Dismiss Notice
Subscribe to BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99! (Limited time offer, US delivery only)

Portland Lager | Bull Jagger Brewing Company

Your Rating: None

Want it   Got it 
Portland LagerPortland Lager
42 Ratings
Portland LagerPortland Lager

Brewed by:
Bull Jagger Brewing Company
Maine, United States

Style: Munich Helles Lager

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 4.50%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
Portland Lager is a crisp golden, premium lager modeled after the traditional Helles beers of Bavaria. This original recipe follows the German Purity Laws of 1516 and use only the finest water, malt, hops and yeast. Portland Lager™ is handcrafted in small batches and aged to perfection. The result is a quaffable ‘micro-lager’ of the highest quality.

Added by Bowdoinbeerboy on 10-23-2011

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

Bros Score:
View: Beers | Events
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50  | nextlast
Ratings: 42 |  Reviews: 27
Reviews by wisrarebeer:
Photo of wisrarebeer
4.21/5  rDev +27.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

$5.49 for a 16.9 oz bottle

A: poured with an incredible meringue-type head, golden straw color, almost too much CO2
S: medium nose, herbal hops indicative of dry hopping
T: clean, crisp, lager, could use a bit more earthy malt but very good, subdued hops
M: clean, crisp, very, very sessionable and drinkable

 309 characters

More User Reviews:
Photo of BeerAdvocate
3.73/5  rDev +13%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

From BeerAdvocate magazine Issue #61 (Feb 2012):

LOOK: Dirty golden, lots of foam

SMELL: Grainy, yeast, fresh-cut hay, ripe pears, faint lemon, flora, rustic

TASTE: Crisp, medium bodied, herbal hop, grainy, malt sweetness, leafy, grassy, nutty

More of a Kellerbier than a Helles, given the overall rawness. Regardless, a solid and highly quaffable lager from the New England area. Now all we need are some authentic German brats and pretzels. Ja!

 450 characters

Photo of lordofthewiens
4/5  rDev +21.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Found this past weekend at Tully's. A very likeable beer.

I poured this into an imperial pint glass because it held the entire bottle. Hazy gold color with a small white head.

Very bready/malty. Grassy hops. A little bit of peppery tickle in my nose.

Big malt taste, some toffee. Grassy hops with a nice lingering bitterness.

Crisp. Fuller bodied than I would have thought.

 377 characters

Photo of SpdKilz
4/5  rDev +21.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A big thanks to Drazzamatazz for this great beer. Cheers buddy!

Appearance – Pours a hazy golden color into a tulip. About a finger of white head that dissipates quickly leaving slight lacing.

Smell – Sweet malts, yeast, hints of hops. As the beer warms just a hint of orange citrus.

Taste – Slight bitterness up front that goes away almost immediately to a crisp orange citrus mixed with sweet malts. Slight caramel and yeast.

Mouthfeel – Medium bodied, decent carbonation.

Overall – A solid and quaffable lager.

 529 characters

Photo of puboflyons
3.58/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

From the 25 fl. oz bottle. Sampled on December 16, 2012.

It pours like a lager with a pale yellow-light amber tone and a fizzy white head. Carbonation is active throughout.

The aroma tends to be a little yeasty but it most definitely has the German biscuit malt character that is expected from a Helles Lager. The hops bring up the rear with a clean crispiness.

The body is light and a little acidic.

The taste has a bready, biscuit malty character at the start but it does not take long before the moderate hop bitterness kicks in to bring the tasting experience to a clean conclusion. Not a bad lager from this fledgling brewery.

 635 characters

Photo of deltatauhobbit
3.62/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a translucent straw color, good sized white fluffy head, fades at a decent rate, no lacing on the glass.

Smell has a sweet malt aroma, light fruitiness with a bit of citrus, mild hop presence.

Taste is light and crisp, starts out with sweet malt, a subtle hop bitterness sticks around for a decent while, a bit slick and buttery, a bit more full bodied than expected, finishes slightly dry and with a touch of fruit.

A decent first beer from Maine's newest brewery, sticking to the German Purity Laws does happen too often in the States so it can be a bit refreshing though predictable in flavor.

