A good pint of lager gets me excited. A proper pint of Czech- or German-style lager, brewed in Britain, is something I want to see more of.
I think there’s a massive potential market for great lager – just look at how much of it is sold in pubs. Imagine if a craft brand could tap into those sales. Things are happening in the UK with craft lager and I really hope it continues; breweries like Meantime, Freedom, Moravka, Camden, Black Isle, Thornbridge, and more, are making lagers now. I also think more will try them. I’d love to see DarkStar have a go at a proper Czech pils, Adnams and Fuller’s, too, Magic Rock, Fyne, Moor.
There’s also Windsor and Eton’s Republika. A 4.8% lager made with pilsner malt from Moravia, Saaz hops from Zatec, Czech lager yeast and water treated to soften it. It’s been conditioned for six weeks. And it’s very good. Soft and clean, biscuits and popcorn, dry and bitter and sprightly with Saaz. It’s what a good lager should taste like and I could drink a lot of it. I'd love to see it in keg to see how it gets on.
I want to see more great British lagers. Not ones hopped with Amarillo or Simcoe or Citra and not those almost-lagers which are made with ale yeast or which just get a two-week condition in tank. Good, classic lager with lots of flavour while still being subtle. But it is a big commitment for a brewery to make a lager as it needs extra tank time. When you get a really good one that time is totally worth it. That’s pretty much what I’m trying to say in the video above.
you should get down to Cotswold and ask to try their Dark straight from the tank — it’s glorious — and there’s Freedom’s 10-10 which was perhaps one of the best beers I had during GBBF week and this was at the Rake…ReplyDelete
Put a bit more noble hop in Lees Golden Original and then you would have a really good British Lager.ReplyDelete
There really do need to be more; and some of those that do exist don't quite come off (I'll mention St Austell Korev on last time).ReplyDelete
do Lees still make Holsten?ReplyDelete
Adrian - No - discontinued. Carlsberg now. Which reminds me. Must send you that standing order form!ReplyDelete
Peter don’t send it to me, send it to your bank!! (Apologies Mark for using your blog as a Guild forum…)ReplyDelete
I do wonder if lager rather than ale is going to be the really big opportunity for "craft keg".ReplyDelete
I agree with Mark. Indigenous, well made lager is sadly lacking in this country.ReplyDelete
Cost of equipment may mean though it just won't happen, butthose that have it ought to give it a go.
I tried this too, and thought it very good indeed.ReplyDelete
Without question these guys are bottling some of the most vibrant and distinctive new beers in the land, so it's no surprise to hear your reaction. They're in the process of getting this one over to me, I could hardly wait before - but this post has made that wait significantly more unpleasant!ReplyDelete
Calvors in Suffolk do a very tasty range of lagers. Worth seeking out.ReplyDelete
i think its just another bland lager that joins the club of bland british lagers.their beers on the other hand are very good.cheersReplyDelete
Nice to know I'm not alone in the Brit lager thoughts.ReplyDelete
Curmudgeon - I think there's good potential for it but for most breweries at the moment it's too much of a commitment of tank time and too removed from what they already make. If a couple of top breweries can make some great lagers then I think they could be the ones who see the big growths first. We'll see...
THG - Let me know what you think!
Anon 1 - You are right! I've had Calvors and liked it a lot.
Anon 2 - Obviously I disagree. What other 'bland British lagers' are in this club you talk about? Out of interest, what lagers do you think are good ones anywhere in the world?
I remember the 'lager bar' at the Melton CAMRA festival a few years ago. It was like shitting in the face of every tradition. Cask lagers, poorly conditioned. Massive fail.ReplyDelete
It takes dedication to make even half-decent lager in the UK. Camden and Meantime are getting close. Unfiltered Moravka is a gnat's nad away from greatness. I have high hopes for Thornbridge's Helles, given Rob Lovatt's pedigree.
But in the great 'craft' beer/can crossover - whomsoever that gets a world-beating UK lager into a can... there's the rub.
If we're going to talk about great 'British' lagers I'm only ever going to talk about 'Scottish' lagers which fit your bill. I've never come across any English lagers (some in my case Pilsners) which can match the quality of Scheihallion (Pilsner), Cairngorm Trade Winds (a Golden Lager) and Atlas Latitude (Pilsner). There are quite a few more up there, and I love them all. Not for their hop forward mentality, but for everything you said in your post.ReplyDelete
WEST Brewery in Glasgow, whilst hit and miss, does a very good job with its St Mungo lager ( and the Dunkel is good too)ReplyDelete