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Where Spotted: Whole Foods, 1440 P St. NW

Price: $8.99/4-pack

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Black and Blue: When it comes to regions of the world that produce good beer, I would’ve ranked Nevada somewhere between Alabama and Iran. So I was surprised and excited to try this schwarzbier from Reno that just hit shelves in D.C. Sadly, while the thick, black pour was pretty to look at, one sip revealed the tepid, metallic bitterness of stale Guinness, often the result of ingredients stretched too thin. I guess buying German beer from Nevada is like ordering falafel in Texas: What could you expect?

Through a Glass, Darkly: Things are grim for Saxon enthusiasts in America. Samuel Adams is one of the few to try their hand at a schwarzbier and nail it, but while they claim to brew their black lager year-round, it’s been more than a year since I’ve found one myself. Bottles of Köstritzer, Germany’s main ambassador of the style, emerge stale from their trans-Atlantic voyage. So, for now, be content to hunt for schwarzbier on draft, where it brims with roasted malts and a lightness that belies its inky color.

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