Beer Review: Dunkel Shaun (Great Barn Brewery)

Beer Review: Dunkel Shaun (Great Barn Brewery)

It’s another snow day in Central Pennsylvania, and we all know what that means? We need a shovel beer! Thus I produce for your enjoyment…. the Dunkel Shaun!

Dunkel Shaun – a peanut butter Dunkelweizen by Great Barn Brewery

Shoveling is just one of those activities that requires a beer. And usually I try to go heavy or darker rather than light or IPA. Sometimes I try to be thematic like when I had Snow Tracks by New Trail. And I won’t lie, I once had Julius by Tree House for a shovel day beer too…. but still, typically, I try for darker beers. Stouts, porters, barleywines, wee heavies, dunkels, schwarzbiers, etc, etc. etc. There is just something about being out in the cold and shoveling that requires a darker, usually heavier, beer. Just like mowing requires a lighter, crispier, lower ABV beer, like pilsners, or wheat beers, or hefeweizens, etc, etc.


This came from the mix a six I had picked up at Breski’s Beverage back for the December snow storm that hit right after we went into our second shut down of 2021. I picked it largely because of two factors: 1) I love peanut butter in beers, and 2) Shaun of the Dead reference.

We’ll hoist a pint to that….

Snowstorms, beers, Shaun of the Dead, and Criticism

Firstly, I find this somewhat relevant and wanted to dive a bit into this before going into the actual review. So I hope you’ll allow me this slight divergent tangent before we head into the proper beer review. And by now, I’m sure anyone familiar with this blog knows I usually go off the rails a bit, on tangents, or rants, or side-notes and side-bars, and just completely random thoughts before getting to the beer review at hand. (But I do promise I always get to the review, have no fear.) I am currently finishing up a book called “How to Talk About Books You Haven’t Read” by Pierre Bayard, and the final chapter is about an essay Oscar Wilde wrote about criticism, critics, and NOT reading the books you are to criticize and review and all that.

The main thrust of Oscar Wilde’s essay is actually that criticism, and critics themselves, are writing about more than whatever it is they are reviewing, and being critical of and providing criticism on. That they are actually providing more writing, more insight, and more thought on themselves than the actual product (in his case of discussion – books). I found this quite interesting as I sat down to write today’s beer review after some strenuous picture taking of a beer outside in the snow and preparing myself for some actual arduous work of shoveling.

By the way, this is probably an accurate depiction of me taking a picture of my beer in the snow, if my neighbors happened to be looking out their windows:

And hold it there….

I think it would be great fun if there was a collection of pictures of the people trying to take the perfect pictures for Untappd and other beer related apps and sites. I know I’d be guilty of looking ‘quite the fool’ at times trying to take this perfect beer picture.

Now, lets discuss Shaun of the Dead real quick before getting into the beer review. Firstly, if you have not seen it, go about your business…. no….. I mean, drop whatever you are doing (its freaking snowing in Central PA right now anyway!) and watch this movie. You don’t need to be a horror fan or horror buff (though it will help) to appreciate it. Simon Pegg is fantastic and a great comedic genius. Shaun of the Dead, Hot Fuzz, and World’s End are all fantastic. And any brewery hopper or pub crawler can appreciate World’s End immensely. Simon Pegg follows that fantastic British style of comedy and he has perfected it in a way that appeals to Americans greatly.

I won’t do a full breakdown on the movie, as I don’t think there’s a full need to do that here, but let me just say, its well worth your watching it. Worst case is, you start watching it, hate it, and you’re upset at some second rate beer reviewer on the internet (aka – me) and you vengefully take it out on me in the comments section. Shrug.

Moving on….

Great Barn Brewery

Before we dive into the beer, lets quick discuss the brewery. I think I’m going to make this a more regular section of the beers I review from now on. Devote a quick little heading and few paragraphs to the brewery of the beer itself. Instead of just a passing mention or something, I think this will be more helpful to people reading and not knowing the brewery in question (as often times I don’t even know the brewery before drinking the beer). And with the added features of subheadings on my new blog, this provides the perfect opportunity to discuss the breweries behind the beers we review here on The Beer Thrillers.

