Did you know that lager is the most common type of beer in the world? Many of the most famous American beers are lagers, which contributes to moving them up the charts. Sometimes people are quick to dismiss lagers as “boring,” but we don’t think that’s entirely fair. Lagers are a diverse group, so you might be surprised by how many beers fall under the lager umbrella. We just celebrated National Lager Day on December 10th, so what better time to dive into the world of lager before heading to your favorite bar in Manchester for a few beers?
What counts as lager?
The definition of lager comes down to the fermentation process. Lagers are bottom-fermented, which means that the yeast sinks to the bottom of the vat during the brewing process. The yeast sinks to the bottom because it is cold, usually 35º-50º Fahrenheit. This differentiates it from ale, which is brewed warmer, which keeps the yeast at the top.
The cold temperatures also give lager its name in a slightly roundabout way. Before the invention of refrigeration, German brewers made their beer in caves. Once the brewing process was complete, they also stored the beer in the same caves. In German, the word lagern means “to store,” giving the name lager to those beers.
What are the varieties of lager?
There are many styles of beer that we classify as lagers. Here are a few of the most common styles:
- Pilsner – This is the Czech version of lager. It is a pale and hoppy beer that influenced the modern American lager.
- Helles – This variety of beer hails from the area surrounding Munich in southern Germany. It is also pale, but with a malty flavor.
- Märzen – Brewers traditionally made this amber lager for the celebration of Oktoberfest. Today, the beer you find at Oktoberfest more closely resembles Helles.
- Dunkel – Meaning “dark” in German, this is a dark brown lager marked by both its color and robust flavor.
Great Beer at Your Favorite Bar in Manchester
If you’re one of those people who think lager is boring, we hope we changed your mind! There are so many styles of lager beers that you’ll find one that lines up with your tastes. But no matter what kind of beer you like, you should stop by the best bar in Manchester, Stark Brewing Co.!