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Lagers on cask

Discussion in 'Beer Talk' started by Providence, Jan 10, 2013.

  1. Does this not exist? I never see them. Maybe I am just having a brain fart here, but whenever I see cask beers it's always an ale. That's all fine and good as I love cask beer period. But I am also obsessed with good lagers. Is this a trend you see as well? Am I missing something and lagers don't hold up in casks for some reason or can't be dispensed from casks or something of that nature? Have you seen lagers on cask and if so, how were they?

    How great it be to walk in to a local bar and find something like Weihenstephaner Korbinian on CASK!
  2. “Have you seen lagers on cask and if so, how were they?”

    I have had several lagers on cask both domestic and imported.

    Sly Fox has dispensed their rotating lager of Standard Pils on cask (hand pump) a number of times. It is a very enjoyable beer on cask but I personally prefer this beer on regular draft.

    Mahr’s imports a number of their beers in Firkins. I have had the Ungespundet-hefetrüb (a Kellerbier) and the Bock-Bier on cask (both gravity pour) and I have enjoyed both of those beers.

    I am confident that HerrBurgess will chime in with his infinite (a slight exaggeration) experiences with drinking cask lagers in Franconia.

    drtth and jmgrub like this.
  3. I am so jealous!
    YamBag likes this.
  4. Having lived and traveled around the Fatherland, you can get Altbier from the wood (top fermented lager bier if Marquis stops in).

    In Bamberg I have had Rauchbier from the wooden casks, which may be lined with pitch but who cares. Wonderful stuff if you can get there.

    In Munich I have seen many beers from wood, I think those might be actual.

    In the USA not so much.
  5. billandsuz

    billandsuz Savant (460) New York Sep 1, 2004

    there are not alot of craft lagers being made. that is beginning to change but lager is still of course not nearly as common as ale in our world. being that cask is still rare, it isn't surprising that cask lager is hard to come by.
    cask is a traditional British habit and that is ale country.
    lagers do not fare as well at the temperatures needed for cask, not any typical lager anyway.
    i would argue that the defining characteristics of lager are not ideal for cask, though there are exceptions. the changes brought on by cask storage and dispense aren't going to be very good for most all lagers. but im not much of a cask ale fan either fwiw.

    SABERG Champion (935) Massachusetts Sep 16, 2007 Verified

    Mahrs Kellerbier once at Black back in Vermont.
    Quite a treat
  7. While not exactly thick on the ground there are quite a few cask lagers brewed in the UK
    To be honest I don't know how authentic they are but the ones I've tried have been pretty uninspiring.

    FeDUBBELFIST Advocate (580) Pennsylvania Oct 31, 2009 Verified

    I had the first pour from a firkin of Franconian lager once. OH MY GOD was that special...
    acevenom likes this.
  9. gory4d

    gory4d Advocate (610) New York Apr 14, 2007 Beer Trader

    Yes, the cask lagers from Germany's Franconia region are something special. Shelton Brothers imports a bunch in the fall, and some make it to NYC - a treat I look forward to every year.
  10. Good information everyone, thanks. It's a shame that lagers are so neglected in the craft world....If they weren't perhaps the demand for cask lagers would increase?
    Eriktheipaman and fuzzylogic like this.
  11. BearsOnAcid

    BearsOnAcid Advocate (745) Massachusetts Mar 17, 2009 Beer Trader

    You can find gravity kegs at Lord Hobo or Deep Ellum a few times a year.
    pjl44 and Providence like this.
  12. What does gravity kegs mean?
  13. smakawhat

    smakawhat Poobah (1,310) Maryland Mar 18, 2008 Verified

  14. Providence likes this.
  15. litheum94

    litheum94 Advocate (675) California Dec 29, 2008

    Moonlight Brewing (who does mostly lagers) has cask versions of a lot of their beers.
  16. I had Ignoble Lager by The Tap, on cask. It wasn't very good.
  17. tai4ji2x

    tai4ji2x Advocate (665) Massachusetts Aug 10, 2007 Beer Trader

    NERAX used to have franconian landbiers and kellerbiers at their fests. some of the best beers i've ever had, to be honest. but they are dispensed from german-style gravity casks that you don't normally find here, and apparently the deposit on these was either insufficient or never paid, and from what i gather, the lack of american venues/distributors actually bothering to collect and return them has made the exporters loathe to trust americans with cask again...
  18. Max's usually has several gravity kegs during German Weekend in September; they are always worth drinking. I also had the original Tuppers Hop Pocket Pils through the handpump years ago, also at Max's. It was excellent. A cask of the Raven usually shows up at the Fall Real Ale Fest in Baltimore. Generally, a beer hoppier than most lagers fares better through the pump which is why Pikeland or Prima are good candidates for this dispense method.
  19. ncaudle

    ncaudle Advocate (690) Virginia May 28, 2010 Beer Trader

    do bocks count? I see Aventinus on cask occasionally
  20. Absolutely, that's one of my favorite lagers. I would love to try that on cask!
  21. Aventinus is not a lager (bottom fermented beer), it is bock strength. It is a strong wheat beer.
  22. Oh, that's news to me. Are most "Eisbocks" like that or is Aventinus a rarity. There's so much I still need to learn....
  23. Aventinus is a Weizenbock, a strong wheat beer. The wheat taste, and the yeast's phenolics and esters should be a clue. You can even find that one this site, look for #1.

