Author Topic: Micro VS Home, Lager VS Ale  (Read 2375 times)

Offline toddhert

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Re: Micro VS Home, Lager VS Ale
« Reply #15 on: December 19, 2010, 09:46:18 PM »
Gmac, I've had the Creemore pilsener and I thought it was excellent! Yes, that is a fine example of a North American brewer making good European style lager! Really true to the original!


Bamberg is a GREAT brewing town. Last time I was there I think there are still around 12 brewerys in walking distance! Yet, the tiny villages around it and even monastaries or mom n pop run places in the middle of the forest produce excellent lagers! Every time I go there I wonder why Americans are so obsessed with Belgian beers and IPAs. Both great no doubt, but the 300 plus brewerys in Franconia are virtually unknown by most Americans! It's almost like this dirty little secret I keep when I go there. Every time I go back (this year will be my 6th trip) I still get to explore new brewerys that I've never tried. All in the space of about the size of West Michigan. Oh well, our fortune eh!

By the way, I never go to Oktoberfest, not that I'd be against it, but I'd rather go when there are fewer tourists.



Offline skyler

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Re: Micro VS Home, Lager VS Ale
« Reply #16 on: December 19, 2010, 11:19:31 PM »
The only brewery here in Davis, CA brews almost exclusively lager. Their Helles is the best American-made pale lager I have had. That being said, when they try to brew American-style beers, they come up short.

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Re: Micro VS Home, Lager VS Ale
« Reply #17 on: December 20, 2010, 03:55:28 AM »
I carried all of their lagers in my cafe before in N. Cali. They were all stellar but, Sudwerk also made some kick-a$$ IPA's that we carried also. I don't remember but, I think their brewhouse is actually geared for lagers over ales. i.e. rakes and tines in the mash for step/decocts etc. If you live in the area drop by and see what's going on.

Offline majorvices

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Re: Micro VS Home, Lager VS Ale
« Reply #18 on: December 20, 2010, 05:18:37 AM »
This is probably just a matter of opinion and I'm sure that I'm influenced by the area I live in, but why do you think that micro-brewers virtually ignore lagers?

You did not say where you are.  In PA they have many craft lagers of high quality.  Prima Pils or Troegenator Doppelbock are excellent, in my opinion.

+1 - some great small lager breweries in PA.

As many of you may know I run a small nano brewery in Huntsville, AL and I would love to brew a MaiBock for spring or a Doppelbock for fall. But, as Gordon says, I just couldn't afford to have a bright tank occupied that long. I probably could brew a helles or pils but not sure there is much point in that since any number of large breweries would be able to beat me on price. Plus I would probably need to filter, and I don't have one.
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Offline BrewingRover

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Re: Micro VS Home, Lager VS Ale
« Reply #19 on: December 20, 2010, 05:47:30 AM »
Metropolitan Brewing in Chicago does nothing but lagers. They started out as homebrewers and IIRC the brewer didn't do much, if any, commercial brewing prior to opening. They have some nice beers and seem to be doing well -- they've only been open a couple of years.
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Offline Kaiser

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Re: Micro VS Home, Lager VS Ale
« Reply #20 on: December 20, 2010, 08:42:24 AM »
Many German breweries can brew a good Pils in under 4 weeks. However, it takes sophisticated measuring and test equipment as well as brewing staff that has a lot of experience with lagers to push the boundary on lager brewing like this.  Many micros lack this which is why their lagers don’t come out right when they try it. Sticking to ales makes much more sense.

In addition to that lagers tend to have more subtle tastes and most consumers who move from macro to micro also want to move to more intense beer flavors. There is not much to be gained for a micro brewery to make a Helles unless they can make an outstanding one.

Kai

Offline dcbc

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Re: Micro VS Home, Lager VS Ale
« Reply #21 on: December 20, 2010, 09:47:21 AM »
This was starting to happen to me on my most recent batch, to the point that keeping the boil going was in doubt.  Santa brought my a natural gas line as an early Christmas present.  Fittings just arrived this morning.  My tanks will be going back by the gas grill on the porch.
I've consumed all of my home brew and still can't relax!  Now what!

