Lakefront’s Eastside Dark, a dark lager (Dunkel Lager), is the type of beer I imagine the nineteenth-century German brewers were producing in America—and in Milwaukee in particular—prior to the introduction of the Pilsner.
Their own description of this beer:
The rich, coffee-like aroma and flavor of this fine, dark, Bavarian style lager is derived from a precise blending of three different specialty barley malts. Unlike many other dark beers, East Side Dark doesn’t have a bitter aftertaste. Instead, your palate is greeted with the rich body and balanced flavor that only this beer can deliver. Art in brewed form.
I don’t honestly know about "art in brewed form"—I can think of a few beers that I would apply that to—but it’s still a fine beer. 5.52% alcohol by volume.
I originally reviewed this beer back in 2006; read that here. I wasn’t originally very impressed, but this time around was much more positive.
Appearance: Dark brown in color—mostly opaque but with red-orange edges. Tan, putty-colored head.
Smell: Bready and grainy—almost a rye and molasses character. Grassy hop notes, kind of like green wheat.
Taste: Lots of grain and malt notes… rye/pumpernickel. Some chocolate, some light coffee, rich brothy notes. Clean with a bit of a tang.
Mouthfeel: Clean, medium-bodied, a tad astringent from darker malts.
Overall: Enjoyable, drinkable.