    Eisbock are bocks (bottom fermented lagers) that have been made stronger through freezing and removing the ice, which concentrates the alcohol and flavor.
    I see that a Schneider Aventinus Eisbock is listed on this site, but I would not agree with that, and if I had an eisbock like that in a competition, it would get marked down as out of style.
  24. Interesting. Any idea why the site would list it as an Eisbock?
  25. It says so on the label. ;)
  26. Cascade77

    Cascade77 Savant (250) Vermont May 14, 2009

    Trapp Lager here in Vermont tends to deliver a few firkins a year to the better beer bars. If memory serves their Baltic Porter was phenomenal.
  27. Ha ha, ok...any idea why the brewery would say it's an Eisbock if it's actually a Weizenbock?
  28. Pegli

    Pegli Savant (315) Rhode Island Aug 30, 2006

    I believe they took the Aventinus Weizenbock and performed the "Eis"ing method on it - resulting in a stronger version known as the Aventinus Eisbock. It can be found in ~ 330mL bottles with a slightly darker label if my memory recollects...
    Providence likes this.
  29. Pegli

    Pegli Savant (315) Rhode Island Aug 30, 2006

    I've been trying to hunt down the gravity-fed, unpasteurized version of Pilsner Urquell in the States...
    fmccormi likes this.
  30. acevenom

    acevenom Advocate (555) Louisiana Oct 7, 2011

    From what I remember, the bottle says "Weizen-Eisbock." It's basically an eisbock application to a weizen. It's stronger than the regular Aventinus.
  31. In Germany bock is more of a strength designation. Eis means it has been partialy frozen and the ice=eis removed, concentrating the alcohol and flavors more. Here bock = lager (bottom fermented), so some confusion can arise.

    This is Dornbusch, but since he is German it might be correct. The sidebar has all the names for bockbier.
  32. afsdan

    afsdan Advocate (605) Colorado Dec 17, 2010 Beer Trader

    Hogshead Brewing in Denver has had a lager called Eurotrash on cask for a few weeks now
  33. Weizenbock is a recognized category, but Weizen-Eisbock is not. The Eisbock category on this site seems to list only three with the word "weizen" in the name. IMHO there are many many beers on this site that might be more sensibly listed in a new, more fitting category (and many in categories by themselves), but this would get unmanageable very quickly. Anyway, Aventinus is an ale.

    Side thought: Who would like to see Jack's Abby brew a Weizenbock? A lager version of an ale pretending to be a lager.
  34. Domingo

    Domingo Poobah (1,145) Colorado Apr 23, 2005 Beer Trader

    If you can ever try any of those Mahr's casks - they're AMAZING. The Bull & Bush got a few of them literally the week after I got back from Bamberg. The cask hell and pils tasted 100% just as good as the same beers straight from the source, and they were still fresh on my mind, too. Best imported German beers I've ever had.
  35. Great information on here. I feel as if I am in a masterclass. Thanks all.

  36. “If you can ever try any of those Mahr's casks - they're AMAZING.” That was my experience with the Ungespundet-hefetrüb and the Bock-Bier as well.

    A local beer bar (Teresas Next Door) had a ‘special’ of Firkin Fridays one month where each Friday of a given month (I think it was November?) they had four Mahr’s beers on cask. Unfortunately I found out about this late so I missed the Pils and Helles on cask.:(

    It seems that Shelton Brothers does an excellent job imported the Mahr’s cask beers. I wonder if they fly them in?


  37. “Generally, a beer hoppier than most lagers fares better through the pump which is why Pikeland or Prima are good candidates for this dispense method.” Permit me to offer a differing opinion. I think that hoppy beers (IPAs, hoppy Amber Ales, hoppy pilsners) do not benefit from being on cask. I think that the lack of carbonation via the cask dispense ‘dumbs down’ the beer.

    While I never had the chance to drink a Pikeland Pils on cask I did get a chance to drink the Sly Fox Standard Pils (which is very hoppy) on cask (hand pump at the Sly Fox Brewpub). That beer on cask was OK but it was not nearly as vibrant and exciting as when dispensed via regular draft. The lower carbonation levels muted the wonderful hop flavor/aroma of that beer. The regular draft dispense provide lot of CO2 and those CO2 bubbles carry the hop aromatics vigorously to your nose. Just the smell of a Pikeland Pils or Standard Pils from regular draft is enough to make you say “Yum!”

    On a related matter I once had the chance to drink Nugget Nectar on cask and regular draft side-by-side (at TJs Everyday). The Nugget Nectar on regular draft was very aromatic, vibrant and a very tasty beer. The Nugget Nectar on cask had a muted flavor/aroma and was a ghost of the regular draft version. I did enjoy the smooth mouthfeel of the cask Nugget Nectar but I greatly missed the hop flavor/aroma presence.

    Needless to say but YMMV.

  38. patto1ro

    patto1ro Advocate (620) Netherlands Apr 26, 2004

    If I had it in a competition I'd mark it up for being a beer I really, really love.

    Aventinus Eisbock in a kopstoot with Aventinus Bierschnapps in Weisses Brauhaus is heaven. Especially when you know a plateful of sausages will be arriving soon.
  39. Good to know, will have to try it there next time I'm in Munich. One of the problems with judging is you have to do the job as it is laid out.
  40. Domingo

    Domingo Poobah (1,145) Colorado Apr 23, 2005 Beer Trader

    Aventinus (either of them) and some bierschnapps on the Weissesbrauhaus patio on a warm day is pretty much as good as it gets.
    Not sure how it usually works, but in the past they had "normal" Aventinus on both draft and in bottles. When I asked why, the waitress simply suggested I get the bottled one. This last time I was there (Summer of 2011) they seem to have scrapped the draft versions for all of their bigger beers.