First Posted: 12/1/2014
Description – Saucony Creek’s Schnickelfritz pours a dark brown with ruby highlights and a tan head that dissipates quickly leaving behind a faint hint of lacing on the glass. The aroma is filled with notes of sweet chocolate and cherries with hints of caramel and coffee dancing in the background. The taste follows the nose with hints of milk chocolate hitting the palate first followed quickly by cherries and caramel with a hint of bitter coffee, proving this beer to be a fantastically sweet treat. The exceedingly smooth mouthfeel is perfect for the style and makes this delicious beer even better. What makes this beer truly extraordinary is the perfect balance it maintains as it could become overly sweet and cloying very quickly if not kept in check. Instead Schnickelfritz is a beer that is certainly sweet, but not overdone making this another perfect stout to have on hand throughout the winter.
Food Pairing – One sniff or taste of this beer and the first thought that comes to mind is “this would be great with dessert,” however don’t neglect a delicious dinner pairing with this beer. Try pairing this beer with a juicy hanger steak with shallot cherry sauce. To bump up the flavor profile try rubbing the steaks with a touch of salt, pepper, cocoa, and freshly ground coffee before cooking. The tart sauce will match nicely with the cherries in the beer while the caramelized flavors from the steak will melt in the beer and make you think twice about simply writing this one off as just a dessert beer. Pair this wonderful beer with some German chocolate cake, black forest cake, chocolate torte topped with cherries, or, for a bit of contrasting flavors fresh vanilla bean cheesecake will enhance the mouthfeel of Schnickelfritz and will bring notes of vanilla to make this an even more complete dessert pairing. If you are looking for a simpler pairing why not reach for a box of cordial cherries, they are the candy that in fact inspired this wonderful beer.
The Final Word – The decadently sweet chocolate and cherry flavors are present throughout this beer, but it somehow does not fatigue the palate or weigh it down with too much sweetness. Instead the beer is easy drinking, smooth, and slightly warming. As an added treat Saucony Creek plans to release a version of this beer just in time for the impending holidays. The altered and limited release version will replace cherries with melted candy canes, so be on the lookout for that very soon. Not only is Saucony Creek brewing some fantastically innovative and delicious beers but they are doing it right in our own backyard in Kutztown. They are another great reason to be a craft beer fan and live in NEPA.
Where can I get it? – Currently available in 12 oz. bottles at: Cooper’s Seafood- Scranton; J & H Beer- Plains Twp, Exit 190 Beer Deli- Dickson City