Lager is brewed at low temperatures with yeast strains which ferment at the bottom of the fermenting vessel.
Unlike in mass produced lagers, like Budweiser and Coors, good lagers are brewed over several weeks and slowly matured. Flavours are created slowly as the beer ferments, a lagers characteristics are therefore subtle and the beer remains crisp.
With this clean body poor quality ingredients are noticeable, as well as off flavours created by the yeast or from infection of bacteria.
Hopping of lagers is light and low Alpha-Acid or “Noble” hops are used, bringing low bitterness and high aroma.
There are as many Lager styles as there are Ale, but due in part to our rich British ale heritage we only see a small number.
Travel to Germany and the Czech republic and find hundreds more.
Lagers gain their variation in much the same way as ale, with more roasted grain creating darker styles like Schwarzbier, different malts creating unique beers like Vienna Lager, and different hops used for subtly changing top notes.
Pilsner is the most commonly recognised style, with German and Czech varieties. Lager styles also include malty Helles, strong Bocks, dark Dunkels, and contemporary IPL’s with similar hopping to an IPA but with a clean finish.
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