 605 characters

Photo of raythealeman
3.75/5  rDev +13.6%

Photo of Bilco
3.75/5  rDev +13.6%

Photo of TheManiacalOne
3.95/5  rDev +19.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Acquired from svosie, so a big “Thank You” goes out to her. Poured from a 16.9oz bottle into a pilsner glass.

A: The beer is a bright gold color with a large white head that fades slowly and leaves a thick on the glass.

S: The aroma contains lager yeast, light caramelized malts and a good amount of hops.

T: The taste starts out with a lot of breadiness from the lager yeast and a hearty but not too heavy malt character. Then a mild malt sweetness comes in along with a decent hops presence for the style creating a good balance. The after-taste is slightly bready and slightly sweet.

M: Smooth and very crisp, light-to-medium body, medium carbonation, finish is clean.

D: Tasty, goes down very easily, not too filling, mild kick, good representation of style, this is a nice solid beer to pound for a long time.

 823 characters

Photo of jbear725
2.52/5  rDev -23.6%
look: 2 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

This is my second time having this beer. Had a bottle from the original release and wasn't impressed. Giving it another shot.

Pours a slightly orange light amber color, not a pale straw yellow like I was expecting. It's slightly hazy as well, again not what I'd expect in a Helles.

Smells mildly bread-y and has a pine and earthy hop aroma.

Taste is not what I would expect. Too many hops for the style and they come across pine, mild citrus and very grassy and raw. Has a good malt backbone but not a rich crisp grain flavor I would expect. Malt tastes more like a pale ale than Pilsner and seems like it has too much of a Munich malt flavor leaning more towards an Octoberfest than a Helles.

Mouthfeel is decent.

Overall I'm not a fan and don't consider this a very good Helles. The color and appearance is just too dark and the over use of hops is a turn off. Just can't get past the grassy raw hop flavors going on to make this enjoyable. The price is way too high for a mediocre to average beer.

 1,005 characters

Photo of twelvsies
4.05/5  rDev +22.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Had this one a bunch now, finally getting around to giving it props. The original beer from Bull Jager, this one pours a crisp bright gold color with a white head, nice and fluffy for a lager. Lots of character in the aroma with lots of bread, dough, yeast, milk and honey, and some dusty hops. Crisp and drinkable yet with a nice sturdy body and some stand up flavor to this lager. I like it. Had this on draught recently and liked it even more than the bottled version. Looking forward to drinking lots of this in the summer.

 527 characters

Photo of ygtbsm94
1/5  rDev -69.7%

Photo of Thorpe429
2.59/5  rDev -21.5%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Part of Blind BIF 6. Thanks to Brez07. Served in a SAVOR wine glass.

Pours a clear light golden color with a thin white head and just a touch of lacing. The nose brings forward some sweetness and a bit of a creamed corn character, leading me to think this could be a blonde or a cream ale. A bit of grain and some light hop bitterness through the finish. Could be a less-than-hoppy APA. Quite grainy. Slightly-bitter aftertaste. Light body. Not a huge fan.

 457 characters

Photo of MaineMike
2.5/5  rDev -24.2%

Photo of jdhilt
3.35/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Will pour a five+ finger cream head that fades slowly to a thin layer leaving some lace. Hazy, pale amber color, some yeast left in bottle. Strong carbonation and medium bodied. Hay nose, sweet hay and bread flavor. $5.80 for a 500ml bottle from Tully's Beer & Wine Wells, Me.

 276 characters

Photo of nmann08
1.5/5  rDev -54.5%

Photo of BeerKangaroo
3/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Into a pilsener:

A: murky pale yellow colored body with a small white foamy head and a decent amount of carbonation seen rising, lacing is kinda thick and leaves spotty rings down the glass

S: some wheat, grains and bready malts

T: sweet wheat and breadiness

M: light to medium with a fair amount of carbonation hitting the tongue and mouth, fairly sessionable, no aftertaste, sweet finish

O: a decent MHL, but its nothing to go out of my way for

 451 characters

Photo of johnnnniee
2.59/5  rDev -21.5%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

On cask at Nerax North
Pours a solid golden color with a minimal white head. Smells overwhelmingly of butter and butterscotch with bits of bread and toffee. I think I find some earthy hops. Taste is a harsh buttery mess, I have trouble with most of the glass. Medium to light body, light level of carbonation, with a slick mouthfeel. Wow in a cask this beer doesn't work. Maybe this beer is to young and hasn't had time to lose that diacytl in the lagering process. I'd be interested in trying a bottled version to compare, but I didn't enjoy the cask.

