Hoppy Lagers

Discussion in 'Beer Talk' started by JEdmund, Jan 16, 2013.

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  1. sunkistxsudafed

    sunkistxsudafed Initiate (0) Apr 30, 2010 New Mexico

    i love hoppy lagers. i'm looking forward to trying SA's this year
  2. lucas1801

    lucas1801 Initiate (0) Apr 5, 2012 Massachusetts

    Or some Jack's Abby maybe?
  3. sunkistxsudafed

    sunkistxsudafed Initiate (0) Apr 30, 2010 New Mexico

    man, you know what I like! Hoponious Union is an amazing beer. I'd love to get some from you again sometime.
  4. PangaeaBeerFood

    PangaeaBeerFood Initiate (0) Nov 30, 2008 New York

    Haha. At least they're from Queens and not Brooklyn. I don't know how far you could run with the whole concept if everything is obscure hipster music.

    In all seriousness, though, I do think that they have some marketing issues. The music theme is a bit convoluted and doesn't follow through well enough to all the aspects of their business. And the talking fermenter mascot is random as hell. But I'm a stickler for marketing consistency.
  5. dawatts

    dawatts Aspirant (211) Dec 27, 2006 Massachusetts

    I have a friend that buys beer in Framingham, where Jack's Abbey is brewed, and he has had trouble finding it.
  6. nc41

    nc41 Meyvn (1,380) Sep 25, 2008 North Carolina
    Beer Trader

    Not to be smart but a hoppy lager? Why not drink a APA, there's a ton of great ones. Or hoppier yet, an IPA. Seems to me an overly hoppy lager is a complete style misnomer.
  7. ficklenicholas

    ficklenicholas Initiate (115) Jul 26, 2011 California
    Beer Trader

    This. Amazing Bruery lager.
  8. SenorHops

    SenorHops Initiate (0) Aug 10, 2010 Rhode Island

    No biggie. I thought you were correcting me for misspelling Jack's Abby.
  9. SenorHops

    SenorHops Initiate (0) Aug 10, 2010 Rhode Island

    Kill off Ruthless? No way. Glissade wasn't a great beer and that's why it's gone and I don't think the imperial pils was good at all either, but that's just me. If I were to kill off anything, it would be Tumbler.
  10. RichD

    RichD Champion (805) Mar 18, 2012 Rhode Island
    Beer Trader

    I went to the brewery last week and still couldn't find any Kiwi Rising. Hoponius is everywhere but the Kiwi Rising came and went really fast.
    dawatts likes this.
  11. grumpy

    grumpy Disciple (364) May 24, 2005 Missouri

    Joe's Premium American Pilsner, perchance....?
  12. slangtruth

    slangtruth Initiate (198) Jan 8, 2012 Massachusetts

    There are still a few bottles of Kiwi on the shelves in Western MA, but they're a couple months old now and I'm not sure you'd have the same experience as fresh. I'm waiting for next year (or their promised new DIPL this Spring) myself, but I can tell you where I saw them in BM if you want to drive a lot.
  13. steveh

    steveh Poo-Bah (1,850) Oct 8, 2003 Illinois

    Okay, no one else has taken the bait, I'm curious -- AK? I'm assuming it's not Alaska or Mikhail Kalashnikov's new beer... ;)
  14. herrburgess

    herrburgess Meyvn (1,003) Nov 4, 2009 South Carolina
    Industry Beer Trader

    I, too, would like to hear some answers to this question. The process of lagering -- in which the brewer has invested considerable time, energy, and money -- produces both the characteristically rounded flavor profile that lets the bready malts shine through as well as the smooth, clean finish. Why do you want that replaced/overlaid with hops?
    AlcahueteJ likes this.
  15. patto1ro

    patto1ro Defender (615) Apr 26, 2004 Netherlands

    Just look at today's post on my blog. There's a recipe for AK.
  16. sergeantstogie

    sergeantstogie Aspirant (202) Nov 16, 2010 Washington

    They were light Milds.
  17. Dools9

    Dools9 Zealot (510) Jul 5, 2011 Massachusetts

    Oh no, was just throwing Jack's Abby name out there, no worries.
    SenorHops likes this.
  18. Onenote81

    Onenote81 Poo-Bah (1,864) May 27, 2008 North Carolina

    New Belgium Shift Lager
    rfbenavi80 and BottleCaps80 like this.
  19. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa Poo-Bah (2,738) Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania

    I will take a crack at that. First, let me don my flameproof suit …. Ok, now I am ready.