Offline hokerer

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Re: Micro VS Home, Lager VS Ale
« Reply #22 on: December 20, 2010, 10:00:25 AM »
This was starting to happen to me on my most recent batch, to the point that keeping the boil going was in doubt.  Santa brought my a natural gas line as an early Christmas present.  Fittings just arrived this morning.  My tanks will be going back by the gas grill on the porch.

"Missed it by that much" :)
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Offline skyler

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Re: Micro VS Home, Lager VS Ale
« Reply #23 on: December 21, 2010, 03:20:02 PM »
I carried all of their lagers in my cafe before in N. Cali. They were all stellar but, Sudwerk also made some kick-a$$ IPA's that we carried also. I don't remember but, I think their brewhouse is actually geared for lagers over ales. i.e. rakes and tines in the mash for step/decocts etc. If you live in the area drop by and see what's going on.

I find their IPA to be one of the top 5 worst I have ever had. All of their ales are pretty awful, besides their hefeweizen. They use open fermentation for the hefeweizen, I know. My brew club meets in one of the UC Davis classrooms in Sudwerk (the brewery is used for UCD instruction).

Offline Malticulous

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Re: Micro VS Home, Lager VS Ale
« Reply #24 on: December 21, 2010, 05:02:21 PM »
I have had a really good string of lagers this season. Schwarzbier, Pils, Dunkel, Bohemian Pilsner, CAP, Dark American Lager and a then the Export I brewed yesterday. I thought the German Pils was great but the Bo Pils was even better.  I'm drinking the CAP now. It blew my socks off. Balanced but more flavorful than the others.

The weather here has had my water bath fermenting tubs staying very close to 50F for months now. Brew your own. I wish I could go to Gemany but I do have the next best thing right here at home. ;D
« Last Edit: December 21, 2010, 05:19:58 PM by Malticulous »

Offline Kirk

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Re: Micro VS Home, Lager VS Ale
« Reply #25 on: December 23, 2010, 10:02:24 AM »
Gordon Biersch majors on lagers in their Brewpubs.  I haven't been to one yet, though.  Are they good?  Do you think they're true lagers? or faux's?
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Offline denny

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Re: Micro VS Home, Lager VS Ale
« Reply #26 on: December 23, 2010, 10:05:58 AM »
They're true lagers AFAIK.  In my experience, quality is variable, but usually pretty good.
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Offline theDarkSide

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Re: Micro VS Home, Lager VS Ale
« Reply #27 on: December 23, 2010, 10:06:58 AM »
Gordon Biersch majors on lagers in their Brewpubs.  I haven't been to one yet, though.  Are they good?  Do you think they're true lagers? or faux's?

After hearing Dan Gordon on The Brewing Network, I would bet they are true lagers.  I am still waiting to try my first GB as well.
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Offline toddhert

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Re: Micro VS Home, Lager VS Ale
« Reply #28 on: December 23, 2010, 02:49:30 PM »
Many German breweries can brew a good Pils in under 4 weeks. However, it takes sophisticated measuring and test equipment as well as brewing staff that has a lot of experience with lagers to push the boundary on lager brewing like this.  Many micros lack this which is why their lagers don’t come out right when they try it. Sticking to ales makes much more sense.

In addition to that lagers tend to have more subtle tastes and most consumers who move from macro to micro also want to move to more intense beer flavors. There is not much to be gained for a micro brewery to make a Helles unless they can make an outstanding one.

Kai


Kai, I love intense flavors and you are correct lagers do tend to have more subtle flavors. This being said, sometimes I just want a good lager that is well balanced and tasty and not an ale that is more 'in your face' for lack of a better term. I like subtleness sometimes!

As far as what is to be gained, well there are SOME brewerys making lagers that are pushing the envelope, so to speak, with flavors that could not be achieved with an ale. The Livery in Benton Harbor Michigan is doing some CRAZY lagers! I had one that was a dopplebock done with open fermentation and aged in oak. It was completely original! Besides that, it seems like SOMEONE would just want to brew a good lager that could knock out the big brewerys and steal their customers! I've had bud light drinkers at my house who also enjoyed my Wurzberger pils (I buy a keg from time to time) which I believe to be a pils of quite good quality, and that just says to me that if good lagers were readily available, people would drink it! Yes, I would even drink a good pils or helles made by Miller if it were available.