Archaeological discoveries in Northern Bavaria show that black beer has been continually brewed in the region since at least 800 B.C.
Of course, they would have been ales where today's Schwartzbiers are a relatively modern descendant which would not have come about until lagering became commonplace in the region around the fifteenth century.
Black Monk is named for the Bavarian monks who were brewing similar beers since at least the 12th century. Bottom fermented, lagered Schwarzbier offers a wonderful balance between clean dry pilsners and the rich flavours of darker beers and it is surprising the style is so underrepresented.
Zeelandt's example is light bodied yet has a decidedly creamy mouthfeel. Aromas and flavours are of nutty malts, bittersweet chocolate and lots of coffee.
An ideal beer for a cool Autumn evening.