Capital Brewery in Middleton was founded in 1984 and began production in 1986. Its beers have won many individual awards, and in 1998 the brewery itself was named America's #1 Rated Brewery in the Beverage Testing Institute's World Beer Championships. Capital still lays claim to this distinction on every six-pack container, even though the institute no longer bestows the honor.
But who's counting years? Pabst Select won its famed award in 1893 from the World Columbian Exposition and still touts that distinction as Pabst Blue Ribbon.
What is it? Munich Dark from Capital Brewery
Style: Capital's Munich Dark falls into a style of dark European lager known as the Munich Dunkel. It is characterized by rich malt sweetness with hints of chocolate, caramel, and even light toffee flavors. You might even find slight toasted notes in the background. The Munich Dunkel should have great body without being heavy.
Background: This beer is one of Capital Brewery's most celebrated brews. It won a silver medal at the 2007 Great American Beer Festival in Denver, Colo., marking the sixth time it has been recognized there since 1987. Munich Dark is one of Capital's eight standard beers.
- Aroma: Firm, yet a light caramel maltiness.
- Appearance: Deep clear, reddish-bronze color with a big, bubbly tan head.
- Texture: Medium bodied and smooth. Modest carbonation.
- Taste: Smooth caramel malt dominates this beer with light hints of chocolate malt in the background.
- Finish/Aftertaste: Smooth, clean with a very lightly toffee ending.
Glassware: Serve this beer in the basic clear shaker pint glass to appreciate the brilliant copper tones. The wide mouth ofhte shaker pint will also allow this beer's light malty nose to be radiate, making it more evident.
Pairs well with: This beer is smooth, well-balanced and pairs nicely many things. It's especially great with the sweetness of pork, or will match well with the acidity of sauerkraut and bratwurst. When looking for a great German beer with German food, this is hard to beat.
Rating: Four Bottle Openers.
(I am using a one to four bottle opener scale: four is a great beer, distinctive, you'll have this over others; three is a beer you enjoy, reliable, close to its described style; two is problematic, lacks distinction, but worth having again; one is a beer that isn't true to its style, you would not recommend it to a friend.)
The Verdict: This is a beer for everyone's fridge. It's the ideal mealtime beer because it pairs well with many foods. It has beautiful, deep-reddish bronze color and a smooth, well-balanced flavor profile. It's like the utility infielder in baseball -- reliable and will play well in any position and in most any condition.