all in.
As I got older my palate changed and became more adventurous meaning Berghoff Dark, the hum drum albeit drinkable lager, found its way to the sidelines. In fact, I bet it’s been at least six or seven years since I drank a Berghoff beer. So imagine my surprise when I saw this in the beer aisle of a Mariano’s last month.
Long gone are the single-color, mundane labels – replaced with bright vibrant colors. The names of the beers have undergone a makeover too, Sir Dunkle Dark Lager (most likely the aforementioned Dark) and DortWunder Pale Lager are among the new beers rolled out as part of the new Berghoff.
Owner Ben Minkoff, whose family purchased the Berghoff brand in 1994, consulted with 5 Rabbit recipe writer and author of Tasting Beer, Randy Mosher, along with John Hannafan who runs a brewery consulting firm in Chicago to revamp the look and taste of Berghoff’s beers.
The seven beers to be released beginning in June include: Solstice Wit Beer (5.2% ABV), Straight Up Hefeweizen (5.2% ABV), Dortwunder Lager (5.5% ABV), Reppin’ Red Ale, Malt & Rye (6.2% ABV), Sir Dunkle Crispy Dark Lager (5.5% ABV) and the first installment in their Überbier Series Germaniac Extra Pale Ale (6.3% ABV).
All of the above will be available in Illinois, Indiana, Michigan and Wisconsin and will be contract brewed at Stevens Point Brewery in Wisconsin.