Crooked Run Fermentation | PRIM Light Lager
Superlatives, that’s what we think of when drinking PRIM from Crooked Run Fermentation. You might be thinking to yourself, what do superlatives have to do with craft beer? Well, if you’re curious, read on to find out more of why this comes to mind when drinking this beer.
Remember those superlatives in your high school yearbook? You know, the ones like “most likely to succeed” or “most athletic” and even the “most popular”. We all had these in our yearbooks, but there’s one category that always seemed to get overlooked. Best All Around, yes to be best all around, you were not any of the above listed categories but people like you and could count on you, and always wanted to have you around. Best All Around was somebody you could always count on to always be there when most of the others weren’t anywhere to be found. We’re giving the Best All Around nod to PRIM.
PRIM is an absolutely delectable little lager! While it may be small in ABV stature, (3.8%) it packs a very flavorful punch to the palate. It has all of the true characteristics of an American Light Lager that we all know and love, but what sets this one apart from other Light Lagers?
The Proof is in the Corn
PRIM is made with Texas Blue Corn, or Texmalt blue corn malt. Co-founder Jake Endres said that they chose this malt after brewing another Lager with Jimmy Red Corn malt last summer from Texmalt. That specific beer was called Jimmy and was one of their favorite Light Lagers. PRIM contains Heirloom blue corn malt that tends to lighten the body of the beer and lends a grainy flavor reminiscent of tortilla chips, but makes it fairly mellow overall. Brewing this beer with the blue corn malt really does add a very noticeable, yet high quality flavor to the profile of PRIM. You do get some of the aroma upon first cracking one of these open and that just adds to the story that this beer is reading to your palate. The flavor and taste profile are spot on in how Endres described how this beer tastes. Any good craft Lager sets itself apart from Lagers of the big 3, but PRIM raises that bar a notch or two.
Fruity & Spicy Across the Board
PRIM is hopped with both Calista and Loral hops to get their desired flavor. Jake Endres explained that they like to use a mix of Noble-ish hops combined with slightly more fruity contemporary hops. In this case, Calista provides a lightly fruity apricot flavor which leans toward the Noble category and Loral provides a spicy, herbal flavor which reaches toward the contemporary category. Endres went on to say that this particular combination is interesting because Calista is a German hop cultivar but has a more modern flavor, and Loral was bred from Glacier hops, an old school U.S. hop-kind of the inverse of what you might expect. Crooked Run never uses typical IPA hops in any of their Lagers.
An Extended Lagering Process
PRIM was lagered with an extended lagering process. Endres explained that all of their Lagers are spunded, which means that a pressure relief valve is used to keep the fermenting beer under pressure. This process helps suppress ester production for a cleaner beer, and allows for natural carbonation as escaping C02 is forced back into the beer. After that, the beer is crashed and transferred to a brite tank for cold conditioning for several weeks, before being packaged and then allowed to rest for a few weeks before serving. The resulting beer is brite yet unfiltered, rounded out and smoothed.
Endres also noted that PRIM is step mashed to allow for extra dryness and attenuation, which allows the delicate dry hop to shine without any real bitterness and keeps it super crisp and drinkable. Most of our Lagers are either step mashed or decocted, said Endres. “We love lager brewing in and of itself, but it’s also what most of us here at the brewery drink, which is pretty common in the industry” exclaimed Endres. “If you’re working in the beer industry fro years, you really want to have a little 3.8% Lager on hand at all times!’, said Endres. While PRIM may only be 3.8%, this little beer is extremely crushable and the drinkability and taste of this light Lager aren’t something you typically find in a small ABV Lager. PRIM is definitely a beer to have on hand in your fridge at all times, and not just your beer fridge, this one goes in the kitchen fridge as well, trust me, your significant other wont mind on this one!