By Paul Barry | Assistant Buyer, Beers & Spirits
Looks like we are heading in to perfect lager weather! In the blog this week we take a look at the broader lager family of beers and recommend some great examples of different styles.
Lager, what's it all about?
The most basic classification of beers breaks down to two main types; ales, which humans have been brewing in one form or another for thousands of year, and the young new upstart Lager which perhaps dates back as far as the 15th century.
So, what separates the two?
In effect it all comes down to the yeast. Brewers of Lager beers use a different strain of yeast to ales, this yeast thrives at colder temperatures that ale yeast would usually go dormant. The cooler fermentation reduces the yeast derived fruity aromas and flavours (called esters) found in ales and produces the cleaner taste profile associated with lagers.
The most common lager style is ‘International Pale Lager’ which are usually mild and well balanced. However not all lagers are the same. Styles range from dark lagers to malty to smooth and full and on to crisp and light.
Brooklyn Lager, styles as a ‘Vienna lager’ is a great introduction to the maltier side of lager. Weihenstephaner Original is my current go-to when it comes to smooth Helles style while you should try the great Pilsner Urquell to experience the classic crispness of pilsner. Irish craft brewers are also brewing lesser known lager styles to great effect, such as 9 White Deer Kolsch and YellowBelly Kellerbier.
And with all things in the craft beer world, styles are continually evolving, and you will find an increasing number of hoppy lagers on the shelves. Check out Hope Brewing Underdog or 12 Acres Pallet Jack for two great examples of this emerging style.
It’s never been a better time to be a fan of well-made lager in Ireland.