From the bottle at selected reatilers, and in the wooden barrel at the Schlenkerla tavern: only during lent (between Ash Wednesday and Easter). Exported in kegs to the USA.
The Original Schlenkerla Lentbeer is an unfiltered smokebeer, brewed according to the Bavarian Purity Law of 1516. Bottom-fermenting yeast gives the reddish brown lentbeer a natural cloudiness. Its smokey aroma is already noticeable in the smell, combined with a fine hoppy note. In the drink the fullbodied, highly drinkable lentbeer shows its strong malty flavour, rounded up with the smokey taste and a light bitterness. Due to the nourishing yeast, the Original Schlenkerla Lentbeer has the "Brotzeit already included" (German word for afternoon snack).
Different from the Original Schlenkerla Smokebeer, the Schlenkerla Lentbeer is made from a mixture of light (e.g. non smoked) malt and Schlenkerla Smoked Malt. It is brewed in classic copper kettles in a two-decoction mash with hops from Spalt (near Nuremberg) and Hallertau. One week of primary fermentation is being followed by a two month period of lagering in the ancient cellars underneath Bamberg. The lentbeer is being served unfiltered with fine bottom fermenting yeast from the keg and thus preserves its full body and aroma.
Fasting was already being practiced by the Romans in the old ages. The early Christians adapted this ritual in the 2nd century as a two-day preparation for the Easter celebration. In later centuries, the church extended the lent-period to the now common 40 days. According to the principle "liquida non frangunt ieiunium" (liquids do not break the fast), the monks in the middle-age monasteries would brew a stronger, more nuriting beer for the time of lent to stay in shape for the daily labor. The Original Schlenkerla Lentbeer is based on this tradition and only being served in the time between Ash Wednesday and Easter.
Aecht Schlenkerla Fastenbier (Lentbeer) is in 2012, 2013 and 2014 the world's best smoked beer according to ratebeer.com (one of the, if not the largest beer rating website in the world).