Lager Brewing

Posted to Uncategorized February 23, 2016 by dropinbrewing

Here at Drop In we make time in the early months of the year to indulge ourselves with some lager brewing. It is possible to divide the entire beer world into either ales or lagers, based on the type of yeast used in their fermentation, although to be strictly accurate there are also beers fermented with other bacteria which should be considered. There are many different types of lager, although the majority of beer produced in the world falls into the pale yellow, carbonated, relatively flavorless, pilsner style category we’re all familiar with. The stuff they advertise during sports events on television. However the old central European styles often had a lot of flavor and were brewed with a great deal of care, and very traditional techniques, often protected with strict laws. Modern craft brewers in the United States have access to the traditional ingredients associated with the old style of brewing, including authentic malts, noble hops and original yeast strains. We’re excited to bring a German yeast strain into the brewery and use it to produce a succession of lager beers. First up is our Bohemian Pilsner, Czech Your Ego,  brewed with floor malted bohemian pilsner malt produced in Germany. We also managed to procure some truly excellent Czech Saaz. The malt provides a superb body and mouthfeel, while the hops produce a wonderfully clean bitterness and a delicate floral finish. We saved the yeast from our pilsner then used it to brew our Oh Vienna Vienna Style lager. This golden reddish amber style closely resembles Marzen or Oktoberfest from Germany and shares story about how they were developed. This beer was brewed with Pilsner malt, Vienna malt, CaraRed malt and CaraMunich malt to give it a full body, a bready malt character, light caramel flavors and a reddish hue. It is hopped using Hallertau Tradition which provides a rich, noble hop character and clean balanced bitterness. Finally we used the yeast one more time to produce our Spring Clean for the May Queen Maibock. A strong, pale lager traditionally brewed in the winter to celebrate the short spring season in Bavaria. We made this with Pilsner malt almost exclusively and used a new hop variety called Hallertau Blanc for its aroma.
Lagers, particularly pale and delicate ones. are very hard to brew well, as even the slightest flaws show up against the lighter background flavors, and the cold aging process can leave some off flavors behind. I’ve had my share of buttery lagers, or lagers that taste like corn in the past. Our friends at Trapp  are the only Vermont brewery that specializes in lager brewing and they are the experts at it. We’re big fans of our friends at Jack’s Abby who also make some interesting artisan lagers that go beyond the historical styles. We’re very excited to be drinking this beer ourselves and are happy to share it with our customers.