    A differentiator between a hoppy lager and a beer style like an APA can be the hops used. For the moment let’s ignore the American Pale Lager style. A hoppy lager like a Northern German Pilsner is indeed hoppy but the hoppiness is different from an APA since Noble hops (e.g., Saaz, Tettnang, Hallertauer Mittelfruh, Spalt) provide a very different character than the American aroma hops used in making an APA (e.g., Cascade, Centennial, Citra, Simcoe, etc.). The epitome (from a hopping level perspective) of a hoppy lager for me was a specialty beer that Sam Adams made a number of years ago: Sam Adams Hallertau Imperial Pilsner. That beer was OUTSTANDING! It had a bit more oomph since it was an Imperial beer but that beer just screamed Hallertauer Mittelfruh hop flavor/aroma. It was an absolute joy to drink.

    Now, if we include the style of American Pale Lager I can certainly understand the comment of “why not drink a APA”. I must confess that I personally have not had a large number of American Pale Lagers but the ones that I have had did not remind me of an APA so I enjoyed those hoppy lagers as being different than an APA. For example, Bell’s Quinannan Falls Lager and the collaborative beer of Brotherly Suds 2 are both excellent beers that are hopped with American hops but both are tasty in their own way. Another American Pale Lager I look forward to trying is BrewFarm Select by Dave's BrewFarm.

    JEdmund likes this.
  20. steveh

    steveh Poo-Bah (1,850) Oct 8, 2003 Illinois

    Interesting. A "light" Bitter. The post and description leads me to a few questions; why "AK" (and it looks like KK in that Eldridge-Pope ad)? And; with Sierra Nevada Pale Ale at 5.6%, does it fall into line as an "AK?" (though, I don't believe SNPA has flaked Maize in its grain bill). Finally; how did we go from hoppy lagers to a light pale ale? Maybe we can cold store the AK for clarity and call it a hybrid? ;)
  21. sergeantstogie

    sergeantstogie Aspirant (202) Nov 16, 2010 Washington

    Uh oh. Now you done it. Just read his blog. It can be a bit mind twisting but it's all in there.
  22. steveh

    steveh Poo-Bah (1,850) Oct 8, 2003 Illinois

    I missed the "AK" reference? Back I go.

    *Addtl: So I read thru the blog and found this from June of 2012:
    But no real definition of what "AK" stands for -- is it just a gravity/alcohol designation?

    Not being troll-like here, I'm honestly curious.
  23. herrburgess

    herrburgess Meyvn (1,003) Nov 4, 2009 South Carolina
    Industry Beer Trader

    I get where you're coming from, but I have to ask: how many BAs would consider Northern German Pilsners, e.g. Jever, truly "hoppy"? I consider SA Noble Pils to be truly hoppy (not sure what other purpose it's meant to serve when you throw 5 noble hop varieties into the mix...I personally couldn't pick out each's individual contributing profiles, but that's another story), but I doubt many others on BA do. I get the sense that most people here -- as mentioned on the other current lagers thread -- are looking for/singing the praises of the citrusy hop profiles found in lagers such as those brewed by Jack's Abby. Still haven't tried their beers, so I'll withhold judgement until I do.
  24. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa Poo-Bah (2,738) Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania

    “ ..how many BAs would consider Northern German Pilsners, e.g. Jever, truly "hoppy"?” Well in past threads on Pilsners I have seen several BAs comment on the hoppiness of pilsners such as Jever, Sly Fox Pikeland Pils, Victory Prima Pils, etc. I have even seen comments from BAs stating that Victory does not know how to properly hop a pilsner since Prima Pils was ‘over the top’ in their judgment.

    “I get the sense that most people here -- as mentioned on the other current lagers thread -- are looking for/singing the praises of the citrusy hop profiles found in lagers such as those brewed by Jack's Abby.” I get that aspect as well. That was one of my motivations to separate my previous post into two paragraphs: one paragraph to discuss hoppy lager such as hoppy pilsners and the other paragraph to discuss American Lagers.

    I will readily admit that I am not an expert on the ‘new’ beer style of American Pale Lager. I personally have had very few of these types of beers since they are not readily available to me. I suspect that the American Pale Lager is a very small market beer style based upon my personal inability it get many of these beers. As you know I live in SEPA which has an extremely vibrant craft beer market. I regularly go the great beer bars in search of new experiences. There really, really are not a lot of American Pale Lagers out there. Jack’s Abby seems to be an ‘anomaly’ and with a distribution of only the state of Massachusetts there are not a lot of people drinking that beer.


