#lagers – PorchDrinking.com
Pale Lagers have a complicated history in the US. In the wake of prohibition they were the preferred style of the emerging “macro” brewers. Using cheaper grains and industrializing the brewing process, they were able create low-cost Lager beers that allowed them consolidate their share of the beer market and squeeze out smaller brewers who couldn’t compete. Fast forward to 1978 and a once thriving and diverse US beer market had atrophied to only 44 breweries, most of which were producing the homogeneous, low quality, watered down beers that would come to be known as American Adjunct Lagers.
With the inferior American adjunct Lager varieties produced by the industrial brewers and the explosion of craft brewing, lager-style beers have largely fallen out of fashion in the United States. Yet, while IPAs may be all the rage in the U.S., in Germany, Lagers still reign supreme and no one is producing better examples of these beers there than Private Landbrauerei Schönram.
The race is on within the craft beer industry to meet consumer demand for lighter, lower ABV beverages like hard seltzers and session beers. However, there’s already a longstanding beer style that meets both these tests: Japanese rice lager. Could the time be right for this beer to follow the likes of Sours and Hazy IPAs and become an official craft brew trend?
Roses’ Taproom in the Temescal neighborhood of Oakland, California is ushering in a new wave of breweries by reimagining what a taproom can be. They’re bringing their own style to an ever-growing and expanding beer community in the East Bay.
Walking through the door, some may get a hipster, bougie vibe from the space. But, it’s clear that immense thought and care has gone into every detail. From the teal fish scale backsplash behind the multi-curved spindle tap handles to the luscious greenery and warm lighting, visitors are made to feel comfortable and welcome to share a beer or two with friends in this stylish space.
I have known about Smartmouth Brewing Company for a few years now, loving their Alter Ego Saison and enjoying the brewery’s delightful detailed scientific labels that adorn its year-round brews. The first time I had heard of Safety Dance Pilsner, the beer appeared as the Best in Show Winner for the 2017 Virginia Craft Beer Cup. So when I saw these cans in my local bottle shop, I knew I had to pick some up for these muggy, summer days.
Celebrity chef David Chang set the internet ablaze earlier last week when GQ published his paean to watery industrial pale lagers “My Name is David Chang, and I hate Fancy Beer.” While less incendiary than the title might suggest, the article provoked intense rebuttals from many in the craft beer community including fellow New Yorker Garrett Oliver. Even our own Tristan Chan weighed in on the subject in this week’s Happy Hour post. While I don’t share Chang’s love of crappy beer, I’m sympathetic to his anti-snobbery concerns and can understand wanting light, crisp brews that are refreshing and don’t overwhelm your tastebuds while eating food. I’m sure hordes of beer writers are at this very moment penning intelligent and passionate essays about the many reasons beer pairs better with food than almost any beverage out there–and they’re right–but I doubt Chang will read them. I suggest a more nefarious solution: let’s just trick him.
As summer weekdays become packed with after work things to do and begin to seem more like weekends, we wanted to know what our staff’s favorite summer activities are…and what are the perfect beers to serve as companion to said activity.