When you make a hobby of purchasing beer based solely on the fact that you've never had it before, one is bound to experience a few surprises. My purchase of 1831 Schwarzbier was such an experience.
The first surprise I experienced with this beer was during the pour. This beer was black like a Guinness when it it the glass. I didn't expect that. My experience with German beers has been limited to light or amber colored beers. I had no clue that Germany made dark beers (not that I though about it). Oh, well, I thought. In for a penny in for a pound. Let's try this bad boy.
I anticipated a stout flavor based on the deep dark colour, but it was anything but. 1831 may look like Guinness, but it doesn't taste anything like it. It was surprisingly light in flavour with a flowery aroma. I experienced bits of burn caramel and toasted malt in the finish. Overall, it kept a light feeling in my mouth from its good carbonation.
While researching this beer, I learned that Schwarzbier simple means black beer in German. So, now you know. When you see that name, expect a deep dark beer that is generally light tasting. If you are looking for a stout, this style of beer isn't for you. However, if you want something a little different, give the dark lager of 1831 a try.
I'll definitely give 1831 Schwarzbier another go. By the end of the glass, I decided that this is a 4 burp beer. I just had to get used to the dark color and light taste to fully accept it.
Let me know what you think.
I think what initially attracted me to Innis & Gunn's Lager was the can. It's funky writing caused it to stand out on the supermarket shelf. I was glad, I noticed this beer. It is a pretty decent lager.
Innis and Gunn promote themselves as craft brewers. This isn't surprising. With the surge in craft brewing the last 10 years, just about everyone has become a craft brewer. What makes Innis and Gunn different is that they really are. They don't even own their own brewery. They use two different brewers in the Edinburgh, Scotland area to make their booze. Now that's craft brewing!
The first thing I noticed when I poured this bad boy was the the deep gold, light amber colour. This was a nice looking beer. The head was decent, but it disappeared rather quickly.
Like many lagers, this one had the slightly sweet malty taste at the beginning, which changed to a slight bitterness in the finish. What was amazing about the bitterness was how quickly it dissipated. The overall finish was very smooth. At first, I thought this was just my opinion of the finish, but I learned that Innis & Gunn use naked golden oats as part of the brewing process. These oats help obtain the smooth finish. See, it's not just me. There has to be something to it.
I said to Carolyn that if I was in Scotland, I could drink this lager on a regular basis. Traditional lager taste with a slight bitterness and a very smooth finish works for me. It was easy to give this beer four burps.
Let me know what you think.
I gotta say, that Canada's Stanley Park Brewing properly named this beer. I was mildly intrigued by the name, but what really made me curious was the logo of Canadian yoga wear manufacturer Lululemon attached to it. A clothing manufacturer making beer? I had to try that.
Upon the first pour, I became enthusiastic about this lager. It was unfiltered, which I like, so I was ready to take on some flavour. To say the least, I was mildly disappointed on the first swallow. Instead of being an interestingly tasting lager, this beer was a little boring.
Carolyn was eager to try the Curiosity Lager because she loves the Lululemon brand. True to form, she loved this beer too. She felt it was very clean tasting and it had no aftertaste. Right up her alley.
For me, this lager was fine. I liked it, but I wouldn't actively search this out. However, if I had to split a six pack of beer with Carolyn, this would be a good beer to choose. She really liked it, and that can't be said about many beers.
After some discussion, we agreed that this was a 3 burp beer.
As soon as I saw the can of Guinness Blonde, I knew I had to try it. I love Blonde beers, and I like Guinness. I knew it had to be good, and I wasn't disappointed.
It wasn't until I got home and looked at the can that I realized that this blonde beer's full name included "American Lager". Upon closer inspection, the beer isn't even made in Ireland. True to it's name, it's made in America. Pennsylvania to be exact.
When I poured the beer, the first thing I noticed was the beautiful amber colour. I was anticipating a pale yellow like many American lagers, but this Blonde beer looked tasty. And, its looks didn't disappoint. This was one tasty beer.
It had a nice hoppy taste. Not to strong or overpowering. As Carolyn commented, she could understand why people would like this beer. It was very well rounded. It had good flavour, but not to much. I found it went really well with hot wings. It cut the heat easily and left a nice refreshing taste in my mouth.
I could drink a bunch of these while sitting on the deck on a warm day. Guinness Blonde American Lager went down easy yet it had a somewhat complex taste. Nothing to say bad about this beer. That's why I give it four burps.
When I picked the bottle of Steinlager Classic off the beer store's shelf, I figured it was from Germany. It had a German name and the font was definitely Gothic. I was shocked when I opened it a week later to find out that this German looking beer was actually from New Zealand.
After reading a bit about the beer's history it became obvious why this beer emulates a German product. Steinlager Classic was developed in 1958 in response to New Zealand's "Black Budget". The Black Budget effectively banned imported beer from entering the country. As a result, Steinlager Classic was born. No wonder it looks German, it was designed to replace German product.
Unfortunately, the contents of this Kiwi lager didn't match the German flavour it was trying to imitate. To me, it tasted like the Canadian beer Labatt Blue. It had a medium gold colour and a nice frothy head formed when poured.
Steinlager had a nice crisp classic lager flavour. If you like lagers, you'll like Steinlager Classic. It's not the best lager I've had, but it's good. I give this beer 3 burps!
