Review of John Harvard’s Bamberger Swine Bier from John Harvard’s Brewery & Ale House in Framingham, MA.
Beer Type: Amber Lager ABV: 5.9% Tried on draught.
Their description: “The breakfast beer series is back! The not so secret ingredient in this German style amber lager is bacon! Yup, we aged this beer on bacon. 15 pounds of crispy, smoky, delicious bacon. This savory take on the more traditional Rauchbier pairs great with a burger or brunch.”
The Reality: A lovely frothy head with a malty faint bacon smell. The flavor starts as malty sweetness that mellows into a savory richness with smoky bacon undertones. The bacon definitely does not overpower. This is a medium-bodied beer with great balance and a smooth finish. The aftertaste coats your mouth with a velvety umami quality that make you wonder “what did I just drink?”, and then you go back for more to find out.
Final Verdict: When you read the beer list at a brewery and you see that they have a beer that has been aged on 15 pounds of bacon, you know it’s either going to be really good or really bad, but you have to try it either way.Thankfully, this one was really good. John Harvard’s has really accomplished something with this beer, because it shouldn’t work as well as it does, but the blend of malty sweetness, mild hops and savory bacon perform a perfectly choreographed dance on your tongue. It’s also worth noting that the Rauchbier style is widely underused in the U.S. and it can be a tricky style to master, so kudos to John Harvard’s for taking the risk and making this beer, it paid off. I would actually speculate that this beer is so good, 4 out of 5 pigs would even drink it.