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Notes on beers in the style

Euro Pale Lager

Moritz

Thanks go out to DogBrick for the chance to try this. I suppose it depends on what you are looking for at any one particular juncture. If you want a macro-colored, well carbonated, sweet lager brew with some veggie highlights and some mild cereal, then this will fit the bill. Otherwise it will not work well for you. Dark straw colored body with typically large initial carbonation that fades fast. No lace, poor retention. Nose and tastes are of the aforementioned mild, cereal sweetness and...

Krasny Vostok Zhigulevskoe

Always scary stuff when one reaches for an Eastern European lager. Not many high quality beers in this genre from that part of the world if the truth be known. This one came from a Russian Supermarket on the East side of Atlanta. Pour is as expected, meaning that we get a clear gold colored liquid with a white head that disappears almost immediately. Virtually no lace. Some nasty looking sediment. Nose and tastes give a curious lemony, sweetish, soapy sensation that lingers. Watery in terms of...

Zywiec Beer

$2.49 for the 500 mL bottle from a Russian supermarket out in Decatur, GA, USA. Sometimes you just get a moment when a beer is simply perfect for the circumstance. Zywiec happened to fill one of those moments for me yesterday. Very little to report about the beer itself other than what you would expect. The pour gives a golden body with a bone-white head. Head is good but lace and retention are not great. The nose is essentially neutral which is not necessarily a bad thing, but at the same...

James Boag’s Premium Lager

12 oz single from Total Wine, Kennesaw, GA, USA. Extraordinary color (or more accurately a LACK of color) on the pour. It is transparent to the point of being crystal clear with a pale golden hue. Good lace on the glass from an unimpressive head. Mouthfeel is as one would expect for the style, as is the bitterness in the finish. Outside of that it's a standard macro lager. Not really offensive but nothing of any great interest either. One and done here.

Afanasy Svetloye

Firstly, I cut and pasted the first part of this review from my review of the Dark, since a number of things are exactly the same. Review #1600. Well, interesting one this. 11.2 fl oz bottle that is a very attractive sight with its pyramid shape and some interesting raised lettering a the base of the bottle - I'm gonna keep this one, its decorative. ABC-3513 on the cap. $1.19 from Michael's in Marietta, GA, USA as a single. I was pretty sure this was a very old bottle when I bought it, so I...

Premium Lager

As a single from Total Wine, Kennesaw, GA, USA. Standard look with all the things I am looking for from the style; a golden pour with exceptional clarity. A pretty good head, some lace and no skunk. It hits on all of these points, and in addition is refreshing and tasty. Malts a re solid and a small hop balance finishes the whole thing off. A simple and nice brew, wel within the parameters of the style and it hits all the spots.

Podkovan Lager

500 mL bottle, $2.19 Arbor Place Beverage, Douglasville, GA, USA. Looks like a new addition to the store along with the Dark. Like a few other BA's, at first glance I thought this was probably a Czech *Pils*, but after closer inspection that particular word is distinct by its absence from the label -this turns out to be a rather average Euro lager with all its average points. Golden pour, the body looks good. Decent carbonation and associated head and lace. Mild skunk in the nose, but it...

Harbin Lager

20070506B1450 dot matrixed on the rear label. 330 mL bottle as part of a mixed, $7.99 sixer from Mac's Midtown, Atlanta, GA, USA. A full six pack would be a complete waste. Pour is very pale, even anticipating the style. Nice looking head initially, but of course it fades in seconds to virtually nothing and there is no lace. Aroma yields a little cooked vegetables but not much else. Clean until the finish which comes through with a little hop bitterness - almost like a badly made Saaz pils....

Kells Irish Style Lager

$5.49, City Beverage, Winston-Salem, NC, USA. 22oz bomber. One of the few Rogue offerings that we do not get in GA so I thought I should pick it up. Nice pour. Plenty of decent head and some lace. Slighly clouded appearance with some honey color in the body. Head and lace have some retention, but not a great deal. Not much aroma - small amount of grain perhaps?? Frankly a very ordinary lager. Mild sweetness, slight bitterness in the finish, simple and refreshing, but not much else to report....

Baltika #2 Svetloye

Poured into the Tucher Weizen glass which can make almost any beer look good. Single from Beverage Resort in Kennesaw, GA, USA. Light gold pour, not much head or lace. Pretty sweet and grainy, but no skunk, fairly smooth and a decent balance. Macro characteristics (obviously) but at the same time a refreshing beer and a good combo of simple malt and regular hops. Finish is clean. I would call this a decent, sumertime, macro replacement. Don't expect too much and you probably won't be...

