For brewers, lagers are a labor of love. As much as brewing is an art, it is also a science, and producing a clean and satisfying lager is no easy task. Crucial to their success is a period of cold conditioning, or lagering, from which they take their name. Interest in lagers is growing and we are happy to report that there are breweries right here in Chicagoland who are producing world-class lagers. So, this National Lager Day raise a toast to lager, a refreshingly diverse category of beer that America’s craft brewers are embracing with gusto!
Originally brewed as a seasonal, Metropolitan’s German-style Schwarzbier Magnetron was so well received that they decided to brew it year-round. Jet black in color, this lager is deceptively light in body with roasty and chocolaty malt flavors culminating in a wonderfully balanced finish. We’re not the only ones who admire this impeccably brewed Schwarz, it recently received International recognition, taking home silver at the World Beer Cup!
Chicago favorite Baderbrau is back, brewing not only their classic pilsner but a variety of German inspired classics out of a beautiful new brewery and taproom on Chicago’s South Side. Blizza! is a Kellerbier, a somewhat forgotten riff on the German Helles that is unfiltered and hop forward. Dry hopped with German Saphir hops, the aroma is bright and floral with notes of tangerine. Creamy yet crisp, this wonderfully balanced and drinkable lager is not to be missed. *Not available in Champaign or Bloomington.
A somewhat unassuming little brewery in Lyons made a big splash with their Belt and Suspenders and Clencher IPAs. Their latest release shows they possess the chops to brew a quality lager as well. The nose is classic German-style Pils, full of spicy and herbaceous notes. Crisp, refreshing and clean, this is one solid and sessionable brew.
Modeled after a lager style of beer made famous in Dortmund Germany, it’s bready and slightly sweet with a rich and satisfying mouthfeel. A beer that pairs well with nearly any food or occasion. One of the best examples of the style both in the US and Germany.
No discussion of American Craft Lager would be complete without the father of them all. Sam Adams founder Jim Koch has long been a champion of lager and after more than thirty years of experimentation, Jim’s favorite beer is still the first he ever brewed, Boston Lager. The sweetness of rich caramel malt is balanced by a healthy dose of noble German hops that impart a lovely herbaceousness to its long and satisfying finish.
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