Lagers are bottom fermenting beers that are traditionally conditioned in cold storage. The word lager literally means storeroom or warehouse in German. It is the most popular style of beer in the world but is sometimes under represented in my own beer chronicles because it was lagers that were my weakness when I was a binge drinker and I am more conscious of what I drink to stay away from that type of behaviour.
Lagers like Budweiser and Old Milwaukee are what I avoid like the plague. Not for any elitest, beer snob reason, although there are plenty of those that would do. The main reason I stay away from them is simple really. They are engineered for one thing and that is to get you drunk so you will consume more. Any beer that is marketed as "cold" or "chilled", which has nothing to do with the brewing process, is a Quantity beer. This kind of Lager is something that I know I can drink far too many of and as a result I cannot fall prey to their bland drinkability. Bud advertises "Beechwood Aging", which adds nothing to the flavour of the beer, but actually makes it even more uniform and boring. It keeps the yeast in suspension longer and helps removes any flavour that would result from actually brewing a beer. Lagers like this are not meant to be savoured or treasured. Just drink your damn beer and get another one.
So what's the big deal with beer companies making bland, easy drinking macro Lagers. Nothing, for some people. But for myself, I don't ever want to be that "frat guy" drinker again.
To avoid that, and still get some tasty lagers, I turn to beers that aren't just tarted up water. Boston's Sam Adams, Scotland's Harp and Tennant's, Pennsylvania's Yuenglings and a variety of local Canadian brews (including Oakville's Cameron's and Toronto's Mill Street) make great and tasty choices. It is possible to brew a lager with different and interesting flavours that are extremely drinkable. I thank the beer gods for that. I know you can pound these as well as any Molson, but for me, I don't want to and they allow me to indulge my passion for good beer on those days that I am not up for a hoppy IPA or a big old Imperial Stout.
Beers is meant to be enjoyed and savoured. But sometimes after a hard day at work or when your just going to relax and have a couple of brown pops with your friends, you need something simple and easy. My favourite session lagers do this and are just right for the job. They are well made, with quality ingredients and care put into every bottle or can. By no means do I mean I can't drink a twelve of any of them, but I would rather enjoy two or three and a good conversation than blackout and be hung over the next day.
So pop a top on your favourite Lager and raise a glass to well made and enjoyable beer!
Happy National Lager day to you!
|Four of my favourites.|
Samuel Adams Boston Lager
Yuenglings Traditional Lager