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Chicagoist's Beer Of The Week: Metropolitan Magnetron

By Jason Baldacci in Food on Dec 27, 2013 9:00PM

2013_12_27_magnetron.jpgDrinking beer this time of year can be tricky. You want something that's hearty but you also might want to drink a lot of it, especially with all of the various parties that happen around the holidays. This week we're recommending a beer perfect for whatever event you need to show up to over the rest of the holiday.

Magnetron is a Schwarzbier from the good people at Metropolitan Brewing Co. It pours very dark in the glass, with heavily roasted malts all over the nose in the form of dark chocolate and espresso. On the palate we were a bit surprised. The cocoa hit right up front and the mid palate followed with a richness we weren't expecting, just enough malty sweetness to balance the roasty bitterness that comes through towards the finish. The malt profile is incredibly complex, giving us hints of toasted walnuts and fennel seed with a subdued hop note that was reminiscent of darjeeling tea. The malts involved also make for a nice, round mouthfeel. A racy acidity that comes through on the finish makes this beer seem extra quaffable. At 5.5 percent alcohol content, Magnetron is full-bodied yet easy drinking, a great way to change up your winter beer drinking habits.

Schwarzbier is a classic German style that we don't really see a whole lot of in the USA. The name literally translates to "black beer," and although these are lager beers, their flavor profile tends to resemble that of a dry stout, as both styles are driven by heavily roasted malts. The difference between the two though is in the mouthfeel, as a schwarzbier will typically drink a little cleaner and crisper, more like a pilsner or Dortmunder Export lager, just darker in color with flavors to match. We've seen a few other American breweries attempt the style over the past few years, but Magnetron just might be the finest representation we've tasted that was made on this side of the Atlantic. Metropolitan has spent this year once again flying under the radar, and quietly making some of the best beer the state of IL has to offer. In our mind, their beers belong in every bar, restaurant, and retail shop in the city. They're not as flashy since they don't make Imperial IPAs or Barrel-Aged Stouts, but what says "Chicago" more than a clean, sessionable, flavorful lager?

Magnetron is available on draft and in six packs, be sure to check to find out where you can pick some up this weekend.