Review: Warsteiner Dunkel

by Beer reviews

A friend of mine at work asked the other day if I’d tried Warsteiner Dunkel.  I’ve had many German beers, but I couldn’t remember if I had sampled this brew before.  The beer is a famous international beer, so it was easy to find at the store.

warsteiner dunkel

Warsteiner Dunkel is a good dark lager for everyday drinking

Warsteiner Dunkel History

Warsteiner is Germany’s largest privately owned brewery.  Like many beers, Warsteiner gets its name from the city it hails from, in this case Warstein, Germany.  Warstein is in the east central part of Germany and the north end of Sauerland.

The Warsteiner brewery has a tumultuous history.  A farmer named Antonius Cramer started the brewery in 1753, and over 250 years later the beer is still made in Warstein.  Since the brewery was started it has survived a fire, two world wars, and many generations.  The brewery burnt to the ground in 1802, but was rebuilt in the center of the town as a brewery and lodge.  This original brewery still stands in the center of the town.  In World War Two, several breweries were destroyed but the Warsteiner brewery survived.

The brewery started as a humble family business, but in 1823 Albert and August Vitus brought the brewery into the modern age.  They attained formal educations from the brewer school in Worms.  The brothers brought this knowledge to the brewery and grew the operation into a larger operation.  In 1898 they purchased a steam engine and registered the brewery in the Warstein courts.

Catharina Cramer, the youngest daughter of brewery owner Albert Cramer, has run the brewery since 2006.


Warsteiner Dunkel has a good clear brown color, with a slight reddish hue.  The beer is very clear, a little bit clearer than Coca Cola or Pepsi.  The head is disappointing.  While it is consistent with the beer style, the head is gone almost as soon as you pour it.


The aroma has a slight hint of the noble Hallertau hops.  The aroma is very faint, probably because the beer uses hop extract.  I guess the German Purity Law of 1516 allows for hop extract.  Malt dominates the aroma, but it is a good bready smell.


The taste of the beer is quite good and is very smooth.  Even though it is a dark lager, it makes a good session beer.  The lager has a light mouthfeel.  The beer has some toast flavors and notes of coffee.  The beer has almost no hop bitterness.  A mellow biscuit flavor lingers after each sip.  As should be expected for a 4.8% ABV beer, there is no alcohol taste.


The flavor is very good and mellow.  Warsteiner Dunkel does have some sweetness, but not cloying.  I think Warsteiner Dunkel makes a good beer you can serve to friends, but it is not a beer capable of “wow-ing” anyone.  I give the beer 8 beer queens out of 10.

Brewery: Warsteiner Brauerei
Country of Origin: Warsteiner, Germany
Style: Dark Lager
ABV: 4.8% ABV

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DJ Spiess

DJ Spiess

Beer buddy

I live in Denver, Colorado. This blog is everything about beer, wine, cider, mead and other spirits.
I am a avid homebrewer and winemaker. I’ve been making my own beer and wine for many years. I started making beer when I was in college (mostly because the drinking age in the United States is 21). My first few beers were horrible. The beers are much better now, and I often supply my neighborhood with free beer! It is a great hobby!