Union Craft Brewing Company

Blackwing Lager

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category-iconBeer Reviews

When It's Cold Outside, Drink Union Craft’s Blackwing Lager All Day

November 11, 2019

By Jesse Bussard, November 11, 2019

As winter inches closer, stouts and porters start returning to taps. But for those of us who want the flavor of these beers without their heft, I give you schwarzbier. Meaning “black beer,” schwarzbier is a light-bodied, low-ABV, roasty dark German lager that might just be your new winter day-drinker. While rarely seen on American taps, some craft breweries like Union Craft Brewing are bucking this trend. The Baltimore-based brewer maintains Blackwing Lager, an interpretation of the ancient style, as a regular in its year-round lineup. 

Appearance and Aroma

Out of the can, Blackwing Lager pours an opaque black-brown with a fluffy tan head that lingers well after pouring. As I drink, it leaves a ring of lacing around the glass edge. Robust aromas of caramel malt and roast coffee notes mixed with a hint of sweet chocolate hit me in the nose as I take a sip.

Schwarzbiers combine the rich flavor of a porter or stout with the crisp, clean finish that makes a lager so refreshing.”


In my opinion, schwarzbiers combine the rich flavor of a porter or stout with the crisp, clean finish that makes a lager so refreshing. In this beer, in particular, strong notes of espresso and dark chocolate take center stage. This is mingled with a tinge of black coffee acidity and subtle herbal hop flavor. It all goes down with a roasty, dry lager finish. 


Schwarzbiers are hard to find, so I can’t say I’ve had that many. But of the handful I’ve tried, Union Craft’s Blackwing Lager is by far the champion of flavor. It’s jam-packed with roasty, chocolatey rich goodness while still being super-light and crushable. This, combined with its 4.8% ABV, means I have no qualms about downing this tasty, dark beauty over and over.

ZX Ventures, a division within AB InBev, is an investor in October
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