Other Half Brewing Co. | Ivy City Lager
For a variety of reasons, breweries often find it challenging to produce both quality Lagers and Ales– many breweries focus solely on one or the other. One would be forgiven for thinking that the Hazy IPA-producing superstars at Other Half Brewing would be one of these one-trick pony breweries but beers like Ivy City Lager are proof positive that Other Half’s Lager game is no joke.
While many people associate Other Half with their vast assortment of Hazies – at their DC location, only three of the 20 taps are pouring a non-hazy beer — they have quietly been turning out world-class Lagers like their Zipfeltännle Pilsner collaboration with German brewing legends Rothaus, Box Car Helles, and of course the aforementioned Ivy City Lager.
Anyone doubting Other Half’s commitment to brewing both Lagers and Hazies needs only look to their current plans to build out an area at their DC location dedicated solely to Lagers. Such a move would undoubtedly entail a large expansion of their current more limited selection of Lagers and shows just how serious they are about their bottom-fermented brewing operation.
The Ivy City Lager, named for the Ivy City neighborhood where Other Half’s new DC brewery is housed, came into existence shortly after the opening of this new location last year. It was one of the first beers to be brewed at the DC site and quickly became one of their more popular beers. Today it can be found in cans or on draft year-round in DC and periodically at their other New York locations.
The beer is excellent. It pours a crystal clear, light golden hue with solid head size and retention. The nose is dominated by smells of biscuity malts complemented by subtle honey notes. Ivy City Lager runs slightly more malty than many Pale Lagers. Other Half calls the beer an Eastern European Golden Lager, but the taste is very similar to a Dortmunder Export Lager. On the palate, you detect noticeably amounts of bread, biscuits and a little caramel upfront, balanced in the backend by some bitterness from the use of Styrian Golding hops. The medium/heavy carbonation offers a crisp and dry refreshing mouthfeel that pairs nicely with its light/medium body. Despite having only a 4.6% ABV, it has sufficient body and flavor to make it well-suited for a crushable session beer or a slow sipping beer to be savored.
Luckily, COVID-19 has pushed breweries like Other Half to expand their delivery services and shipping footprint to allow those interested in trying the Ivy City Lager or any of their other beers an advantage. Those in New York City or DC areas can enjoy both curbside pickup and direct-to-your-doorstep delivery. For those outside of DC and New York, Other Half now ships to NH, PA, VA, KY and VT. And for those of you outside these areas, don’t fret: Other Half is expanding at such breakneck speeds that there’s a good chance that (in the not too distant future) they’ll be opening a new location, expanding their distribution area, and/or expanding their shipping to somewhere near you or your most trusted beer mule.
Wherever you live, Other Half beers are worth seeking out. Just remember: When you are salivating over their DDH Hazy IPA options, don’t overlook the Lagers–you won’t be disappointed.