Oranjeboom Premium Lager

WOW, this takes me back! Picture the scene - 1992-1999, De Hems Dutch pub on the edges of Chinatown in London. A Friday night out with the boys, and amongst other stuff, the Oranjeboom is flowing! Shame really, because it ain't a very good beer at all! Having said that, VERY happy times and a decent pre-cursor to a Vindaloo at The Strand Tandoori! Picked this up at Trader Joe's at tte Forum in Norcross, GA, USA. Part of a split four pack, $1.09 a can. Looks good (for a macro lager). Plenty of...

Damm Barcelona

$1.99 single 12 oz, Reilly's, Hilton Head Island, SC, USA. Crystal clear pour with a small head that disappears quickly to leave a ring of lace on the surface of the beer and a few wisps of low density lace on the glass. Dry, clean and crisp with a surprising bitterness in the finish. Slight skunk aroma, standard fare for the style, could be almost anything from the same genre.

Baltika #5 Gold

Part of what appears to be a renewed marketing drive on the Baltika products in Georgia, this appeared with a large range of Baltika beers, that from memory, have been slightly repackaged and spruced up. 500 mL clear glass bottle (sensitive folks can start to panic) it really has a very attractive bright golden hue. Unfortunately - and utterly predictably - this is where the attraction largely ends! Head is short lived and lacing is virtually non-existent. Aromas and tastes are exactly in line...

Samuel Smith’s Organically Produced Lager Beer

Extremely smooth, with a sweet sensation from the golden pour. Lots of clarity and some decent carbonation. Not much head or lacing. Some grassy aroma's dominate, but not in any kind of funky way. The tastes are quite sweet, but the overwhelming sensation that is left behind is a highly drinkable smoothness. Easy drinking, refreshing and smooth. Nice.

Herold Bohemian Wheat Lager

Golden butterscotch cloudy pour, with a nice head and a small amount of lacing. Rather unusual in the smell and the taste. There is an amazingly strong fruit taste that has a typical over-ripe banana taste as the underlying feature, but then comes through in a really unusual way. There is a very strong taste of strawberries and blackcurrants - really strong. Definite lack of spice and cloves but still very drinkable in a fruity sense. Nice full mouthfeel, with some citric tartness and a little...

Tennent’s Lager

Utterly non-descript and low quality beer experience. Pale urine colored pour, some decent carbonation and a small but perfectly formed head. Some scant lacing. Mild skunk and a typical macro lager corn/grain aroma. Thin body, and a sweet graininess complete the lower than average package. Mildy better than a nasty American macro.

Steinlager

Extremely pale yellow with a very frothy head that leaves some nice lacing and it lingers. The look is so very pale it doesn't promise much, but the beer drinks a little better than the initial look. As others have noted, mainly grassy, grainy mild hops and not much else. Despite that mild bitterness this is still a fairly sweet beer. The forthy texture, the sweetness and the general mild nature of the brew makes it pretty drinkable, but this is a very light experience and pretty...

Rhinebecker Extra

Very pale straw color, with a small but quite billowy head. Some half-decent lacing completes the appearance. Aroma is very pilsner like, with those floral hops and a little malt. Taste reflects the nose, with a little hop bitterness in the finish that is quite nice. It is quick though and obviously doesn't linger. Small malt backbone completes the deal. Not bad in the mouth and not bad overall. It is what it is; that is, a light pilsner type beer with a refreshing quality but of course it...

Lion Lager

Drinkable, but instantly forgetable. Nothing to report here except a very, very light, sweet (malty) lager with no head or lacing to speak of that could be any one of one thousand other beers. Nothing to bring me back for any reason. Taco Mac in Douglasville, GA charged me $5.95 for the privelage! Daylight robbery.

Singha

Like a succession of Asian inspired/rooted macro lagers, this is very unremarkable, but at the same time pretty unoffensive too. There is very little to report about many of these beers - standard macro lager appearance and pour, with little or no head that fades quickly to nothing. Mainly pale golden to golden in color, quite refreshing, sometimes a little skunk, but still drinkable as a lawnmower. Singha is often presented as a premium lager at a premium price which is laughable, and as a...

Doctor Diesel

Extremely average, light colored lager with little to commend it from any point of view. Malts and grains in the nose serve to confirm what one would expect from the pale, piss colored pour with no head. Slightly higher ABV than normal gives a little kick in the finish, but that's where the interest ends. Don't bother with this, there's really no point.

Peroni Nastro Azzurro

Very, very little to report here. Simple, and very pale lager color with a surprisingly good, billowing head that was pleasing. Decent crispness and refreshing character. No skunk - absolutely vital in these beers - a decent warm weather thirst quencher. Very little aroma to speak of except a little corn, and the tastes are muted with some fresh hay but not a lot else. No bitterness, really rather sweet. Unoffensive but literally 1000's of others out there will do the same job.

