The mouthfeel is balanced with restrained malt sweetness propping up fresh noble hops. We’ve all had them… 4% ABV, straw-colored and flavor deficient, American light lagers tend to be watery and thin bodied. Suarez is a small brewery along the Hudson Valley in New York. Major grocery stores are always stocked with commercial lagers but they are starting to offer craft options as well. On the nose, sweet malt is accentuated by a subtle Noble hop character. Fermented warm, around 68F, steam beer has a pleasant fruity profile. Beer in Bavaria is sacred. Simple can be surprisingly hard to get right. Vienna Lager. Aecht Schlenkerla Rauchbier Märzen is brewed using 100% house-smoked malt. It looks like a lager…tastes like a lager… but Kolsch is actually an ale! Because of the low temperature, lager yeasts do not produce significant fruity flavors. In short: you need to trust your recipe. Dortmunters are similar to German pilsners but with a deeper gold appearance and maltier flavor profile. Clocking in at 7.1% ABV and pouring a deep mahogany, this beer has more similarities with a Belgian dubbel than a typical lager. In addition to the grainy, honey-like flavors of the Pils malt we should also taste a noticeable amount of bitterness and a restrained (but noticeable) noble hops character, reminiscent of flowers and herbs. The lager yeast used for their helles is the most widely used commercial strain in the world. Lagers are a family of beers that use a bottom-fermenting yeast at cool (48-55°F) temperatures. The flavor tastes flabby and dull. You don’t want “bite.”. Pilsner. We respect your privacy and only send our best stuff. They brewed and popularized their lager throughout the country. Once you have the recipe locked in, you can make this beer sing on command if your process is consistent and your ingredients are fresh. These compounds cause fruity flavors and aromas which are not desirable in lager. Dunkel and Schwarzbier are brewed with dark malts that give a roasted or chocolatey taste that pairs well with the clean lager character. Noble hops, such as Hallertauer Mittelfrüh and Tettnanger are used to give the beer a fresh and herbaceous character with a firm bitterness. Interestingly, Mexico produces some of the best versions of Vienna lager. Fermenting beer at cooler temperatures with lager yeast suppresses esters. This beer is one of the best in the style, readily available, and extremely consistent in quality. Munich Helles is truly one of the world’s great beer styles, and you’ll find that no one doesn't like it—even someone, who shall remain nameless, who makes Pilsner styles without Pils malt. But how do I know I’ve overcooked something before it’s too late? You’ll want to carbonate this to about 2.25 volumes of CO2, and if you’re going to make a mistake, err on the high side. I absolutely hate that word, and you should, too. Just ¼ lb (113 g), for a touch of richness. One of their hallmark styles is kellerbier. If you can lock down the grist and ferment it cleanly, there’s no reason you shouldn’t have even your most homebrew-skeptic friends heading back for another liter. Schlösser Alt altbier, 4.8% Style: Altbier. Pouring a beautiful amber with a fluffy off-white head, aromas of toasted bread and sweet caramel float out of the glass. Flavor-wise, this Helles brings to mind a crackery bread crust with a lightly sweet finish. Best enjoyed fresh out of a Franconian keller – ahem – cellar. Josh Weikert Köstritzer finds the ultimate balance between drinkability and roastiness that keeps you coming back for more, sip after sip. Victory Lager – (Downingtown, PA) – “This is one of their flagships and it’s available year-round.”. Schlafly Summer Lager – (Saint Louis, MO) – “A brilliant American craft beer take on the Helles style and a great place to start.”. There’s nowhere to hide in this flavor profile, and you’ll notice the difference. Both breweries share the same quality-driven and creative ethos. The flavor profile of lagers becomes smooth and clean with extended cold conditioning. These light-malt additions may seem like ornamentation, but if you don’t have them, you’ll find that the beer seems too basic and spare, like an undecorated room with a folding chair sitting in the middle of it. It’s the same with “noticeable.”, The answer is simple: this style takes finesse. But, there is one style that has overshadowed all the others and taken over the grand portion of the beer spotlight of the region. These originally come from Vienna but are brewed worldwide today. You can get that combination from a lot of hops these days, especially the American hybrids of noble hops, but the Mittelfruh presents it in a much gentler way, which allows you to use more of it and dial in the levels. Czech pilsners are lighter in alcohol, very aromatic, and hoppy. At 5.2% ABV, you can drink a few of these. Hangar 24 Helles Lager – Redlands, CA – “West-coast Helles in a can – you’ve got to love that!”. Most beer drinkers know Weihenstephan Hefeweizen – an outstanding example of German wheat beer. A traditional pale brew from Cologne, Germany, Kolsch is fermented with very clean ale yeast. Get updated on the latest brewing techniques, recipes, and discounts on kick ass equipment with our monthly newsletter. Dark Lager. Lager is the most popular type of beer in the world. Palatine Pils is a German-style pilsner with a strong presence of fresh, crisp malt and herbaceous Noble hops. Generally, lagers will be cleaner with a maltier backbone. This beer gets better after each sip and is an amazing companion on a cold winter’s night. Well, perfection exists and it comes in the form of Augustiner Helles. In fact, the word ‘lager’ comes from the German word meaning ‘to store’. Pouring a dark brown with ruby highlights and a creamy off-white head, this beer is sweet, slightly bitter, and intensely smoky. Dusseldorf’s beer speciality, altbier, is often described as … A superb helles – bready, balanced, effervescent, and oh-so crisp. The cool fermentation produces a very clean beer with minimal yeast-derived flavors. Ales use top-fermenting yeasts at warmer temperatures. This is a fantastic beer to learn on because it forces you to commit. You can also sign up for a subscription service such as International Beer Club which usually ships a few lagers per month. There is balanced bitterness and sweet malt on the tongue with a nice finish that isn’t cloying. Aromas of fresh grain, grassy hops, and citrus burst out of the glass. Due to a brief period of Austrian reign in the 19th century, thousands of Austrians immigrated to Mexico. There’s also a noticeable dryness in the finish. They’ve done extensive research into brewing science and make beer with the precision we know and love about German brewing tradition. American Light Lager. Steam beer, also known as California Common, tastes like an ale but it’s actually a lager. In our opinion, this version has eclipsed all German examples and takes the cake for the best Dortmunder in the world. It’s one of the few breweries in the world who smoke their own malt. Originating in Munich, Germany, Helles beers are pale lagers, but with less hop character and bitterness than pilsners. In fact, it could be argued that no other region in the world has quite the same relationship with beer. Remember, we’re looking for not-quite Pilsner levels. Strangely, for a “Pils malt showcase,” this beer (in my mind, anyway) relies, to a remarkable degree, on hops. Weissbier, Märzen, the Dunkels, and the Bocks all have deep roots to Bavaria.