Any day to celebrate beer, is a holiday in our book. Today we’re toasting all things lager: from the history to the flavor to the breweries that are still practicing the art of lager making.
Lagers have been around since the early 16th century when they first started springing up around Europe. When they were first brewed, lagers were very dark but are now there are light and dark varieties. There are twenty-seven recognized types of lager but the ones you’re probably most familiar with are pale lagers, dark lagers, bocks and pilsners. No matter what beer you prefer, you drink more lager than you think. That Oktoberfest you turn to every fall, the Bud you knock back when the good stuff is gone, even the Corona you sip on the beach, they’re all lagers.
So what makes lager different from other beer? Other than flavor, smell and color it’s all about yeast, time and temperature, especially in the brewing world. Lagers are brewed with bottom fermenting yeast at cold temperatures (normally around 34 degrees) and then matured in the same chilly temperatures. It may sound simple but it takes time, deliberate skills and massive attention to detail.
The intense brewing process keeps most craft breweries from exploring the world of lagers but there are a few out there that are worth trying on this National Lager Day. These three breweries exclusively make lagers and we can’t wait to pay them a visit.
- Jack’s Abby: This family-owned brewery in Framingham, MA is all about the lagers. They use locally grown ingredients and traditional German brewing to create unique and seriously delicious lagers. We suggest: Hoponius Union, Smoke & Dagger or their Jabby Brau.
- Red Oak Brewery: Though they only feature a golden, an amber and a bock at their brewery, Red Oak knows how to brew a lager. Using traditional Bavarian techniques, this North Carolina brewery keeps their lagers pure, smooth and delicious.
- Chuckanut Brewery: Though they sneak the occasional ale into their repertoire, Chuckanut does lagers the right way. The Washington state brewery is known for their Dark Lager and their light Vienna Lager. Give them a try, you won’t be disappointed.
No matter what lager you prefer, make sure you’re drinking one today. Dark, pale, pilsner or bock, pour yourself a glass.