Thursday, March 28, 2013

Lagerboy Pride!

If you have been following Fuggled for a while now, you will doubtless know that I am a devotee of the lager arts.

Whether pale, amber, dark or pitch black, most of my favourite beers will have been cold fermented and then lagered before packaging. I am quite happily what some breweries like to disparagingly call a 'Lagerboy'. It therefore seriously pisses me off that 'lager' is used as shorthand for lowest common denominator beer.

Lager, as I have said many times before, is a labour of love from beginning to end, especially if a brewer is going to do a decoction mash, which makes the brewday longer. Then there is the lagering of the beer itself, tying up the brewer's capital for a long period of time, whether it be 4 weeks or 90 days - did you know that a batch of 12° Budvar takes 102 days to make, 12 days in primary fermentation followed by 3 months lagering? In a world that seems to love talking about beers being made with 'passion', it takes real passion and dedication to doing things properly and give your lager the time it needs to be ready.

I have said it before, and will continue to bang the drum, but a well made lager is, in my unhumble opinion, the height of the brewers' craft. Sure you can make your triple black IPA aged in soured gorilla snot barrels, but if a brewer is incapable of making a clean, crisp, refreshing and flavourful pale lager then are they really all that great, despite the ravings of those advocating the rating of beer?

Using the term 'lager' as a cover all for the lowest common denominator brews churned out by multinational breweries does a disservice to a family of beers as diverse and varied as ales. Whether drinking a Bohemian Pilsner packed with the flavours and aromas of Saaz, downing a pint of Schwarzbier with its clean roastiness, or supping gently on a powerful yet balanced Baltic Porter, there is little in life as satisfying as well made lager, where the brewer has nowhere to hide flaws.

So brewery marketing departments, cut it out with the lager hating, beer geeks, cut it out with phrases like 'it's good, for a pilsner'.

To paraphrase a cliche from self-help name is Velky Al, and I'm a Lagerboy.


  1. Hear hear! Death to the lager haters!

  2. What comprises that (presumably) lager-y black and, er, yellow?

  3. The black lager in the picture is the annual Strahov Autumn Dark Lager, or 'podzimni tmave'. The mix of two lagers is half tmave and half svetle, or to put that in English, half dark, half pale LAGERS.

  4. Mmm, I love a good lager. The haters don't know what they're missing.