10 of the Best Craft Lagers to Stock Your Beer Fridge

Discussion in 'Beer Talk' started by M-Fox24, May 20, 2020.

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  1. considerbeer

    considerbeer Initiate (31) Dec 15, 2016 California

    Yeah, @steveh - stop FORCING that guy to drink lager!
  2. steveh

    steveh Poo-Bah (3,684) Oct 8, 2003 Illinois

    That's my job, the Lager Enforcer -- via telepathy and the internet. :wink:
    sulldaddy, JimKal, cjgiant and 6 others like this.
  3. Obsidian81

    Obsidian81 Initiate (71) Mar 3, 2016 Illinois

    I can’t find any of my favorites (Pivo, Celebrator, Rev Pils, Prima, Pony) around here anymore, but I enjoy PU, Founders Pilsner, and SABL quite a bit.
    AlcahueteJ and TongoRad like this.
  4. RochefortChris

    RochefortChris Poo-Bah (1,848) Oct 2, 2012 North Carolina
    Society Trader

    I've been on a lager kick recently, here are mine

    Brevard Brewing American Lager- One of the most underrated breweries in North Carolina and one of the best examples of an American premium pale lager I've ever had.
    Victory Prima Pils
    New Belgium Mountain Time
    Sierra Nevada Skeista
    Hi-Wire Lager
    Green Man 1922 Traditional American Lager
    Oskar Blues Mama's Yella Pils
    Brooklyn Lager
    Brevard Brewing Pils
    Any lager from Olde Mecklenburg, especially their Vienna lager
    #84 RochefortChris, May 23, 2020
    Last edited: May 23, 2020
  5. nc41

    nc41 Poo-Bah (2,771) Sep 25, 2008 North Carolina
    Society Trader

    The only ones I’d say that were great here are Red Oak, Old Meck, Firestone Walker, Mason Jar. I haven’t see Sunshine Pils here in forever, even Pivo is mostly old stock, but better dates than imported German beers. There’s something about Burials Shadowclock that I just don’t really care for, touch of floral or perfume perhaps.
    lateralusbeer and Dtrain22 like this.
  6. Sheppard

    Sheppard Poo-Bah (2,301) Mar 16, 2013 Massachusetts
    Society Trader

    Enegren has blown up one of the FB groups I'm in with that Bierstadt collab. Hadn't heard of them before. They do a collab with a hype lager brewery and the collab is all I see now.
    unlikelyspiderperson likes this.
  7. gyorgymarlowe

    gyorgymarlowe Disciple (324) Aug 24, 2019 Colorado
    Society Trader

    My Favs:
    Bierstadt Slow Pour
    Von Trapp Helles
    Brooklyn Pilsner (very underrated, IMO)
    Great Lakes Eliot Ness
    Sierra Nevada Skiesta
    Heater Allen Pils
    Modern Times Ice
    Great Lakes Oktoberfest
    Bierstadt Dunkel
    Suarez Palatine Pils
    AlcahueteJ and TongoRad like this.
  8. Obsidian81

    Obsidian81 Initiate (71) Mar 3, 2016 Illinois

    I forgot to mention that I think the Lagunitas Pils is very good, extremely underrated, though a little high in ABV for the style.
    Crusader likes this.
  9. deanzaZZR

    deanzaZZR Aspirant (244) Jan 8, 2015 California

    This and as a fellow Californian I've added Moonlight's Reality Czeck and Death & Taxes (Schwarzbier) to the line up as we can know order and have it delivered the next day.
  10. Fordcoyote15

    Fordcoyote15 Meyvn (1,272) Nov 19, 2011 Pennsylvania

    Columbus summer teeth is the best lager across all styles I've had in a very long time.

    Weihenstephaner original and Boston lager are both arguably perfect beer IMO. Add these to my list.

    And of course my beer fridge would feel betrayed if I didn't have some Schlenkerla marzen and helles in it.

    Throw in great lakes dortmunder and eliot ness and my summers looking good.

    Now if only I could find some sixpoint alpenflo to compliment the above - do they even still make it? It's been two years since I've seen it.

    The only other thing I could ask is to bring back the SN/weihenstephaner Octoberfest collab.
    TongoRad likes this.
  11. unlikelyspiderperson

    unlikelyspiderperson Poo-Bah (2,194) Mar 12, 2013 California
    Society Trader

    Good for them, the two beers I've had from them were impressive in their restraint. I wish they were available in my area
    Sheppard and GetMeAnIPA like this.
  12. Roadkizzle

    Roadkizzle Aspirant (228) Nov 6, 2007 Texas

    I bought a six pack from the brewery when I got some to go a week ago.

    It was pretty good. Not my favorite from them. I'll post more about it in the Pilsner tasting in a week.
    AlcahueteJ and JackHorzempa like this.
  13. GetMeAnIPA

    GetMeAnIPA Crusader (754) Mar 28, 2009 California

    I’ll have to check out Moonlight. Heard good things but live outside their distro. If they deliver that changes things.
  14. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa Poo-Bah (5,821) Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania

    That would be my expectation from you; this beer is not a Continental Pilsner.

