Chelsea's Mystic Brewery is one of my favorite new breweries in the Boston area (look for a Q&A with founder Bryan Greenhagen in the Globe in a few weeks). Greenhagen got me all excited Thursday afternoon when he revealed that one of Mystic's new beers, which he calls Auerbach's Rauchbier, is indeed named after legendary Celtics coach Red Auerbach. It's not often I get the chance to combine my two coverage areas.
A rauchbier is a traditional German beer style noted for its unique smokiness. Auerbach, of course, was known for smoking victory cigars. Here's a description of the beer from the label:
In the past, a common method in making beer was to dry malted grains over an open fire. This gave a smoked flavor to the beer. That tradition continues to this day in the rauchbiers of Germany. Just across the harbor from Mystic Brewery sits Boston, with its own tradition in the form of smoke. When it rose from the bench of the home team there you could rest assured; victory was at hand. Celebrate with Auerbach’s and good smoked meats, sausages and/or sharp New England cheddar.
Greenhagen told me that he watched a lot of basketball in the 1980s. He wasn't sure if anyone would get the reference to the late Celtics patriarch.
"What I am most interested in is the cultural history of the Boston area, and he's one of the most colorful," said Greenhagen.
Celtics fans, this one's for you. The beer was bottled Thursday and is expected to be on store shelves in a few weeks.