Lager | Howe Sound Inn & Brewing Company

41 Ratings
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Brewed by:
Howe Sound Inn & Brewing Company
British Columbia, Canada

Style: Dortmunder / Export Lager

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.50%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
Our lager is a version of the Dortmunder style. It is a pale golden lager, that is balanced between sweet malt and dry hop flavours. The lager has a clean, dry finish with some mild fruitiness delivered by the US version of German Hallertau hops and traditional Polish Lublin.

18 IBU

Added by Derek on 05-24-2011

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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 41 |  Reviews: 16
Photo of Tpop1005
4.11/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Photo of rrock44
4.25/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of Eric_Standard
3.28/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Photo of braican
2.73/5  rDev -26.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Photo of Kobold
3.35/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Look: A lightly benighted field of straw

Smell : weed tangled earthiness and long wet hair whipping you in the nose. A former sour dough bread package flits by on the breeze of old cut flowers entering the fragrant stage of decomposition. Dirty yeast motes ping in the background radiance. An occasional waft of dead breath reminds one of ordinary mortality.

Taste: citrus infused dough becoming biscuits with a dash of dried orange peel fragments. On the side rest shy, muted candies. The imbibing ends in a big, lingering uncarbonated orange crush kiss.

 560 characters

Photo of Hat_Fulla_Beer
3.9/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

355ml can poured into tulip.

Pours a slightly hazy golden yellow with one and a half fingers of fluffy white head that leaves scattered blobs of lace as it quickly recedes.

Smells of rising bread dough, breakfast biscuits, faint muddled citrus and mild cut grass.

Tastes of sweet, grainy pale malt, more nutty honeyed biscuit and more citrusy, grassy hops.

Feels bright and fizzy. Medium-light bodied with playfully prickly carbonation. Finishes off-sweet.

Verdict: Recommended. Solid hot weather beer.

 507 characters

Photo of Rukeli76
3.79/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of Taybeh
3.93/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Photo of headlessparrot
3.96/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Beer poured into my glass from a six-pack of cans (and, just as an aside, the Howe Sound Lager cans are maybe my favourite cans--just aesthetically speaking--in the country); a semi-aggressive pour netted an absurd amount of fluffy, loose head that recedes slowly to a finger but persists and leaves a lot of lacing. Colour is a slightly foggy copper/orange.

Smell is primarily bready, pale malt (maybe a touch of caramel malt as well?), accentuated by some nice light grassy floral presence. Fresh grain. Slight copper or metallic note, a gentle (not unpleasant) sour twang. Taste is fresh, crisp malt, with a decent amount of hop flavour--minus some of the hop bitterness. Grassy, bready, slightly yeasty. Dry. Faint citrus, slight tree sap, wood-chips. Medium-high carbonation, but good body.

The canned presentation wants you to believe this is a highly sessionable lager, but it's really not: it's quite dry, a bit heavy, and very flavourful. Easy to burn out on. And yet it's also probably one of the best Canadian craft lagers I can remember trying in quite awhile. So there's that.

 1,092 characters

Photo of Niceroad77
3.75/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of biegaman
4.02/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Howe Sound Lager has a boisterous golden tone that is deep and gives the beer a very full-bodied look. In contrast to most commercial lagers this one appears to be robust and quite evidently undiluted. Owing to such hearty maltiness highlights and head flourish while clarity struggles.

Malted grain is every bit as concentrated on the nose, where mildly sweet and gently toasted barley notes absolutely thrive. The aroma may be straightforward but nothing so commanding should be called simple; whereas I often quickly bore of smelling lagers, this one could keep my attention for hours!

For lager lovers, such a clean malty profile is where the heart is. Each sip tastes nourishing, comforting, and wholesome. Its bready, cereal-like flavour and its soft, lightly honeyed lingering is absolutely delectable. Bottom line: beer doesn't get more approachable than this.

Few, if any, of the world's beverages provide the satiation and satisfaction of a Dortmund- or Munich-style lager. And yet so few micros (in Canada, anyhow) attempt them. While this is often for practical or financial reasons, it must be said that few craft brewers are all that adept at making lagers...

But Howe Sound's brewmaster has a skill set that clearly extends to lagers as well. I wouldn't hesitate to call this the best craft lager in Canada. Mind you, I've been so impressed by the quality and variety of their offerings I already considered Howe Sound one of the country's premier microbreweries.

 1,493 characters

Photo of spinrsx
3.5/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of HoppySeb
3.36/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of liamt07
3.76/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Photo of Mr_Rocca
3.69/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of Bf_89
3.85/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of TheSevenDuffs
3.75/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of MJ63
4.07/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Photo of thehyperduck
3.86/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

355 mL can from a six-pack picked up at the LCBO; no packaging information. Served at refrigerator temperature.

Pours a foggy golden-amber hue, topped with one finger of white-coloured froth. It seeps away rapidly over the next minute or so, with only a thin collar and some scant lace remaining behind. The aroma is simple, but appropriate for this style - biscuity malts, grainy sweetness, some honey and green apples, along with grassy, somewhat floral hop undertones.

Nothing but clean-tasting German lager goodness in this one. Pale, grainy malt sweetness and lightly toasted biscuits are the dominant flavours, with some vaguely fruity notes in the background. The hops finish things off, providing a mildly floral, somewhat earthy note that contributes to a slightly bittersweet finish. Light-medium in body, with assertive carbonation that still comes off a little lighter than most imported lagers. Very drinkable, and beautifully balanced.

Final Grade: 3.86, a solid B+. This is not really one of my favourite German lager styles, but Howe Sound's Lager is still definitely one of the best Dortmunders I've had the opportunity to try. The malts provide a clean, biscuity sweetness that is perfectly countered by the grassy, floral European hop bill. This is not a complex beer, but it manages to provide everything I expect from this style in spades. German lager fans will definitely want to give this one a shot, but anyone looking for something straightforward to glug back in a social environment should consider this a perfectly valid selection.

 1,563 characters

Photo of mrlie3
4/5  rDev +7.2%

Photo of Chadzo69
4.25/5  rDev +13.9%

Photo of Groulxsome
3.25/5  rDev -12.9%

Photo of mattsander
3.75/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A: Deep golden, medium/good clarity (surprising), nice lasting head.

S: Toasty biscuity malt, smooth rounded earthy hops, a little floral, clean and restrained. Not particularly crisp. Rounded, easy-drinking.

T: Again dominated by toasty malts and deep earthy mild hops.

M: Surprisingly chewy, I could use a bit more bitterness but this is definitely an enjoyable lager.

 374 characters

Photo of LampertLand
3.75/5  rDev +0.5%

Photo of Chazz_Chetly
3.75/5  rDev +0.5%

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Lager from Howe Sound Inn & Brewing Company
3.73 out of 5 based on 41 ratings.
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