  15. AlcahueteJ

    AlcahueteJ Poo-Bah (1,996) Dec 4, 2004 Massachusetts

    Doh, right. Forgot this is a lager thread, and my knee jerk reaction was “bock” and I thought of Aventinus, because that would have been one of the higher rated beers 15 years ago here.

    Totally forgot about the WEIZEN part.

    Now I want an Aventinus...
    sulldaddy, TongoRad and steveh like this.
  16. lightman1

    lightman1 Initiate (89) Oct 19, 2013 Arkansas

    The problem with list is that someone else can make another list thats just as good or better. No doubt, those are good. But I don't have access to any of those listed.
  17. gyorgymarlowe

    gyorgymarlowe Disciple (324) Aug 24, 2019 Colorado
    Society Trader

    The Bierstadt/Enegren American Reinheitsgebot Pilsner is a great beer. I had it side by side with Victory Prima Pils and the collaboration beer was far superior, IMO. I'm going to try it beside Bierstadt Slow Pour tonight to see how they compare. Although Bierstadt is somewhat of a hype brewery, they are pretty low key locally; the IPA breweries (Cerebral, WeldWerks, Outer Range, New Terrain) get far more hype, and cooler breweries like TRVE overshadow Bierstadt as well. I guess craft lagers are getting trendy in so much as a lot craft breweries are offering them - many are just okay.

    It just speaks to how much more popular IPAs are than, say, Pilsners. Untapped check-ins illustrate the gap or canyon between the two styles.

    WeldWerks "Juicy Bits" - 56,000
    Outer Range "In the Steep" 13,000
    Cerebral "Rare Trait" - 12, 000
    Bierstadt "Slow Pour Pilsner" - 8,00

    IPAs just get people more excited. Craft lagers compete with affordable industrial lagers and European classics. Pilsners have flavors that can be difficult to describe and too technical discuss for the average drinker, and the average lager drinker would rather pay less or stick with their legacy brands than go with a craft option. On the other hand, IPA drinkers can throw out fruit, weed, milkshake and other terminology that is cooler, more relatable, and conjures up tangental nostalgic euphoria. Oh, and it gets you drunk faster.
  18. ATL6245

    ATL6245 Meyvn (1,146) Aug 16, 2018 Georgia

    Ah yes, I keep getting in my head they are N. CA. Geographically challenged.
    unlikelyspiderperson likes this.
  19. gatornation

    gatornation Poo-Bah (12,630) Apr 18, 2007 Florida
    Society Trader

    Sunner (Yes an ale hybrid)
    Reissdorf (Yes an ale hybrid)
    Surly Hell
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  20. EmperorBatman

    EmperorBatman Initiate (165) Mar 16, 2018 Tennessee

    I normally have a mistrust of American Pilsners. I find many of them taste too grainy or grassy, or just are very astringent on the tongue. Tonight, however, I had an 1897 Pilsner from Nashville Brewing Company that did a great job replicating the wonderful Old World attributes of this style - they’re a great lager-centric brewery.


    The question of this thread otherwise has me stumped, despite being a big fan of lager generally. I’d say my incomplete list, all craft and no imports, would be:

    Devil’s Backbone Vienna Lager
    Jack’s Abby Red Tape
    Jack’s Abby Sunny Ridge
    Jack’s Abby Saxony Lager (if they still made it)
    Von Trapp Pilsner or Vienna
    Urban Chest Oachkatzlschwoaf (I love the Bairisch name)
    Nashville Brewing 1897 Pilsner

    With imports:
    Stiegl Goldbräu
    Hirter Morchl Dunkel
    Pilsner Urquell
    Spaten Oktoberfest
    Augustiner Müllnerbräu Märzen (in the miracle they distributed outside the brewery!)
  21. ssimpson89

    ssimpson89 Defender (697) Jul 24, 2009 Illinois

    Chicago area and nearby states I frequent
    -Spiteful Lager
    -Off Color Tooth & Claw
    -Revolution Pils
    -Pipeworks Classic Lager
    -Metropolitan Flywheel Pilsner
    -Dovetail Helles
    -Half Acre Pony Pils
    -New Glarus Two Women
    -Metropolitan Magnetron
    -Bell’s Quinannan Falls

    +1. I’ll always have a Pilsner Urquell when I see it on tap and pick up a 4 pack on occasion. May not fit most people’s definition of craft, but I simply love it.
    ovaltine likes this.
  22. Roadkizzle

    Roadkizzle Aspirant (228) Nov 6, 2007 Texas

    Those Texas beers are good ones. I don't personally care for the Hans Pils or 5 o'clock due to the hop usage in them (I get to much of a fruity flavor like strawberry).

    I'd personally add the Altstadt Lager, most of the lagers at Oddwood, and a few others.

    Lol. I didn't know that I've really talked bad about CAP's as a style.

    I do like my pilsners to be flavorful but that doesn't mean I don't like American style pilsners.

    The beer I got most often at my local brewery I would have considered a CAP even though it's just called a lager. It didn't have the breast/crackery flavor of a continental pilsner but it had a clean corny grain flavor with spicy hops. I drank it all the time and enjoyed it.

