Lakefront Brewery Week: Riverwest Stein Beer

Lakefront Brewery WeekThe supplemental name for Lakefront’s Riverwest Stein Beer on the label is "All Malt Amber Lager." This is their flagship beer, of which they say:

The rich amber color and smooth flavor are derived from the generous amount of caramel malt, with just a dash of roasted unmalted barley for a subtle toasted flavor in the background. The sweetness, body, and mouth feel tell you this is an all-malt beer. The finish has a balanced hoppiness which cuts through the malty character, leaving a clean palate which beckons for more.

Initially I wondered if the "Stein" in the name was a reference to Steinbier, the German lager style that was a description of the process: heated stones were dropped into the wort to bring it to a boil. Here’s a bit about it from the German Beer Institute site:

Steinbier means "stone beer" in German…. The hot-stone method, therefore, was the only way the wort could be brought to a boil. Beer boiled this way also tasted different from "normal" beer, because the rocks, when dropped into the brew, scorched and caramelized some of the malt sugars.

Riverwest Stein BeerAs intriguing as that sounds, I think it’s too elaborate for a major American brewery to bother with for a flagship beer. In this case I think "stein" refers to the mug variety and not the red herring that I followed. On to my notes.

Appearance: Lives up to its name ["Amber Lager"]… dark amber in color, fairly clear. Nice cream-colored head.

Smell: Clean and malty with mild caramel and a hint of butterscotch.

Taste: Bold with lots of roasty malt characteristics up front—almost a smoky character to it… finishes dry without any tang. Definitely makes an impression but it’s tough for me to nail down any specifics… I’m thinking there’s some malts in here that I’m not familiar with.

Mouthfeel: Big bold body here as well, even though it’s more medium-bodied than anything. Finishes clean and dry.

Overall: "Steinbier" may have influenced my impressions… but this is a big beer full of character. Enjoyable.

On BeerAdvocate, it scores a grade of B+. On RateBeer, it scores 3.45 out of 5 and is in their 81st percentile.


  1. My wife and I was up there just last week and took your tour and drinked a lot of your good beer. But we can’t think of all the names we tryed. Can you Please send a list of the names of your beer. My wife liked 3 of them better than her Millers she drinks. One is made from rice and the other is your lite and the last one has a cherry tast to it. Oh, and we both love your rootbeer. Thanks for such a great time and the tour was great by Jim. Thanks again Mitch & Nancy Askins (Oklahoma City)

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