    P.S. I replied to you in the other thread concerning Jack’s Abby. We must be simultaneously exchanging messages again?

    P.S.S. I wish Jack’s Abby continued success. They have a great name!
  25. patto1ro

    patto1ro Defender (615) Apr 26, 2004 Netherlands

    It's a Light Bitter. A running beer meant to be drunk young.

    It was a new type of Pale Ale that developed after 1850. Things sold as Pale Ale - like Bass - were 1060-1065 (6-7% ABV) and matured for up to 12 months before sale. AK was 1050 (5% ABV) and sold after 2 to 4 weeks. People wanted a Pale Ale, but lighter than the Bass type. Some thing better suiited to drinking with meals.

    You often see AK referred to as a "Dinner Ale" or "Light Dinner Ale." "A Beer Suitable for Famliy Use".

    So AK stands for a certain strength of Light Pale Ale. One up in strength from it could be XK or AKK or several other things, in the wonderful alphabet soup of British brewing. A Pale Ale or IPA would usually be at least two steps up in strength from AK.

    Keep reading my blog. I've just written a post about AKK and there's more about Eldridge Pope AK coming up.

    [Apologies for the blog ad.]
  26. patto1ro

    patto1ro Defender (615) Apr 26, 2004 Netherlands

    AK is the beer called Crystal in the ad. It's funny, though the brewhouse name was AK and used right up until the 1980's, it wasn't the trade name of the beer. KK is a different beer. That's easy to find in the brewing records. It's called "KK".
  27. RangnaR

    RangnaR Initiate (0) Dec 17, 2012 California

    I would love to see more imperial pilsners. It's sad that one of the few options I have is a $15 bottle of Morimoto Imperial Pilsner or a $14 bottle of Mikkeller Draft Beer...
  28. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa Poo-Bah (2,738) Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania

    “I would love to see more imperial pilsners.” Did you ever get the chance to drink Sam Adams Hallertau Imperial Pilsner when it was available in the past? I think it was last widely distributed in 2009 and it was available in 12 ounce bottles? That beer was awesome! I really, really wish they would produce that beer again!

  29. TheSSG

    TheSSG Crusader (798) Jul 27, 2008 Illinois


    Holy hell, Emerald Rye is now my absolute favorite stock to keep in the fridge.
    The lager aspect allows the rye to be more upfront, while the emerald hopping is mighty fine.
  30. Nutwood

    Nutwood Aspirant (232) Jun 30, 2012 Kentucky

    Had the pleasure of drinking a pint of Great Lakes Silver & Gold Imperial Pale Lager last night. It was exceptionally fresh, having been recently released. The nose and the taste are all about crisp, clean pure hops on a well balaced malt backbone.

    My simple analysis would be that the lager yeast is cleaner than an ale yeast, and thus the presentation of the malt and hops was really bright, clean and notably un-funky. If you see this beer on tap it is not to be missed, even for dedicated ale drinkers.

    Now this beer is not an IPA, it's not trying to be an IPA, but it does reach out to IPA drinkers, who I think are actually lovers of hop-forward beers. It is a lager through and through.
  31. AlcahueteJ

    AlcahueteJ Defender (603) Dec 4, 2004 Massachusetts

    Jack, I hope you get a chance to try some Jack's Abby beers so you can comment on the American Pale Lager style. I understand what you're saying with Jever, and you've commented previously on how it's similar to Prima Pils. Prima Pils is on the hoppier side for a German Pils (in the Northern German Pils style as you've pointed out) but it's not so hoppy that I have no clue I'm drinking a pilsner. I still get plenty of malt in that beer, and it's well-balanced for Northern German Pilsner.

    That being said, I have to agree with Herrburgess when speaking towards Imperial Pale Lagers, and India Pale Lagers. While they certainly taste good, I believe most are simply enjoying the hops, and would otherwise have no clue it's a lager. Take an IPA and an IPL side by side and I imagine most BAs would be hard pressed to pick out the ale. This line is further blurred as you increase IBUs/abv.

    For example, I find Jack's Abby session lager, Jabby Brau (an American Pale Lager) quite drinkable and mildly hoppy. The "drinkable" part of it is the characteristics of a lager that come through, and the extra hop bitterness adds a little something to it that I enjoy.

    Up next is Hoponious Union (their India Pale Lager), which I also enjoy, but now the fact it's a lager is diminished.

    Then there's Kiwi Rising/ABCs (their Imperial India Pale Lagers). At this point, I can't distinguish the difference between these and a double IPA.

