Through the Smoke

An experimental Pale Ale brewed with smoked malt and rye. Floral hop aromas mix with savory smokey tones, hinting to the bold flavors within. A lively mouthfeel of spicy rye and smoke overshadow most malt sweetness, lingering into a dry and slightly bitter finish.

  • ABV: 5.4%
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Origin Story

I may be one of the few who love smoked beers. At Shorts we don't make very many so I wanted to do something a little different than your typical smoked lager or stout. Throw in some rye malt and Ahatanum hops and boom, we have a fun new pale ale. -Ryan Hale. Through the Smoke was not brewed specifically to represent the Rauchbier style, which are the most widely recognized beers that use smoked malt. However, as Ryan mentioned, we do not brew a ton of beers using smoked malt, so I thought this could be a fun opportunity to re-educate ourselves on this very unique historic beer style. Rauchbier is German for "smoke beer". Rauchbier's typically tend to be medium bodied lagers, but weizens, bocks, and porters have also been brewed using a significant amount of smoked malt, allowing them to be considered specific versions of this style. There are a few German tales surrounding the origin of Rauchbier, however the most logical explanation for why certain beers would have smokey attributes is most likely due to the malting techniques used over a few centuries ago. In order for cereal grains to be used in brewing, they are first germinated and then kilned (indirectly heated) to varying degrees, transforming the grain into malt. Prior to the early 19th century, when certain advancements in kilning technologies were created, most malts were heated through the combustion of burning wood (most commonly beechwood). The kilns were large chambers with perforated floors to allow the heat to pass through and impact the grain. Inevitably, gasses and smoke from the burning wood would also pass through imparting flavor to the malt. It's not unlikely that most kilned malts had some degree of smokiness and imparted different levels of smoke flavors to many beers brewed at this time. Today, Rauchbier is one of a few remaining styles where not only are these smokey flavors desired, but a requirement of the style. If you have never experienced the impact of a beer made with a significant amount of smoked malt, it is truly a one of a kind experience. Definitely an acquired taste, you will find patrons who absolutely love them (like our head brewer in Bellaire, Ryan Hale) and others who do not really care for them at all. Do not hesitate to offer or insist that customers try a sample of the beer first, to make sure they are fully ready for the palate impacting experience of this style. These beers do come in really handy when pairing them with specific foods (Bacon, sausages, smoked meats and fish), so perhaps our exceptional kitchen staff will create a few specials to go with the distinct flavor of this unique beer style.


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