Crushing Lager Myths with Firestone Walker’s Matt Brynildson

Discussion in 'Article Comments' started by BeerAdvocate, Jul 25, 2018.

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  1. BeerAdvocate

    BeerAdvocate Admin (4,017) Aug 23, 1996 Finland
    Staff Pooh-Bah

    BJB13, George1005, dodarby and 14 others like this.
  2. jcos

    jcos Pundit (761) Nov 23, 2009 Maryland

    Interesting read, and I really liked his thoughts. To lagers!
    eppCOS, IPAExpert69, CrimeDog and 3 others like this.
  3. Squire

    Squire Grand Pooh-Bah (3,981) Jul 16, 2015 Mississippi
    Pooh-Bah Society Trader

    Very good article, factual and informative.
    puck1225, rgordon, jcos and 5 others like this.
  4. rtrasr

    rtrasr Savant (1,020) Feb 16, 2009 Arkansas

    I think drinkers who always go for the the highest abv or the greatest number of ibu's, don't completely understand what good beer is all about. JMO.
  5. Amendm

    Amendm Pooh-Bah (2,305) Jun 7, 2018 Rhode Island
    Pooh-Bah Society

    Great article, it sheds some light on why lagers are typically rated lower then ale styles.
    SFACRKnight, puck1225, ADawg and 2 others like this.
  6. hopfenunmaltz

    hopfenunmaltz Pooh-Bah (2,611) Jun 8, 2005 Michigan
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    Matt knows his German bier. He goes to Germany for hop selection, and the brewers conferences. He hits the brewing centers when there to recalibrate, so to speak.
    hoptheology and Ranbot like this.
  7. Urk1127

    Urk1127 Grand Pooh-Bah (3,728) Jul 2, 2014 New Jersey
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    I like lagers more so than any ale variety with the exception of hefe. They are getting easier to find and are getting better and better. My father who cant stand even a smidge of bitterness will can a helles too hoppy and that' unfortunate because I know in his mind he's comparing it to dos equis and other sweeter beers. I'd like one day to get away from the idea of comparisons like that because no beer is created that similar. And that's the fun in it. Cheers to lager
    ADawg, jcos and LuskusDelph like this.
  8. GetMeAnIPA

    GetMeAnIPA Pooh-Bah (2,523) Mar 28, 2009 California
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    I have a man crush on Matt.
  9. JBogan

    JBogan Pooh-Bah (1,837) Jul 15, 2007 California
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    Great article! For those who haven't tried it yet, Firestone Lager is a very enjoyable beer.
    jcos, thuey and MrUse like this.
  10. CrimeDog

    CrimeDog Zealot (749) Dec 31, 2015 New York

    Loved this article! Thanks!
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  11. steveh

    steveh Grand Pooh-Bah (4,030) Oct 8, 2003 Illinois
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    Liked the article, but when did Lagers are cheaper and easier to brew become a myth?

    Seems like the argument has always been that smaller breweries don't brew lagers because they takes up more time and tank space; thus being expensive and complicated (as is revealed in the answer).
  12. dbrauneis

    dbrauneis Grand High Pooh-Bah (7,837) Dec 8, 2007 North Carolina
    Super Mod Pooh-Bah Society Trader

    My guess is this is the result of BMC/Light Beer and their non-premium brands, so probably some time in the 1970s... @jesskidden can probably help out on this one.
  13. EvenMoreJesus

    EvenMoreJesus Initiate (0) Jun 8, 2017 Pennsylvania

    Most of the time, using adjuncts adds steps and cost to the process.

    English and Belgian brewers have used adjuncts all along. An adjunct sugar source like dextrose can be used to lighten the body of beers like Double and Triple IPA. Adjuncts can [also] bring unique flavor to a beer—like Belgian candi sugar in a classic Dubbel—or simply allow for higher alcohol levels in strong beer styles like Barleywine.

    Two, very important, points that people either don't know or conveniently forget.

    I recently judged at the Independent Beer Awards in Australia and the best of show beer was awarded to a beautifully brewed Munich-style Helles. Not only was the beer brewed impeccably to style, but it was thirst quenching, subtle yet complex, [and] allowed the grains to speak and the hops to sing softly. It was a desert island beer like no other and would deserve a perfect rating on any website.

    But would probably not get one 'cause most people can't rate beer worth a damn.
  14. FBarber

    FBarber Grand High Pooh-Bah (7,161) Mar 5, 2016 Illinois
    Super Mod Pooh-Bah Society Trader

    Hey @Todd I see that Matt was responsible for creating FW Pivo Pils - I was curious if you and he discussed their FW Lager, which I believe he was also responsible for recently reformulating and releasing that beer.
    Ranbot likes this.
  15. Todd

    Todd Founder (13,254) Aug 23, 1996 Finland
    Staff Super Mod Pooh-Bah Society Trader

    We didn't, but I'll be seeing him this Saturday.

    You can also learn more here:
    eppCOS, jcos and FBarber like this.
  16. bubseymour

    bubseymour Grand Pooh-Bah (4,656) Oct 30, 2010 Maryland
    Pooh-Bah Society Trader

    This got me thinking a little. So most craft brewers (whether larger or the local nano-brewer) that make lagers tend still price them relatively low or lower than DIPA's for example, despite this article educating us that non-adjunct lager beers are more costly to make. Do brewers generally decide take a loss or tiny profit margin on lagers?
  17. EvenMoreJesus

    EvenMoreJesus Initiate (0) Jun 8, 2017 Pennsylvania


    Depends on what kind of lager and to which ale that you're comparing it.
  18. ctkach

    ctkach Devotee (382) Oct 23, 2007 Massachusetts

    We generally are forced to take a smaller profit on them because of perceived value. If you factor in the opportunity cost to brewing a lager versus an ale, they should be priced higher than any other beer out there but because of the low, low price point of macro lagers ANY lager is perceived as being "cheap" and should be priced accordingly.
  19. EvenMoreJesus

    EvenMoreJesus Initiate (0) Jun 8, 2017 Pennsylvania

    I'd like to see the math on this.
  20. ctkach

    ctkach Devotee (382) Oct 23, 2007 Massachusetts

    It's pretty simple... time is money. A lager takes twice as long to produce, tying up a tank that would normally be turned twice if brewing an ale. If your profit on a batch of beer is $100 (as an example) and you brew two batches in the time it takes to produce one lager you would make $200 in profit if you produced only ales with that tank.

    Your opportunity cost to brew that lager is $100. If you were to maintain the same total profit for your company (not to be confused with margin), you would need to charge more for that lager than you did for the ale in order to recoup that $100 you lost in not brewing only ales.

    While this is a simplistic view of how it works, I think it illustrates why a lager SHOULD be priced higher than any ale. Yes, there are many other factors involved but all things being equal with supply & demand, input costs (ingredients/energy/labor), etc this is how it SHOULD work out. Obviously, reality is a bit different.
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