Today is National Lager Day. Let’s take a moment to consider what that means…
Lagers don’t always get the appreciation they deserve. Too often, people dismiss lagers as being weak and bland. “They’re pale and yellow. Like pee. But carbonated and fizzy.”
Well, people are wrong.
The world of lagers is so much more than these stereotypical misconceptions. Sure, all of the potential underwhelmingness of standard macro brews are lagers. But so are all manner of pilseners, helles, schwarzbiers, bocks, dunkels, and more.
Loving beer is about loving variety. It’s about appreciating and respecting the endless possibilities presented by the combination of yeast, hops, barley, and water. So why would anyone who claims to love beer give short shrift to lagers?
Yeah, ales with their top fermenting yeast and warmer brewing temperatures are awesome and strong and kind of in vogue at the moment. They were also the first kind of beer to get brewed. That’s all great stuff.
Still, lagers are no red-headed stepchild. Sure, they take longer to ferment and they’re dependent on keeping things a bit colder for the duration of the process, so they weren’t really practical until the dawn of refrigeration (although caves stay pretty cold you know). But they’re here now, and they offer countless opportunities for true beer enthusiasts to expand their palate.
So let’s stop being ale snobs. Tonight, put the IPA down. Take a step back from the barley wine. Reach into your fridge, and pull out something cold and refreshing. (No, It doesn’t have to be as cold as the Rockies.) Take a few sips, and do your best to give your chosen lager the respect it deserves.