Thursday, February 25, 2010

That Good Old Lager Beer

Earlier this week we were sent an email giving us a hard time about the sort of beer we’ve been covering here. We were accused of being “beer snobs” and “wasting time talking about beer nobody even drinks.”

It’s easy enough to dismiss ignorance of this sort, but I think the person may have a point buried in there somewhere. It is true, after all, that ales such as Bourbon Barrel Stout, La Folie and Fox River Reserve are subculture brews aimed at a minority of beer drinkers. But if the impression we’ve given is that we’re only interested in high-octane, palate-pounders then we’ll correct that now. Let’s take a look at some of that good old lager beer that’s currently pouring around town.

Supper Club Lager on tap at Barley & Hops and Becket's Restaurant

Here's a classic American Lager that resulted from a collaboration between Capital Brewery’s Kirby Nelson and Rob LoBreglio of the Great Dane Pub. Nelson describes it as a beer, "Harking back to an era where Supper Clubs were in vogue and Wisconsin had numerous regional breweries." Sounds about right. The beer is crisp, malty and clean and probably not too far from the sort of lagers made by Peoples or Oshkosh Brewing back in the 50s. This would be a great beer to use when trying to ween a friend off of the prevailing fizzy, flavorless brews that all us "snobs" love to despise.

Wisconsin Amber on tap at Dublin's Irish Pub

Another fine Capital Brewery beer. Can’t say I’m a big fan of this one from a bottle, but I've really enjoyed it every time I’ve had it on tap. Call it an American style Vienna lager, the beer is smooth and malty with a hop bite that’s slightly more assertive than you’d expect. Still, it has a nice balance. Very drinkable.

Coney Island Lager on tap at O'Marro's Public House

Made by Shmaltz Brewing in San Francisco, here's another red/amber lager, but this one is a tad bigger than usual for the style. The malt comes across thick, almost honey-like. The hops are strictly west coast, bitter and heavy on the citrus notes. Not your typical lager by any means, but certainly worth checking out.

Lizard Lager on tap at Peabody's Ale House

Originating at the old Lizard Lounge, this is Peabody’s house beer. It’s made for them by Point Brewing and some will tell you it tastes suspiciously similar to Point Amber Classic. I don’t know about that, but I do know this could be the poster child for session beer. It’s light-bodied and smooth with enough caramel-like malt flavor and fruity esters to keep you interested.

Schlitz on tap at Oblio's Lounge

Let the beer-snob groaning begin. I don’t care, I like it! It reminds me of the kind of beer I used to thieve when I was still too young to buy it for myself. Fizzy, light, pale, watery, hollow... whatever. I can’t be impartial when it comes to this one. And I swear I’ve actually tasted that "kiss of the hops" crap they like to yammer about. At Oblio's they serve it up in a beautiful pilsner glass. It's perfect for this beer; low-brow and high-falutin' all at once.

So there you have it. Lager Beer is alive and well in Oshkosh... and not just the fizzy kind, either.

1 comment:

  1. Glad to see Lizard Lager make your list. But as far as anyone mewling about "beer snobbery," tell them you'd love to initiate them over a nice alt or lambic, maybe a Belgian white or Irish stout, perhaps even an IPA. My point is anyone who'll accuse folks of "beer snobbery" probably haven't had anything other than Bud Light this year and should be ignored for thier hypocrisy if not thier unrefined taste.