- Dortmunder. This is really just a variant of a pilsner, but so what? Real pilsners are in short supply. Widmer's version was exceptional--crisp but slightly sweet and vivid with Saaz hops. It is half-way between a retro lager like Session and an American pale ale, with the strength and hop vibrancy Americans like. Put this bad boy out in the summer, and I'd buy it by the case.
- Schwarzbier (aka "blackbier") . This is the second bier the Widmer's already make. In some ways, it fills the same niche of a porter, but it's drier and lighter than most. People have already developed a tasted for dark beers, but few commerical options, and fewer styles, exist. A great Spring beer.
- Rauchbier (aka "smoked lager"). Thanks to Rogue and Alaskan, we think of smoke beers as strong, in-your-face beers. But not all the beers of Bamburg (where the style originated) are so aggressive. Some are milder both of body and smoke. I'd suggest something like this, perhaps in the mode of a slightly smoky Oktoberfest, for fall.
- Kellerbier. This is really an obscure style, but perhaps would appear the most familiar to American craft beer drinkers. Keller (German for "cellar") is a style of aged bier, usually matured in casks, that is often a higher gravity and IBU than most German beers. A big, burly, tasty beer that would go perfectly with your winter roast beast.
I know the Widmers have smarter people than I on their payroll, so perhaps the data don't back this idea up. But sometimes you have to anticipate the market, and I do think this would be a perfect time to try something like this. One man's opinion--
So in addition to the Dortmunder, I had the Teaser and an IPA made with an experimental hop known (not quite poetically) as X-114. The Teaser I enjoyed a lot. Since it's made with these new, greenTeamaker hops, I have no previous point of comparison. It would be nice to try a beer with Teamakers in their dried version. It was mellow and gentle--unsurprising for hops with no alpha acids. A bit cookie-like, with a salad-greens freshness.
The IPA was all hop, and X-114 is no fading violet. It is boldly citrusy in the lemon/orange continuum. Has cattiness in both the nose and palate, as well asa grassy, herbal quality. Fades to pepper. It is so aggressive that if I were to brew with it, I'd use it with other hops, and perhaps add it to the boil a little later, so it extracted the nice citrus and spice but left some of the grinding behind.