Brewery – Braxton Brewing Company
Beer – Twisted Bit
Style – Dortmunder Lager
ABV – 5.8%
IBUs – 30
This traditional German style lager has the malt profile of a Helles and the hop character of a Pilsner, but is slightly stronger than both. The minute addition of common minerals to the brewing water, and the longer traditional decoction mash impart a crisp and remarkable balance between the malt complexity and the subtle bitterness.
Whenever Braxton releases a new beer, they write a pretty extensive description of not just how the beer tastes (as you can read above) but they also dig into the name, and what it means. Each Beer is carefully named for deep reasons, and I get pretty excited to read these when they come into my inbox. Twisted bit might have my all time favorite story written for it:
Every tool has a life of its own. It has a history and a soul. (Yes, we actually believe that.) Some were forged to perform reliably, days after long days. Some were designed to give its life quickly, like that saw blade you sacrificed to the rusted bumper bolts. But that’s a lot like you, isn’t it – you were designed to do something unique. And even if you haven’t yet found your thing, we raise this Twisted Bit Dortmunder to you. This is a crisp, refreshing true pale lager that the Dortmund region of Germany has enjoyed for countless generations. It’s brewed for those that see effort and honor in a twisted bit, rather than the flaw.
I Love It.
The story of the beer itself is just as interesting as the one behind its name. When Braxton made the decision to start doing lagers, they knew that they were making a choice that might not be the most popular – they knew that it would be harder to do, and less “logical” from a business standpoint. But they also knew it was the right choice for them.
To create a Dortmunder lager that stands up to what the style is supposed to be, Braxton starts from the very beginning – water. They took the water that is located in Covington Kentucky and stripped it down to the absolute basics, removing all the minerals that you’ll find in our groundwater here. They then started rebuilding the water profile to match that which you’ll find in Dortmund, Germany.
The beer was a hit when it was released. Cincinnati beer drinkers latched onto the crisp lager almost immediately, driving the brewery to move it from a “Garage Series” beer to one of the core styles. It didn’t take much thought then to see that as packaging started rolling out the doors, this one needed to get into cans. You can now find Twisted Bit sharing a core can spot alongside some other Braxton favorites.
My Thoughts On Braxton Twisted Bit
In the glass, this beer appears like “just another lager”, with it’s bright golden color. The only thing that starts to give it away as something more is it’s thick foamy white head that sits on top of the glass with no clear plans to go anywhere for the foreseeable future.
Aromas are bready and a slight spice component playing in a light fruitiness. This is light on the aromas, but on a fresh nose it’s fantastic. It’s easy to lose them if you’ve been drinking something stronger, or are sitting outside in the sunshine and light summer breeze (which I still highly recommend for while you’re drinking this beer.)
The beer really shines when you get to start drinking it. The flavors are minerally, soft and floral. I get more of the light spiciness that I could smell before. All this is balanced up against a surprisingly big mouthfeel for a light lager. This beer has the potential to change the way a lot of beer drinkers might think about what lagers could and should be. It’s fantastic.