Baltika #3 Classic

Sweet (over and) undertones to this malt-based lager, with only very little dry hoppy bitterness. Not a very special beer to look at, thin, pale and yellow with no significant head beyond the first few seconds of the aggressive pour. Just about fufills my (low expectation) criteria for these beers, i.e. no skunk, drinkable, refreshing and no unpleasant aftertaste. Outside of that nothing to report. Baltika makes several other, better beers. Don't be put off by this pretty average...

Bogemia

$2.49 Chapel Hill Package Store, Douglasville, GA, USA. Very clear yellow pour out of the 1 pint 0.9 fl oz bottle with green labels. Labels say it is brewed and bottled by OAO Krasny Vostok Brewery, Kazan, Russia. Aroma exactly like cider. Lots of apples, but only a hint of the alcohol that is in this relatively strong brew. Low carbonation, so low in fact it soon resembles something that is quite flat. Alcohol is prominent in the taste with some astringency and dryness in the aftertaste. A...

Tuborg Premium Lager (Gold / Guld)

Haven't seen any Tuborg around for the best part of 25 years! I was amazed when I saw it, and my interest was aroused simply because I assumed it had been discontinued long, long ago. I only recall the green label in the past, not this gold label stuff. Vaguely attractive olive green bottle and a lovely looking greenish/yellow pour. Good head (for a few seconds) fading quickly to show no lacing. The smell and the taste were very odd. I kept sniffing and sipping for ages before I got it. The...

Mythos Hellenic Lager Beer

Ordinary, but smooth, non-descript but refreshing, simple but clean. Standard macro looking pour, but a really nice head with some lacing. This is an ordinary lager and an ordinary product in general, but I really enjoyed it. I ask very little of my lagers - smooth and clean, crisp and refreshing. It comes through on all counts with some extra bonus points on the way through too. Quite a nice, full mouthfeel considering the style, with a nice level of carbonation and some very surprising...

Samuel Smith’s Pure Brewed Lager Beer

What's this all about then? I have to laugh at the style that BA lists this as, "Euro Pale Lager". Of course, Americans are still under the impression that England is part of Europe in a way that reaches beyond geography, when *we* all know that anything that comes out of Yorkshire is likely to be as un-Eurpoean as a trip to Walmart in Villa Rica,GA. Anyway, back to the beer. Crystal clear yellow, with a very large attractive head. Extremely smooth (which is good) without a hint of skunk or...

Harp Lager

100% forgettable. Simply characterized as a standard lager, slightly above the quality of most North American macro's but lost in that sea of mediocrity that lies between those American domestics and the quality European lagers. Appearance is OK (at least for 30 seconds) before the "at first decent" head dissipates to nothing. The smell? Well, smells like beer!! Slight grainy aroma with alcohol coming through strong. As is the usual case in American bars, the Arctic temperature that it is...

Baltika #1 Light

$2.19, Arbor Place Beverage Depot, Douglasville, GA. Incredibly light colored beer, with the standard macro smell, head and appearance. Although this beer has a macro feel to it it gets a slightly higher rating from me because it is a little smoother and more drinkable. When cooled to very low temperatures this provides a better and more refreshing alternative with non-offensive malts and a bitterness that is very mild. Enjoyable, but nothing to write home about.

Birra Moretti

$1.49 per bottle as part of mixed six pack, World Market, Marietta, GA. 355 mL. Pours a vary plae straw color with little or no head. Some significant lacing throughout the drink. This brew is another good example of the style, encapsulating what a decent lager should. Extremely clean and refreshing, with good balance of bitterness and grain. Certainly one to visit again.

Heineken Lager Beer

I've drunk this stuff off and on for the best part of 25 years and frankly I'm very confused with its success and general popularity. I'm not sure, but I believe the general ignorance of the American beer drinking public allows this to be sold, priced and marketed as some kind of "premium" lager in the US. In England, this stuff is bog standard crappy lager. In its defense, I truly believe that it tastes different on the continent, with a more flavorful experience being the norm. This stuff...

Stella Artois

I was brought up with Stella being marketed as a "Premium" lager and therefore a more expensive lager. They used to run an advertising campaign that described the beer as "reassurringly expensive". I always found this mildly offensive, thinking that it was just another marketing ploy to exploit the consumer, but over the years my opinions have changed. I really believe that, on draught at least (I'm not fond of this in the bottle), if looked after properly, this can be an decent brew. Its...

Fischer Bitter

1 Pint, 6 floz, "Grolsch" type flip top bottle. In fact, this French lager is not what I call a bitter at all. It's simply a slightly above average European lager to me. Very reminiscent of Kronenbourg 1664 or Grolsch itself (which isn't a bad thing) but far too similar to those (and countless others) to stand out. A very light, large airy head with some lacing. A pale orange color with a distinct "bitterness" for a lager. Like many of these type of drinkable French brews this one also...