In the GDR beer production was standardized.
Doppelcaramel, Schwarzbier and Porter had to comply with the following specifications.
We can see from those values: Schwarzbier was on the sweeter side of todays style but there is some continuity noticeable.
In the early 90s Köstritzer Schwarzbier had 3,5% vol (abv). The brewery was sold to Bitburger Holding (today 3rd largest german brewing company).
|early post-GDR Köstritzer Schwarzbier: 3,5% vol|
Until then Schwarzbier made up only 7% of the production volume of the brewery. In 1993 they relaunched Schwarzbier as their primary product with a new branding. This is when todays "style" was created. Alcohol went up to 4,8%vol (11,4°P). Sweetness and probably flavor went further down. In short: Schwarzbier was "pilsnerized" to meet the german pilsner adapted palate.
The style as it is known today has a fine tradition of almost 21 years!