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Rediscovering “Lager Love”


The beauty is in subtle details...
Features July 16, 2009      
Written by Radek Kliber


Toronto (Can) Krotoszyn (Pol), POLAND -






Those of you that know me are aware of the fact that I was preaching Lager Love since early days of Ratebeer. Back then circa 2001 before I was better known to the Ratebeer world I even got hate mail for spreading such blasphemy. But that was then and almost ten years later question arise – where are we?


Beer lovers traveled in past few years to Oak Aged craze, ultra uber high alcohol experiments, mega hop head editions competing in IBU number games, ultra sour ales and so on. The more, the higher the better. If you think about that phenomena for a minute you might come to conclusion that this was bound to happen. For years and years our postwar generations were served to limited bland industrial pale lager. When revolution took place, experimenting and pushing borders, rediscovering joy of flavor its richness was just natural next step.


Time is moving forward and nothing is constant. As our society mature we shall see more and more people returning to their roots. They shall see beer for what it meant to be. Beer is such great social tool that meant to be enjoyed and drunk. As we know beer/ale was the staple drink in medieval world. Light table beer was served to everyone including children. Traditional styles that were pushed aside during as I call flavor revolution shall be rediscovered.


Please understand I am not trying to preach traditionalism per se. There always shall be niche for more extreme styles that are catered to individual tastes but we shall reach some kind of equilibrium. After years of bold often one dimensional brews many Beer Raters shall come to conclusion that true beauty lie in detail. Brewmasters would agree that is much harder to hide brewing errors in lighter brew. Brewing delicate, balanced beer require uttermost precision and thought. Perfectly made Kolsch is surely rare but so it’s much more rewarding to sensitive Rater. Same goes to session brews. Lighter, clean and thirst quenching that can be enjoyed till late evening with out risk of being intoxicated to soon.


My fellow Rater please here is my challenge to you. Next time when visiting your favorite pub please order one lighter brew. It might feel plain at first even bland but if you try to digg deeper with time you shall discover its subtle qualities that you might not spot them in past. I feel that understanding the balancing processed , the "chemistry" of gentle lighter beers is key to better understand and appreciate beer in general and that is including your double IPAs.


Cheers


Radek

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Comments

MesandSim says:

Superb article. Probably none of us commenting here need reminding but if you have made a few people think enough to order one then my hat comes off to you. I intend to drink an Urquell tonight in your honour.

61 months ago
otakuden says:

a really good lager is always really damn good. i’m always up for some lager love.

61 months ago
otakuden says:

a really good lager is always really damn good. i’m always up for some lager love.

61 months ago
yngwie says:

You’re sure right Radek. Problem with the weaker beers is that too many of them are poorly brewed, or even flawed. I love the diversity in beers, from the palest kölsch to the darkest imp stout. Maybe that’s why I so much enjoy going on holiday to Germany and Benelux, driving through Denmark.

61 months ago
CheersMate says:

Nice article. I completely understand the way you feel. Now, if you could just reach the assholes who think they know a lot about beer, and request they stop staying the term "pale lager crap!" I can appreciate a Natural Light or Milwuakee’s Best just as much as I can a $10 22 oz. imperial stout or imperial/double.

61 months ago
mctous says:

My brother-in-law and I just discussed Bell’s Kalamazoo Stout vs. Expedition Stout. I greatly admire both, but nine times out of ten, I’d rather drink the regular strength Kalamazoo. He nearly always prefers the much stronger Expedition.

61 months ago
after4ever says:

Yep! Great article, whether or not you’re burned out on big beers (I’m not, though I’ve been drinking fewer of them). Craving light sessionable stuff makes it feel like my beer love is now complete. More of them coming out all the time, too!

61 months ago
Beershine says:

+1 on the Urquell, what an experience that elixir is. Such yummy hops! It’s true also about the freshness factor for lagers. Except for some like doppelbocks, most have to be absolutely fresh, preferably straight from the barrel. The same beer can be a 4.0 on tap but in a bottle that has traveled, only a 2.9...

61 months ago
coldbrewky says:

True That! and +1 for the Fresh Pilsner Urquell being unbeatable

61 months ago
pivnizub says:

A fresh Pilsner Urquell can’t be beaten.......

61 months ago
Maria says:

The older I get, the more I appreciate a tasty lager, pilsner, weiss bier, well any tasty beer lower than 6%. Trips to Germany, have become a must for us. We enjoy to discover the “flavour-trend” of each region, and to fill the car with beers for the cellar. Actually I get quite cranky, when I have a lot of strong beers in the cellar, but none or way to few light ones.

61 months ago
Sammy says:

love a well made lager, had a great shwartz and a kolsch this week good picture of you too, you only stay photogenic from lagers

61 months ago
JesseM says:

Great article man, I’ve been preaching the word for a while now when I can about good lagers. Thanks for putting this out there.

61 months ago
DerWeg says:

I think there still exists a culture in Europe that harkens back to a time when the Brauhaus had to look the customer in the eye without shame for the beer it brewed and served. This serves the harder-to-make-well lager styles very nicely, for some real surprises.

61 months ago
CapFlu says:

@ Beershine: That sensation is your body craving hops. ;)

61 months ago
DonMagi says:

Fresh lagers are the massive win. On you challenge though, its going to be difficult for me to get any lower than the average 4% bitters that i drink everyday!

61 months ago
DrH says:

I totally agree with you Radek! Nothing beats a good well-balanced lager on a hot afternooon..

61 months ago
Beershine says:

Hooray Radek! These are my thoughts exactly, and as you know Josh and I both have the lager love. Every day in Franconia there is a new flavor, aroma, or sensation.

61 months ago


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start quote When revolution took place, experimenting and pushing borders, rediscovering joy of flavor , its richness was just natural next step. end quote