Great Barn Brewery

I have not yet been to Great Barn’s brewery location, but as a Pennsylvania brewery, and one within a two – to – three hour drive, its certainly on my list of places to visit. (Ah, who am I kidding, any brewery I haven’t been to before, no matter the distance, is on my list of breweries to visit…..). It is located in New Hope, Pennsylvania (Bucks County). According to the Great Barn Brewery’s Untappd page – they are a micro brewery from New Hope, with 61 unique beers. As of 2.1.21 they have 14,345 ratings with a global average rating of 3.51. Their Untappd description reads: “The Great Barn Brewery is located in historic upper Bucks County, Pennsylvania in Durham Township which is best known for forging cannon balls for the American Revolution and building the boat George Washington used to cross the Delaware in 1776. The brewery sits on a family owned farm that has been growing crops for hundreds of years. Our brewery’s founder, Stephen Ferguson, has owned the land for over 40 years and built its namesake barn by hand back in 1976, exactly 200 years after America’s Declaration of Independence. Now the 40 year old barn has been converted into a brewery to preserve this historic land as a working farm and bring the real flavor of Bucks County to life. Using grain grown right on the farm, Great Barn Brewery strives to brew beer that is uncomplicated, unadulterated, close to its source, and coming from the heart. The idea of simplicity is one of our basic principles. It’s about going back to the land and honoring the ingredients that naturally grow in abundance. It encompasses a fiercely independent spirit, like our forefathers before us, that is the complete opposite of mass produced products. Our philosophy requires that everything is handcrafted with extreme care and attention from basic raw ingredients. When it comes to making beer you need two things: great ingredients and great execution. By growing our own grain and sourcing local ingredients we ensure that our product represents the best of Bucks County.” For more information on them you can also check out their Facebook page here: Great Barn Brewery Facebook.

Beer Review: Dunkel Shaun

Dunkel Shaun by Great Barn Brewery

Beer: Dunkel Shaun
Brewery: Great Barn Brewery
Style: Dunkelweizen
ABV: 6.2%
IBU: None
Untappd Description: (Blank)
Can Description: “A peanut butter and chocolate ale that tastes like a scrumptious creamy chocolate ice cream and peanut butter swirl. Bam! PA Preferred. Farm crafted. Brewed and packaged by Great Barn Brewery Kintnersville, Pennsylvania.”

Isn’t this just a beautiful looking beer and picture? Lovely brown – light brown – dunkel, bock, coloring. Brown to amber hue. Gorgeous off white to brown creamy foamy head with various and dispersed bubbles. Wonderful carbonation from the can. Transparent and translucent with no haze or sediment floating around.

This is a peanut butter beer straight from the smell. Much like Molly Pitcher’s Peanut Butter Porter, as soon as you crack the can you are hit with a “whooomphhh” of peanut butter aroma. Strong, heady, with some bready notes too. No smell of chocolate however.

This is a really ‘scrumptious’ beer – to steal a line from the can’s label. Its a beautiful looking beer, its clean looking, its an enjoyable beer. Before even sipping this you are hit with that wonderful aroma of peanut butter and then as you take that sip, your tongue is pummeled with the peanut butter just as your nose was. This is a very heavy peanut butter intense beer, which is fantastic and wonderful (if you like peanut butter beers – which I do – times a thousand); although here I’d like to point out that, unlike the can’s description, I didn’t taste a single bit of chocolate. Nothing. Not even a little smidgen of chocolate. Which is really ultimately fine with me, because the can label (minus that description) and title of the beer never implies that there would be chocolate in it, and I never expected it until I read that description. The flavor profile doesn’t exactly match of “peanut butter and chocolate ice swirl” but thats fine with me, I wasn’t expecting it, nor wanting the chocolate, and am happy with just the peanut butter. But marketing wise, I would likely drop the ‘chocolate’ mention on the can label, or do something different if you want to incorporate it, because I didn’t taste a single bit of chocolate in this. The beer is very nice, its not thick, its not cloying, it might be a slight bit on the watery and thin side, but nothing detractable and nothing that ultimately takes away from the taste. By the end of the beer, the peanut butter taste does taste as if its ‘flavor added’ rather than being natural ingredient throughout, but this isn’t really a super issue, its just something to note. I certainly enjoyed the beer, and it was well crafted and made, it has no off flavors, nothing astringent, no bad aftertaste, looked pretty, smelled great; all in all everything I look for in a well crafted beer.

My Untappd Rating: ****
Global Untappd Rating: 3.81 (as of 2.1.21)

Well, its now become 4:30PM and its looking like its time for some more shoveling as the snow keeps falling (which means the beers will now keep adding up). I might even re-watch the Royal Rumble (2021) from last night, which was an enjoyable pay-per-view if you are all interested in that. (No worries, I won’t spoil anything here.) And to be honest, this is really the only time I truly pay attention to wrestling anymore (from Rumble to Mania). But first, I’m off to do some more shoveling, and probably enjoy another beer – I’,m thinking Hummelstown Lager by Rubber Soul Brewing from here in Hummelstown.

Let me know what you’re drinking to get through this snowstorm in the comments. And as always, make sure to check out our other articles and posts here on the site, from beer reviews, to brewery reviews, to news, there’s tons of things to read. Be sure to stick around a while, and hit the subscribe and follow buttons to be notified of new posts, and follow us on our social media pages!


-B. Kline

Dunkel Shaun by Great Barn Brewery

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