In the Arena

Time to feel strong, I think. An Enegren is giving us a Gladiator. A big and burly dopplebock to take our minds off all of the things we are currently fighting. Maybe six crowlers would be better?

Book Review – Lager by Mark Dredge

I have already posted about my excitement for this new book about Lager from Mark Dredge and I finally got my package from Powell’s in the mail and dug into it quickly.

And there is a lot to like about the book. Dredge starts with a bang, in Germany with the Reinheitsgebot. But that tone of beer fan then cuts to lager history and that playfulness goes with it to an extent. It is clear there are some aspects of lager that really excite him, like the dive bars of Vietnam where gas tanks hold the beer and other areas where it seems he had to include to complete the story but leaves quickly like China.

This split personality structure stopped me from enjoying the book especially in the latter half which becomes a chapter by chapter tour of various countries and their part in the lager legacy.

I would have liked to have seen a more novella approach. Part 1 being German lagers and the foursome of brewers who started it. Part 2 being the American side of the story. Part 3 Asian influence and then Part 4 could slide into talk of the future. Then Dredge could have really dove in and the anecdotes would have packed more punch.

Overall, there are a lot of golden nuggets of lager knowledge to be found within the pages but the book’s momentum stalls out too many times.

Featured 19.2 Review – Carlsberg Danish Lager

I haven’t had a Carlsberg in a long time but at the price that my local Trader Joe’s was selling them, I couldn’t pass it up. Here is my review of the stovepipe can of the Danish Lager.

Well, technically not a stovepipe, but it is above 16oz even if by just an almost ounce, so I am counting it. Pours super clear. Darker yellow than expected and a lingering foam to it as well. First note is pear. A little dry.  A bit sweet close to honey note. Not super grain forward. A bit slick.  No snap to it. 

Lager – The Book

Browsing the beverages section of the lovely Vroman’s Bookstore one recent day, I saw this on the shelves and snapped a quick pic…

Lager by Dave Carpenter dives into the world of the famous style and gives you history and recipes in one hard-bound book.

Carpenter has the credentials to trust as a “longtime beer and home-brewing writer and the Editor in Chief of Zymurgy magazine.”

Nuggets of wisdom inside the book include:
“Why does lager, not ale, dominate world beer production, despite its comparative difficulty to produce?
Why are certain European styles like Vienna lager more associated with brewing in Mexico than on the Continent?
What does St. Louis have to do with České Budějovice?
What role does lager play in today’s expanding craft beer landscape?”

Eventual Champions

Followers of the blog will have no doubt noticed that I myself am an avid follower of the Portland Trailblazers and post somewhat regularly about the Pyramid Blazer beers that pop up.

I do have to give credit to recent two-time champion Warriors though and would not feel bad about trying the new Anchor Brewing Company / Golden State Warriors limited-edition California Lager “Strength in Numbers” campaign.

There is not only the Bay Area connection but they are bound by the year 1971. That was the year the Warriors became the Golden State Warriors, and also when Anchor Brewing began bottling its flagship beer, Anchor Steam.

FW Lager

More canned beers coming are way from Paso Robles with Pivo Pils getting a lager cousin….

From the simple color scheme and light shadowed Firestone Walker lion and beer, one could make the guess that the beer inside will be simple and light as well. The question being, did this one get hopped or not?

Detroit is Brewing # 2 – Lake Brothers

No, they only do the one lager (Vienna, no less) and they are contract brewed (that is not necessarily bad) but even without a lack of a taster tray, I would look for the throwback visual look of Lake Brothers lager.

Lager – “Drawing inspiration from the region’s oft-forgotten brands of yesterday, we set out to create our Lager. An American, all-malt lager, our beer is brewed with Cluster and Liberty hops, Midwestern malted barley and the purest of Great Lakes water. Amber in color, this beer pours brilliantly clear with a rich malt aroma, subtle hop character and a pleasant finish. Refreshing, flavorful and drinkable, our Lager is everything a great beer ought to be!”