    I've loved other CAP's when they have interesting (but not overpowering grain flavors).
    I don't want to get into the Live Oak Pre War here because I'd want to share it in the tasting thread. But my slight issue with it I don't think was from the grains.
    champ103 and TongoRad like this.
  23. Bshaw22

    Bshaw22 Champion (889) Aug 29, 2013 Wisconsin

    Moonlight is legit for sure. But not all that easy to get either.
    anchor makes a beer called California Lager. It’s pretty good.
  24. gyorgymarlowe

    gyorgymarlowe Disciple (324) Aug 24, 2019 Colorado
    Society Trader

    My thoughts from the Colorado Lagers thread:

    For the record, I've had Slow Pour on draft many times, and I found it consistently delicious.
  25. Sheppard

    Sheppard Poo-Bah (2,301) Mar 16, 2013 Massachusetts
    Society Trader

    In lager circles, Bierstadt is very well known.
  26. gyorgymarlowe

    gyorgymarlowe Disciple (324) Aug 24, 2019 Colorado
    Society Trader

    I'm truly glad if they are, but based on the numbers I think they're niche in craft beer and minuscule on the beer drinking world at large.
    Sheppard likes this.
  27. Dansac

    Dansac Initiate (160) Dec 6, 2014 California

    Highland Park Brewing - Timbo
    Brouwerij West - Popfuji
    Homage - Tristeza
    Enegren - The Lightest One

    For cheap lagers, the TD Joe's Cezch pils and Summer pils are surprisingly solid.
    Mvsmvs92 likes this.
  28. Sheppard

    Sheppard Poo-Bah (2,301) Mar 16, 2013 Massachusetts
    Society Trader

    Sure but my original point was that Enegren wasn't talked at all in those lager circles until this collab with Bierstadt who are universally respected within those circles. People are coming out of the woodwork now to say that Enegren does good stuff that isn't the collab. It's like where was this praise or recognition beforehand?
  29. gyorgymarlowe

    gyorgymarlowe Disciple (324) Aug 24, 2019 Colorado
    Society Trader

    I see your point. Hopefully they were a bit of an undiscovered gem or maybe they are a brewery that has finally dialed in their recipes. I had not heard of them before the collaboration, let alone had one of their beers. Had you? I just looked at their website: cool canning and all the German styles are in their portfolio. Maybe a Cali BA could provide some context for the brewery.
  30. unlikelyspiderperson

    unlikelyspiderperson Poo-Bah (2,194) Mar 12, 2013 California
    Society Trader

    The love was.there but my experience of them was that they make solid examples of classic styles and distribute them for reasonable prices. For better or for worse a solid amber lager sold into distro at a reasonable price isn't a recipe for hype.

    When I asked in the Pacific forum about solid breweries doing classic styles they were quickly mentioned
    gyorgymarlowe and Sheppard like this.
  31. AlcahueteJ

    AlcahueteJ Poo-Bah (1,996) Dec 4, 2004 Massachusetts

    Maybe you poured the can too quickly? :wink:

    Hype? Nah. Sales, you bet.

    See Boston Lager and Yuengling.
  32. unlikelyspiderperson

    unlikelyspiderperson Poo-Bah (2,194) Mar 12, 2013 California
    Society Trader

    No doubt. I first encountered energren as a random purchase at a gas station next to a hotel by the highway. It was fairly fresh and that signals to me that they are doing an alright business
    AlcahueteJ, Sheppard and woodchipper like this.
  33. woodchipper

    woodchipper Poo-Bah (1,592) Oct 25, 2005 Connecticut
    Society Trader

    First off, that original list is unabtanium in Connecticut, except for Jack's Abby.
    My wife is lager woman. There are some really good local lagers we enjoy. Beyond that..
    • Summerfest, Sierra Nevada
    • Almost any Jack's Abby
    • Victory Prima Pils, c'mon amazing.
    ovaltine, AlcahueteJ, Bshaw22 and 2 others like this.
  34. jkrich

    jkrich Meyvn (1,437) Nov 1, 2001 Florida

    The only one I had from that list is the Troegs pilsner which was okay. The list should absolutely have included Victory Prima Pils. I am glad to see some BAs here list that one.
  35. semibaked

    semibaked Zealot (591) Mar 27, 2007 Minnesota

    Love Riggs Helles, waiting patiently for August u til it is released again. Love Live Oak Pils too
    champ103 likes this.
  36. rocdoc1

    rocdoc1 Disciple (306) Jan 13, 2006 New Mexico

    Or available to people in downtown Beer Hell.
  37. thesherrybomber

    thesherrybomber Devotee (402) Jun 13, 2017 California

    Is it too late to mention Kentucky Common? I've yet to see/have one
  38. Cynic-ale

    Cynic-ale Meyvn (1,067) Feb 21, 2013 Texas

    Nice list. Check out Loggerbier from Sigma.
    champ103 likes this.
  39. champ103

    champ103 Poo-Bah (5,627) Sep 3, 2007 Texas

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  40. John_M

    John_M Poo-Bah (7,358) Oct 25, 2003 Oregon
    Moderator Society Trader

    Their pils and helles would be in any top 10 list I would put together.
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