Saturday, 10 May 2008

Learning to love lager

If you’ve been intrigued by the lagers I’ve talked about in my recent tour posts, you’re in luck. As long as you can get to London, that is. At Zeitgeist’s German Beer Festival (May 15th – 17th) many will be available. Most for the first time in the UK. Such crackers as Hofmann Export, Will Landbier, Eck Dunkles, and Kanone Zwick'l. (You can find the full list here and here.) Served by gravity, so even committed CAMRA clones can consume conscience clear (that includes me, by the way). The beers are being brought over by Andy of Beer-Mania!.

Go along and learn to love lager. You never know, if enough of you turn up they may even hold another.

Here’s my definition of real lager:
  • Brewed using a decoction mash
  • Fermented in open fermenters
  • Primary fermentation at 6-10º C
  • Lagered for a minimum of 8 weeks at 0-5º C
  • Lagered without the addition of extraneous CO2

Dispense can be by gravity, air-pressure or CO2 pressure (preferably not too high) at a temperature of 6-10º C.


Kristen England said...


I agree completely with your definition of real lagers. With the addition of the 'turbo' line to Durst maltings product sheet it looks like a real decoction mash is going to used less and less. For those that don't know, these 'turbo' malts (pils, Munich, Vienna) are supposed to need only a single infusion for 20min mash. Not one to bitch about stuff without trying it, I tried all of them vs their original counterparts. I was quite impressed with the quality of the 'turbo' line but they really did lack the complexity of the 'real' malt. On top of this most big lager breweries are turning away from decoctions for numerous reasons. I very much find that when I make a lager it just isn't near as rich and complex if I don't decoct. There is an asshat brigade here in the US that pushes the idea that decoction does nothing except add color. The sheeple that follow preach the same thing. Now its started to flow over to the craft brewing side of things. I don't get it. If Im going to spend the better part of 3 months making a beer, why would I cut corners when its most important!?

Have you guys seen any sign of this in Germany or the Czech Rep?

Stonch said...

As promoter I have made every effort to pack this event out with women under 30. A beer festival is a tough sell, but we'll see. If any fat bastards fart I will headbutt them. Be warned.

Kristen England said...


Isn't that called a 'Scottish Kiss'? ;) We have that very same problem with beer events here. Lots of big fatties that shit themselves sideways as a way of communicating. Then they say, 'Were are all the ladies?' There are only a few of the wives that will show up.