    Hope this makes sense!
  32. AventinusCam

    AventinusCam Initiate (0) Dec 31, 2008 Maryland

    I had humulus lager on tap a few weeks ago and was not impressed at all. It was on tap and I am 99% sure it had been on tap for a while or at least the keg was really old. Dying to try it again. I hear too many good things not to give it another chance.
  33. bulldogbrewhaus

    bulldogbrewhaus Initiate (0) Sep 17, 2012 Virginia

  34. stella77artois

    stella77artois Devotee (495) Nov 4, 2010 New York

    Cisco Breweries Summer of Lager is a Munich Helles with lot's of hop flavor. Didn't expect too much, but was pleasantly suprised. Damn good beer.
  35. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa Poo-Bah (2,738) Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania

    I hope to try Jack’s Abby Lagers some day. If I ever travel to MA maybe or if they ever decide to expand their distribution.

    I have had Sam Adams Double Agent IPL several times (3 six-packs) and while it does have a hop presence like an IPA there is a crispness to this beer like a lager (they did use a lager yeast and lagered the beer). I am of the opinion that the Double Agent IPL is not just like an IPA.

    JimKal likes this.
  36. falloutsnow

    falloutsnow Meyvn (1,482) Oct 29, 2005 Illinois
    Beer Trader

    I'm a little surprised no one's mentioned New Belgium's Hoppy Bock, which was, I thought, quite good. Ratings on this site seem to suggest otherwise, though. Ah well, I'm perpetually the lurking contrarian...
    rfbenavi80 likes this.
  37. rfbenavi80

    rfbenavi80 Initiate (0) Mar 15, 2010 Missouri

    I was reading this forum looking form somebody to mention the Hoppy bock! I too enjoyed it. I hope that the new Hop Kitchen series from New Belgium takes off. Cheers!
  38. AlcahueteJ

    AlcahueteJ Defender (603) Dec 4, 2004 Massachusetts

    While they label it an "IPL" it's more akin to Jabby Brau (their American Pale Lager, a "session lager" at 4.5%) than it is to Hoponious Union (an American Pale Lager sitting at 6.7% abv, and what I would consider an IPL).

    And as I said, the lower the IBUs/abv the more you can tell it is a lager.

    More to my point (and Herrburrgess' point), when this style does creep towards Imperial, why use a lager yeast at all? In my opinion it's more a marketing ploy than it is a take on a new "style". Otherwise, lagering takes longer and these IPLs and double IPLs end up tasting like IPAs.

    I'm not necessarily knocking these beers or Jack's Abby or anyone else making IPLs. I like Jack's Abby beers. That being said, Jabby Brau is the most lager like, and it can't hold a candle to my favorite German lagers. Bump up the IBUs and abv though....and notice the ratings also climb. Hoponious Union is higher than Jabby Brau, Kiwi Rising is higher than Hoponious. But Jabby Brau isn't as highly rated as Weihenstephaner Original. And Hoponious Union isn't as highly touted as Sculpin, and Kiwi certainly isn't Heady Topper. Are the added hops simply hiding flaws, or is it innovative? This is the part of my rant that I begin asking the question more than stating my opinion.
    steveh and Pegli like this.
  39. Nutwood

    Nutwood Aspirant (232) Jun 30, 2012 Kentucky

    I don't think it's simply a matter of one or the other of the above. I don't feel like brewers are trying to get into my wallet by claiming this or that beer is innovative. Why assume a bit of extra hops is only necessitated to hide a flaw? What is the flaw, that it's not an ale?

    For me these recipes are just more interesting and enjoyable adventures in stretching the boundaries of what beer can and should be. I don't normally drink lagers/pilsners because they consistently give me a headache the next day. In the case of the Great Lakes Silver & Gold IPL, I'm glad I went there, it was outstanding. I thoroughly enjoyed the super fresh piney hops without having to chew on gobs of yeast for a change. I loved the way the hops meshed with a body in such a clean, immediate fashion. It was more than worth the morning headache :p
  40. AlcahueteJ

    AlcahueteJ Defender (603) Dec 4, 2004 Massachusetts

    That it's not a well-crafted lager? Be honest, when you drink an IPL is the first thing you think, "this a clean beer" or is it "mmm hops"?

    And I'm not saying any of these are poorly made beers, but how would I know if hops are the dominating quality?

    For example, what's harder to brew, a world class English Bitter, or an American IPA? Maybe if I threw some Citra in my mediocre attempt at an English Bitter all of a sudden people would pay attention to it?
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