Lager gets a bad rap. It is seen by some as the anathema of ‘craft beer’. I have been told by experienced brewers that it’s really hard to make a good lager though. With this in mind I tried a few from California, Scotland and Cork.
I started with Brewdog’s This. Is. Lager. According to the commercial description this one is brewed with ‘100% malt and ten times the hops of most industrial lagers!’ They are subtly referring to the rice and corn used to give Budweiser that smooth taste we all know and love. It’s brewed with Pilsner Malt, Munich Malt and it’s hopped with the classic Hallertauer, Hersbrucker and Saaz hops with the addition of Columbus for an extra kick of hops. But of course. It is Brewdog, you weren’t really expecting a straight lager were you? It’s really tasty. Give it a go Lager Haterz.
Next I tried Anchor’s California Lager. It’s an attempt to recreate the first Californian Lager brewed during the Gold Rush using an ice pond in the mountains. This is also brewed with 100% malt and it’s hopped with Cluster hops as it would’ve been over a century ago. This is very drinkable. I’d say I should’ve drank it before the Brewdog but you live and learn.
There is a pub in Mayfield in Cork called the Cotton Ball and they have been brewing since 2013. I really need to get down to that end of the country, I’ve a good few places that I’m keen to visit. In the meantime, they began bottling late last year so it’s available outside the People’s Republic now! The Mayfield 5 Pilsner Lager is made with Irish Malt and American Columbus and Galena Hops. It is also late hopped with two of the hops that are dubbed ‘Noble’ Hallertau Perle and Hersbrucker. It’s clean, crisp and refreshing. Which is exactly what a lager should be!
I had the Cotton Ball Indian Summer Beer another evening with a pork burger from our local butcher. It’s a Lager/Ale hybrid. They used an ale yeast and Lager and Crystal Malts and ‘New World’ hops. It went really well with the burger and I’d imagine it would go equally well with spicy food. I have to say I reckon this is one hybrid that works. It’s not ridiculously hoppy but it is a well made beer that I’ll be stocking up on for the Summer! Sláinte!
Got to disagree with you on This. Is. Lager. I detest it. I had one again, to try and prove I was wrong first time, and I was right. I struggled to finish it. But…each to their own mate 🙂
Ha, you were right that you didn’t like it! 🙂 I didn’t struggle with it at all and it was my first beer of the evening so maybe it was a case of thirst is good sauce! I had a Dark Nirvana last night, if I remember correctly that was one of your beers of the year last year?
This Is Lager was my first of the evening so no excuse lol – yeah Dark Nirvana is a belter of a beer. You likey likely?
I likeyed a lot! Well deserved praise from you!
i was utterly unimpressed by this is lager, it was too over powering for my pallet, but thats true of most brew dog beers
They’re not shy with the hops. I liked it myself. I find Jack Hammer a little OTT though. Have you tried their Brixton Porter?
i have yes, it was nice, i enjoyed it but i could start to taste the alcohol after a while. there is one of theres i like but i can’t think what it is, been a while since i went to brew dog to partake in some ales tbf
I was only in the one in Shepherds Bush, even if you didn’t like any of their own beers you’d still be spoilt for choice!
i have one here in liverpool and they are very good for beer selection, sadly given the choice between brew dog with its metal tables and high chairs, or the old man pub down the road with worn in carpets and random sing alongs till the small hours, i will always choose the latter, we have a lot of camera pubs in this area so I’m very lucky in many ways, i have a wide selection of beers in most places i go and some even better priced than brew dog, there a little too hipster and sterile for my tastes, if you get me.
If and when I make it to Liverpool I know who to ask for recommendations so!
well if your ever in my neck of the woods feel free to send me a message and i’ll happily show you round are many good drinking establishments and our not so good ones.