 552 characters

Photo of Pamola
3/5  rDev -9.1%

Photo of beerbiatchMD
4.03/5  rDev +22.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

On tap at Novare Res 2/11/12, reviewed from notes taken on iPhone. 16 oz pint glass.

A: yellow opaque, thickish looking for a lager, there is a half finger of white head, good lacing.

S: fruity, yeasty, and hint of citrus hop and great sweet malt background.

T: nicely balanced. Beginning is refreshing fruity sweet, pear and grapefruit, minimal biterness, very refreshing. Finishes with smoothly with a bit of hop bite.

M: Crisp, refreshing, good carbonation.

O: Wow, this is a fantastic lager. At least as good as Brooklyn lager in my opinion (which is very good). It's pretty complex for a lighter beer and very easy drinking. I'll definitely be picking this one up in bottles.

 685 characters

Photo of ToasterChef
3.83/5  rDev +16.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I picked a bottle of this up at Oak Hill Beverage today and popped it right into the fridge. There's no date on the bottle, but since this beer premiered on shelves earlier this week, I know it's fresh. Being the new brewery in the Riverside Industrial Park, I'm pouring this beer into a logo pint glass of their neighbor Allagash.

The beer is translucent yellow with some orange tones. Plenty of carbonation bubbles cling to the sides of my glass. The head is egg shell colored and about a finger thick. It has settled down to a modest layer of foam that caps the liquid. Swirling the beer coats the glass with a tiny film and some patchy foam.

The aroma has some fruity and grassy hops. Some pale and grainy malts are also present.

This lager has a solid flavor profile. A slight sweetness has hints of toffee. The hops are grassy and provide a basic level of bitterness that compliments the style nicely. A good balance of the sweet and bitter flavors linger on after I swallow; they provide a earthiness that is a nice ending.

This beer certainly has a fuller body than any mass produced lager that comes in a can. A good level of carbonation plays games on my tongue and really foams up if I swish the beer around in my mouth. The coating is a little stickier than I'd like, as are my lips, but this is a minor complaint.

I enjoy this beer. I hope it succeeds, as Southern Maine breweries who make golden beers exclusively don't have the best track record (any remember Sparhawk or Growstown?). Brewing in accordance to the German Purity Law is an admirable goal. I'm excited to see what else Bull Jagger can create. There are some fine products coming out of the Riverton Industrial Park; Portland Lager fits in with them nicely.

 1,740 characters

Photo of erlenmeyer
2/5  rDev -39.4%

Photo of Jayli
4/5  rDev +21.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Courtesy of svosie so a big THANK YOU goes out to her!
Poured in to a pint glass

A: This beer pours a crystal clear light copper color with a 3 finger of big sudsy, bone white head. Nice head retention, leaves spotty chunks of lacing on the glass.

S: Nose is grain, nice grassy, earthy presence, and a touch of spicing.

T: Taste starts nice with big grassy notes, a strong yet complimenting pale malt and grain presence comes through. A touch of light spicing, more earthiness, and a bit of floral hops.

M: Lighter side of medium body, medium to high carbonation, crisp and clean body with a drier finish.

O: Goes down easy, tasty, not too filling, not much of a kick, nice representation of style. This is a solid offering worth sitting with for a bit of time.

 767 characters

Photo of dcME
2.75/5  rDev -16.7%

Photo of MikeHRayn
3/5  rDev -9.1%

first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50  | nextlast
Portland Lager from Bull Jagger Brewing Company
Beer rating: 3.3 out of 5 with 42 ratings
  • About Us

    Founded in Boston in 1996, BeerAdvocate (BA) is your go-to resource for beer powered by an independent community of enthusiasts and professionals dedicated to supporting and promoting better beer.

    Learn More
  • Our Community

    Comprised of consumers and industry professionals, many of whom started as members of this site, our community is one of the oldest, largest, and most respected beer communities online.
  • Our Events

    Since 2003 we've hosted over 60 world-class beer festivals to bring awareness to independent brewers and educate attendees.
  • Our Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.