For millions of people, when a beer is compared to Coors Light it's seen as a positive endorsement. I am not one of those people. I think Coors Light tastes like bland piss and that pretty much sums up Hollandia lager.
When I poured this Dutch lager, I was looking forward to a good tasting beer. I have generally had good experience with Dutch beers, and I figured this would be another one. A nice foamy head developed when poured and the colour was a typical pale lager gold. So far, so good.
The taste was very mild and unassuming. It was almost too mild. I thought, maybe it was just me. I had just finished a nice malty German beer about 30 minutes before I had this one, so I thought it was just a clash of tastes in my mouth between the two beers.
I decided to have Carolyn try it, and her response describes this beer perfectly. "It tastes like Coor's Light. I like it", she exclaimed. No wonder I thought this beer's taste was too mild. It's because it is!
After thinking about what Carolyn said, she was right. It does taste like Coor's Light. Maybe that's a positive review for you, but for me, that's a kiss of death. If you love Coor's Light, I strongly suggest you get a few Hollandia. You'll love them. However, if you like a little flavour with your beer, steer clear of it. This beer only deserves two burps, and that's all it gets.
Brauerei Aying's lager Jahrhundert Bier drinks much easier than it's spelt. I was done half the glass before I knew it. I guess I shouldn't have been surprised. The only other beer I've had from this brewery was an easy 5 burp beer, and I expected this one to be of similar quality.
I certainly wasn't disappointed with Jahrhundert Bier. It's pale gold colour was typical of many lagers but it was slightly cloudy which added another dimension. It had light carbonation that created little head, but that didn't affect the fresh malty taste.
It was a very easy drinking beer. It went down quickly, and I said to myself as I finished the glass that I could easily drink a bunch of these. With it's crisp taste, this medium bodied lager had a malty finish that wasn't overpowering.
Jahrhundert Bier was created in 1978 to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the brewery, and has proven itself to become a regular brand for Brauerei Aying.
I waffled between giving this lager four or five burps. At the end of the day, I realized that I really liked this beer but I didn't love it. Therefore I give Jahrhundert Bier 4 big burps. If you like lagers, you have to try this one.
I recently returned to the old country to visit my closest and dearest friends. While there, I entered the role of plaything with my friends' various children. For days, their daughter wanted to teach me cartwheels. Finally, I relented but only on the condition that she be my "beer girl" during the family BBQ that night. She readily agreed to fetch me beers and dispose of my empties for my participation in cartwheels.
The first beer my five year old server brought me was Creemore Springs Brewery's Hops and Bolts IPL (India pale lager). When I asked her why she selected this one, her response was all little girl "because the can is pretty". Well, I'm glad she selected it because I really enjoyed this India pale ale.
I knew it was going to be good as soon as I poured it. It had a great head which I always like, and it had a very unique color. The color was so unique, I had trouble describing it. Eventually, I asked Violet, my beer girl and she said it was "brorange" which is brownie-orange. You know what? She was bang on with her description.
This beer was really easy to drink. I thought something with such a hoppy flavour and finish would take a while to plow through, but it didn't. I quite enjoyed Hops and Bolts as did my beer girl. When I asked her what she thought of it, she wiped the foam mustache from the top of her lip and gave me a thumbs up. I gave it 4 burps, and I recommend it to anyone who likes a hoppy lager.
I was looking forward to trying Austria's Gösser Märzen. The can claimed that it was "Austria's Finest Beer" and being a fan of German beer, I figured Austrian beer had to be just as good. After drinking my first Gösser, I've decided not to judge the rest of the Austrian beer world with this underwhelming lager.
When I poured the beer, I noticed the nice gold colour and a nice level of carbonation that kept a residual head throughout most of the glass. While nice, the foam wasn't as fine or as thick as the Spanish beer Estrella Damm.
I found that Gösser Märzen had a mild flavour that wasn't anything special. Carolyn didn't like it because she thought it had a bitter aftertaste. I didn't notice that.
Brewed in Linz, Austria by Brauunion, Gösser Märzen comprises 70% of the brewery's production and is marketed simply as Gösser outside of the country by parent company Heineken.
I hope Gösser Märzen isn't "Austria's Finest Beer". I like it but I'm also a little indifferent to it. I give it 3 burps because there wasn't anything extraordinary about the lager. It just doesn't stand out.
Let me know your thoughts.
In a world of infinite number of ales, I really enjoy a nice lager and the pale lager Czechvar from the Czech Republic is a very nice lager.
When starting this blog, I wasn't sure how to describe this beer. After looking at my notes for a few minutes, I kept coming back to my first two descriptions. After my first taste, I noted that Czechvar had a classic lager taste. After my second swallow, I wrote "Yep that's a lager". Perhaps those two statements says it all about this tasty Czech beer - classic lager flavour.
It has a beautiful amber color and no head when poured. Additionally, it has a nice clean flavour with little aftertaste. Sometimes I get sick of a lager if I have a few of them back to back, but I could drink Czechvar all night long.
Brewed by local brewer BBNP since 1895, the origins of Czechvar beer goes back much further in time. Variations of this beer have been brewed in the town of České Budějovice since 1265.
I give Czechvar lager 3 burps, but it was close to four. When I'm in the mood for a lager, this one would definitely be on my "go to" list. Next time you want a lager, I suggest you give it a try.
Drinking the world.
One beer at a time.