Thursday, August 13, 2009

Dark Lager -- Underdog

During the past 8 months I've had multiple liaisons with an underappreciated niche beer -- the Dark Lager. NO, not a porter. Not a Stout. A Dark Lager.

If you want to know what I'm talking about, these guys are the representative examples;

Shiner Bohemian Black Lager

Negro Modelo

Asahi Korunama

Kostritzer Schwarzbier

The Dark Lager is an underappreciated beer here in America. Don't get me wrong, if I wanted a dark beer, I could get one very easily. Here in Cali, porters and stouts are a dime a dozen. Guiness -- that's practically Budweiser out here due to the plethora of stouts & porters.

But Dark Lager -- she's a harder beast to find. Dark as a porter, but not quite as hoppy. A lager, but richer than her sisters but just as smooth. She's a niche brew. But damn does she go down smooth.

I personally find it frustrating that here in California, the self-proclaimed wonderland of homebrew and craftbrew, that we have no local Dark Lager. I also, when guzzling Shiner's Bohemian Black, find myself increasingly torn by the State of Texas. How can a state that produced George W. Bush also produce such a wonderful Dark Lager.

Lastly, I lament the fact that so few domestic craft brewers recognize the beauty at its grasp. In my drinking excursions, the only American craft brewer I've come across that made a good Dark Lager was Spoetzl Brewery in Texas, the guys behind Shiner Bock (bless their heart). If I wanted to get others I'd have to;

A. Get Kostritzer, an original German I guess.
B. Get Negro Modelo, and underappreciated Mexican Dark Lager.
C. Asahi Kurunama. It maybe tasty, and Japanese. But it is still EVIL. Asahi is to Japan what Coors/Busch are to America.

Can't the American West Coast embrace the Germanic/Czech/Slovak brewing culture? Can California brewers for once take a step back from their Triple/Quadruple/Quituple/Terabyte Pale Ales? Must every beer on this side of the United States be a hop bomb that can take out a small city?

Alas -- so long as Spoetzl/Kostritzer/Modelo/Asahi still produce a Black Lager, I will drink it with a smile in anticipation of the day that California embraces the Germanic school of beer brewing.

1 comment:

  1. If I ever get set up for lagering at home, a good Schwarzbier will be the first beer I brew.