BJCP Style: American Lager
Hops: Unknown (Typically American hops – Cascade, Chinook, Cascade, Magnum, Cluster)
Malts: Unknown (2 or 6 Row Barley | May have corn or rice added)
Brewery: Akademia Brewing Co.
City: Athens, GA – 150 Crane Drive, Athens GA, 30606
Appearance: Brilliant, clear, gold. Thin white head with tiny compact bubbles. Short head retention. Fast rising bubbles.
Aroma: Floral hops and grainy, cracker-like malts.
Flavor & Aftertaste: Floral and grainy flavor. Very restrained bitterness. Medium sweetness.
Palate: Light to medium bodied, semi-dry and crisp. High carbonation. Finish is short, dry and crisp.
There are some beer styles out there that have been unfairly maligned. Take American Lager. The large multi-national producers of pale American style lagers – the Budweiser’s and Miller’s of the world – managed to ruin this beer style in the eyes of many beer drinkers. Yet, how are these brands some of the best selling beers in the world? Many beer drinkers simply prefer something crisp, refreshing and versatile with a variety of foods. For the longest time, craft beer brewers basically ignored this market in favor of drinkers who preferred more flavorful, bold offerings. No so anymore. Breweries like Akademia Brewing Company are bringing American style pale lagers to their local markets and doing so with the same quality and flavor they have their other beers.
I’ve been sampling a number of my local offerings and I am finding so very good ones. It’s nice to have an alternative that not only tastes great; but also allows one to support local small businesses. The latest one I sampled is Akademia’s Premium Lager.
For this style beer, you definitely need the right glass. A tall Pilsner glass is recommended and is perfect to show of the brilliant, clear gold color that characterizes American Lager. Akademia Premium pours to the characteristic color and demonstrates a thin, snow white head with short retention. Hops additions are floral and malt is grainy in aroma and flavor. Bitterness is restrained on a semi-sweet malt backbone. American lager is also characterized by high carbonation, and Akademia Premium is no exception, so you’ll feel that familiar bite from the carbonation. It is medium bodied and has a short, clean refreshing finish.
As I mentioned, I am working through a number of these style lagers, including some light versions and their close cousins German Helles style. While Budweiser, Miller, and Coors may have the brand recognition and price advance, they certainly do not have a taste or enjoyment advantage. If price point is your determinant, then Big Beer brands are still your go to. But, if flavor and drinking local are your preferences, there are some great craft beer choices coming on line. We should start seeing more of this style as the warmer months roll around. Stay tuned to my blog, as I working a survey piece of some of the local Atlanta area offerings.
Thanks for reading, until next time…Let Us Drink Beer!