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Goldfinger Brewing Co. | Original Lager (Helles Lager)

Goldfinger Brewing Co. | Original Lager (Helles Lager)
Jason Murphy

Are you ready for a small history lesson today? If you’re anything like us, we not only love craft beer, but we also enjoy hearing and reading about craft beer origins. Let us take you on a journey as we learn about Goldfinger Brewing Company, located in the town of Downers Grove, IL.

19th Century Krakow, Poland

Learning about the history of Goldfinger Brewing Company takes us back to 19th century Krakow, Poland. This is where Markus Goldfinger started a brewery and brewing equipment manufacturing company that lasted several decades.

During that time, the Goldfinger family brewed beer, dealt hops and produced brewing equipment across Poland and Czechia. The Goldfinger family are cited as having brewed the official beer for Kaiser Wilhelm’s visit to Poland. At the time, Kaiser Wilhelm was the Emperor of Germany. So that was a huge deal!

Today, a descendant of the Goldfinger family, brewer Thomas Beckmann, is dedicated to brewing lager beers with the utmost attention to technique and detail. Thomas received his Master Brewer’s diploma through the World Brewing Academy in Chicago and Munich, Germany. He has honed his Lager brewing skills to provide beer that is approachable, flavorful, enjoyable and consistent.

“Our brewery was specially designed to produce the best possible Lager beer. A decoction brewhouse which allows us to extract more malt character, natural carbonation leading to a smoother drink and extended horizontal lagering which results in Goldfinger’s signature quality,” said Thomas. Adding that they are proud to revive their ancestor’s tradition of brewing classic Lager styles.

Original Lager

Original Lager is the beer that got it started for Goldfinger. Thomas and his wife brewed the first pilot batches of this Helles in his parents garage. “We even brewed a batch to debut at our wedding to all of our guests,” exclaimed Thomas! Who needs wedding favors when the bride and groom brew a beer for you?

Photo Credit: Goldfinger Brewing Company

Thomas comes creates of the recipes at Goldfinger. For Original Lager, he stated that it is simply Pilsner malt and Hallertau Mittelfruh hops, single decocted and naturally carbonated.

While the ingredient combination might be simple, the flavor is far from being simple. Original Lager is the type of beer that makes you wonder why you aren’t drinking more Lagers. Seriously though, it’s that dang good.

For it to have simple ingredients, you get so much out of it. The aroma has some bready notes to it, along with some herbal undertones, and possibly some grass or citrus aromas. It’s a delightful combination to awaken the senses.

The flavor is brilliant. We could honestly go on and on and try to describe each characteristic that makes it so good, but it wouldn’t do it any justice. We do want to point out that it’s very easy-drinking, clean, crisp and has a great mouthfeel, especially for a Lager. This is an anytime beer, you can drink it anytime of the year and it will also quench your craft beer thirst. There are a couple of things we do want to point out though. The bready or dough flavor is fantastic! It’s present but not overpowering, perfectly balanced. Lastly is the finish. It finishes crisp and dry, but in a fantastic way.

The Name

If you take a look at the lineup of beer from Goldfinger, you’ll notice that the names of their beers are simple and plain. Their three flagship beers are called Original Lager, Pils and Vienna. Nothing more and nothing less. There is a reason for this though.

Thomas explained that this is how many Munich breweries name their flagship beers. Since they are brewing beers that are true to style, it was only fitting that they named their beers as such. It’s a simple thing, and probably overlooked, but we feel like this adds to the character of the beers that they brew.

While the names and ingredients may be simple, we know that brewing these styles of beers leaves little room for error. There aren’t any additives in the beers to hide any flaws. To make a great Lager is one thing, but to do it consistently is another level. We can personally say that Goldfinger beers are on that level, and we highly recommend them for you to try.

Feature image photo credit: Goldfinger Brewing Company – Facebook


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