Cooking Tips | 22 February 2018Five Myths about Lager Share article facebook twitter google pinterest How does lager differ from other types of beer? First, lager beers are fermented using a species of yeast called Saccharomyces Pastorianus, which works better in cold temperatures. They also traditionally undergo a period of near-freezing maturation that may last anywhere from a couple of weeks to a year or longer. Nothing in these differentiations say anything about flavor, color, or alcohol content, but there are some myths involving these same factors. Below are five common larger myths that are false. Get more information and beer fun in Lager. Five Larger Myths: Myth: Lager is thin and yellow. With marketing taglines like “The Great American Lager,” “Lager Beer at Its Best,” and “A Fine Pilsner Beer,” it’s no wonder consumers are confused. After all, the brands associated with these slogans are indeed thin, yellow, and unremarkable. But remember, a lager is simply a beer that has been brewed in the cold and allowed to mature for a period of time. The next time you hear someone equate lager with watery yellow beer, do all of us a favor and hand them a Tröegs Troegenator, a Kulmbacher Eisbock, or an Aecht Schlenkerla Eiche. Myth: Lager is synonymous with pilsner. This one’s just silly. Visit any liquor store with a reasonable beer selection, and even if you never stray from the German imports, you’ll discover oktoberfest, dunkel, bock, doppelbock, and schwarzbier, to name a few. Take a moment to venture to the craft aisle, and you’ll likely run across new styles like India pale lager and reimagined classics like Mexican pale lager with lime zest. Some brewers are even straying well beyond the Reinheitsgebot and aging lagers on fruit and in barrels. Myth: Lager is less flavorful than ale. This myth just won’t die. Yes, well-made lagers do not showcase the same yeast-derived characteristics (think fruity esters and spicy phenols) as ales. But lager styles are brewed from the very same malts and hops as other beers, and brewers manipulate these ingredients just as they do when making ale styles. And even though lager yeast tends to stay out of the way, it, too, offers its own understated contributions: sulfur and diacetyl, considered flaws most of the time, can benefit certain well-crafted lagers in measured amounts. Yeast may not jump out of the glass the way it does in a spicy saison, but lager yeasts offer their own pleasures to those who take the time to understand them. Myth: Lager is easier to brew than ale. When AB InBev aired its infamous “Brewed the Hard Way” commercial during Super Bowl XLIX, there was a wave of outrage—and rightfully so—within the craft beer community. However, the ads hinted at a truth that even longtime beer enthusiasts fail to recognize, even if that truth was delivered with the sort of compensatory machismo that makes Dodge Ram commercials look measured and sensitive by comparison. Lager brewing is often harder than ale brewing, especially when the product in question is a light lager that consumers expect to taste the same whether it’s made in St. Louis, Houston, or Los Angeles. Professional brewers recognize this fact and respect those who brew light lagers consistently across multiple breweries. Myth: Lager has less alcohol than ale. This myth probably has to do with the plethora of light lagers that advertisers endlessly promote during sporting events. But lager can be mild or potent, just like ale. In fact, one of the strongest beers in the world, Samichlaus Classic from Brauerei Schloss Eggenberg in Austria, is a lager that weighs in at a respectable 14 percent alcohol by volume. Buy from an Online Retailer US: UK: AU: “The world of lagers contains many of the world’s most delicious and beguiling beers. Dave Carpenter dives into this world with gusto, verve, and precision.”—Garrett Oliver, Brewmaster, The Brooklyn Brewery, Editor-in-Chief, The Oxford Companion to Beer Lagers are being reinvented in the United States and abroad as intrepid breweries are rediscovering the joys of colder fermentation and pushing lagers well beyond the realm of pilsner. Lager offers a complete tasting guide to the full spectrum of lager styles, from Munich Helles and Festbier to California Common and Baltic Porter. Taste along and find your new favorite lager! This book also answers such historical and contextual questions as: Why does lager, not ale, dominate world beer production, despite its comparative difficulty to produce? Why are certain European styles like Vienna lager more associated with brewing in Mexico than on the Continent? What does St. Louis have to do with ?eské Bud?jovice? What role does lager play in today’s expanding craft beer landscape? For homebrewers, Lager includes key brewing considerations as well as a selection of lager recipes. Share article facebook twitter google pinterest If you have any comments on this article please contact us or get in touch via social media.