From Ash Wednesday through Easter Sunday, 40 days of “fasting” have been practiced by the Christian community since the 2nd century. According to the principle liquida non frangunt ieiunium (liquids do not break the fast), the monks in the middle-age monasteries would brew a stronger, more nutritious beer for the time of lent to stay in shape for the daily labor. Original Schlenkerla Lentbeer is based on this tradition and is only served in the time between Ash Wednesday and Easter.
Original Schlenkerla Lentbeer is an unfiltered smokebeer, brewed according to the Bavarian Purity Law of 1516. Bottom-fermenting yeast gives the reddish brown lentbeer a natural cloudiness. Its smokey aroma is already noticeable in the smell, combined with a fine hoppy note. In the drink the full-bodied, highly drinkable lentbeer shows its strong malty flavor, rounded up with the smokey taste and a light bitterness. Due to the nourishing yeast, the Original Schlenkerla Lentbeer has the “Brotzeit already included” (German word for afternoon snack).
Different from the Original Schlenkerla Smokebeer, the Schlenkerla Lentbeer is made from a mixture of ‘light’ (e.g. non-smoked) malt and Schlenkerla Smoked Malt. It is brewed in classic copper kettles in a two-decoction mash with hops from Spalt (near Nuremberg) and Hallertau. One week of primary fermentation is followed by a two month period of lagering in the ancient cellars underneath Bamberg. The lentbeer is being served unfiltered with fine bottom fermenting yeast from the keg and thus preserves its full body and aroma.
Fasting was already being practiced by the Romans in the old ages. The early Christians adapted this ritual in the 2nd century as a two-day preparation for the Easter celebration. In later centuries, the church extended the lent-period to the now common 40 days.
Aecht Schlenkerla Lentbeer “Fastenbier”