5 Best Schwarzbiers of 2021

Responsive image

What beer do you think Batman drinks when he's hanging out in his bat cave after stomping on a bunch of baddies? We imagine if Batman did enjoy a craft beer or two, it would probably be as black as his bat suit. Something like a schwarzbier! 

Sometimes called black lagers, schwarzbiers are similar to German-style dunkels, but drier, darker, and roastier. Literally translating to black beer in German, these lagers may actually be one of the oldest beer styles in the world. In 1935, archaeologists working in a 3,000-year-old Celtic tomb near Kulmbach in Northern Bavaria, Germany, uncovered an ancient jar (called an amphora) that contained remnants of some kind of black beer. 😱 These excavators (and modern day Indian Joneses) discovered the oldest evidence of brewing in Europe. 

Now, we don't know exactly what type of beer that amphora contained, but we do know that monks in this area would eventually become famous for their Kulmbacher Kloster Mönchshof Schwarzbier, which literally translates to black beer from the monks' courtyard cloister. 

Today, these beers are known for their distinctive copper to chocolate to charcoal color from Munich malts. But despite pouring an inky black, these beers have a surprisingly light body. Much like Batman's triple-weave kevlar suit. It's just so breathable. 

And unlike other dark beers such as porters and stouts, schwarzbiers actually feature a good amount of noble hopping to provide a longer bitterness. A dry finish caps off this style known for its rich coffee, chocolate, and cocoa notes. 

In modern-day brewing, this style isn't uber popular by any means. But like a dark knight, we find this obsidian style to be kind of an unsung hero. 

Need proof? 

Our friends at Hop Culture named a schwarzbier from 2nd Shift Brewing one of the top beers to drink in fall 2020 and a version from Waypost Brewing Co. one of the top beers to drink in winter 2020

American craft brewers from Divine Barrel Brewing Co. in North Carolina to Corporate Ladder in Florida to Folksbier Brauerei in Brooklyn and everywhere in between are trying their hand at this style. Plus, our friends across the pond are still executing historically perfect versions. From an American schwarzbier brewed with Germanic pale and dark malts and hopped with Tettenang to a traditional one from a micro brewery in Germany, here are Untappd's Top-Rated Schwarzbiers of 2021.

1. Wild Boar - New Trail Brewing Co. 

2. Köstritzer Schwarzbier - Köstritzer Schwarzbierbrauerei

3. Black Emperor - Brouwerij De Leckere

4. Brooklyn Winter Lager - Brooklyn Brewery

5. Schwarz-Bier - Störtebeker Braumanufaktur

Powered by Untappd Data (minimum of 1,000 check-ins)

Looking for more? Check out some of the craziest beers Hop Culture and friends are trying each week. On each episode of The Craziest Beer I Had This Week, we drop a new crazy beer we've cracked. Watch last week's episode and don't forget to subscribe to Hop Culture's YouTube channel so you never miss a beat on the wild beer we're drinking next!  

Our Cookie Policy, Terms of Service, and Privacy Policy have been updated. By continuing to browse our site you agree to these updates. For additonal information or feedback, visit