for a while now that too many craft beer lovers ignore lagers. Yet I can understand why this is. Just about all of us started our beer-drinking lives with an American adjunct lager like Budweiser. When we graduated to craft beer, we did so because we were seeking more flavor. And over time, our palates craved more and more intensity.
I was once this kind of craft beer drinker. But now, I'm in the same camp as Jeff Alworth of Beervana when he says that some of us craft beer drinkers have unnecessarily confined ourselves to a love of radical beer styles when we should try to appreciate the simpler styles.
We're into freedom of choice in this country. I can't force you to like certain beers, nor would I even try. We all have different palates after all. However, I can encourage you break out of the rut into which you may have fallen. I can encourage you to give lagers another chance.
Like ales, lagers vary in flavor profile, from malt-forward Bocks to hop-forward Pilsners to smoky Rauchbiers. My favorite style is the Vienna or Amber Lager, which is a copper-colored beer with a prevalent caramel malt base and a crisp hop finish. This style is exemplified by Great Lakes Brewing's Eliot Ness Amber Lager (which unfortunately isn't available in central Indiana). I'm also partial to the straw-colored Bohemian Pilsner with its spicy hop notes and clean malt finish. Among the better American-brewed Bohemian Pilsners is Oskar Blues' Mama's Little Yella Pils.
Luckily for us Hoosiers, Indiana breweries are producing some excellent lagers. Here are a few that we think are worth seeking out:
Fountain Square Workingman's Pilsner - The 2012 Hoosier Beer Geek Beer of the Year.
Outliers Blau Machen Pilsner - One of the flagship beers from Ted Miller's new brewing venture.
People's Pilsner - A Hoosier Beer Geek favorite.
Sun King Oktoberfest - When Märzen season arrives, put this in your bier stein.
Three Floyds Gorch Fock - This seasonal Helles rolls out during the summer.
Thr3e Wise Men Hot for Teacher Ms. Doppelbock - Silver Medal Winner, 2014 World Beer Cup, Category 41: German-Style Doppelbock or Eisbock