You guys, it’s National Lager Day. Yes, that’s totally a thing, and yes, we absolutely celebrate National Lager Day around here. This is a travel, food, and drink website after all. So today I’ve teamed up with Let’s Grab A Beer to talk all things lagers, and give you the 4-1-1 on eight different lager beers to drink now.
I actually traveled with Let’s Grab A Beer a few months ago on a behind-the-scenes beer road trip to Idaho, where I learned more about beer production, and more particularly, the importance of barley. One barley farm we visited, for example, supplies Anheuser-Busch with upwards of 250,000 bushels of barley. For reference, one bushel of barley is equal to about 64 pints. You can see the video from that trip below.
Needless to say then, barley is often overlooked, even though it’s central to the production of most beers, not the least of which for the production of lager beers. So with it being National Lager Day, it only seemed appropriate to share a few lager recommendations beyond just mainstream lagers you may already know. If you have a favorite lager, let me know in the comments below.
8 Lager Beers To Try
Golden Road Brewing 329 Lager. When I lived in Los Angeles, Golden Road Brewing felt a bit like my hometown brewery. One of the first proper craft breweries in Los Angeles, it’s now grown to be one of the biggest. The 329 Days of Summer Lager is one of their mainstays, and as the name would presume, was one of my go-to summer beers. And it’s just that, a great light, crisp, sweet pale lager.
Breckenridge Breck Lager. I actually visited Breckenridge Brewery last year, and was immediately drawn to its branding and cool brewpub vibe. Plus, they make a helluva lot of different beers. The Breck Lager is one of their mainstays, and a very balanced pale lager. Additionally, Breckenridge Brewery releases a number of seasonals and special releases, some of which are lagers, such as their recent apricot lager.
Four Peaks Brewing Company seasonal lagers. Four Peaks Brewing Company is a longtime Arizona brewery and restaurant located in Tempe. The original, and main location, dates back two decades, located in the heart of Tempe, while they have a couple other nearby locations, including one in Scottsdale. While lagers are mainstays at many breweries, at Four Peaks, lagers are seasonal beers. Most recently it was an Oktoberfest Vienna lager, while they just recently tapped a Munich-style Helles lager that they describe as medium-bodied and mildly sweet.
10 Barrel Pub Beer. It’s hard to chat beer and not mention the Pacific Northwest, which is easily one of the foremost beer regions of America. I like 10 Barrel in part because of the edgy, fun beer culture they’ve created. It’s not unusual to see them posting photos of their beers amidst a shred session on the mountain. And one of those beers is their Pub Beer, which is just that, your token pub beer that’s light and easy drinking. 10 Barrel sells Pub Beer in cans, positioning it as a great beer for enjoying together with friends (or, ya know, after shredding down a mountain).
Devils Backbone Vienna Lager. Best brewery name ever? While Devils Backbone Brewing Company is located in the small town of Roseland, Virginia, it’s actually the largest brewery in Virginia. Among their regulars are actually two lagers, including the Vienna Lager and Schwartz Bier black lager. Both have won scores of awards, including gold at the 2016 Great American Beer Festival for the Vienna Lager and gold at the 2016 World Beer Cup for the Schwartz Bier. These are excellent examples of both a great classic lager and a more unique style of lager.
Stella Artois. Well I had to include at least one lager beer that you’re probably already familiar with. I wanted to include Stella Artois, a Belgian lager, in part because it was something of my gateway beer, and what turned me onto beer many years ago. It’s something of a classed up lager, typically served in a chalice, and a little stronger than most lagers at 5% ABV. Yet it still has that light, easy drinking taste that you’re probably used to with standard lagers.
Anchor Brewing California Lager. Anchor Brewing, one of America’s first craft breweries, was among the first beers that I remember really turning me onto West Coast craft beers. While they are most know for their Anchor Steam Beer, the California Lager doesn’t disappoint. It’s neither too light, nor too robust, and with a bit more maltiness and creaminess than your standard lager. Though maintaining the lightness of traditional lagers, it draws many comparisons to Czech beers because of the increased flavor.
Full Sail Session Lager. Last, but not least, is Full Sail Session Lager, which interestingly enough was the last beer I drank, and in my opinion, has the coolest bottle. But beyond the cool factor, it’s a great beer, altogether malty, subtly sweet, and a delicious example of a good craft lager. Not to mention it’s a multi award-winning beer. For something unique, try one of Full Sail’s other lagers, like the black or red lager.
What are your favorite lager beers?