Lagers and Ales... can't we all just get along?!

Discussion in 'Beer Talk' started by BigBarley, Feb 24, 2013.

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  1. BigBarley

    BigBarley Initiate (0) Aug 5, 2011 Texas

    I see a lot of people posting who seem to think the craft beer world should be divided into lager drinkers and ale drinkers. I also see a lot of people posting who seem to think that lagers are by default flavorless and weak, whereas ale is by default flavorful and asskicking.

    So, uh... what's the deal? If you like beer, why not embrace the unlimited possibilities on both ends? There are no real limits to the potential of flavor in beer out there, there are lagers for anyone and ales for anyone. It's bad enough that people won't let each other have opinions on specific beers without telling each other how wrong their impressions are, now we have beer snobs telling other beer snobs that pilsner is just pussy pale ale.

    Screw all that, taste should be subjective, and limiting yourself based on whether something is top fermenting or bottom fermenting seems to be taking beer snobbery to a ridiculous, cartoony level. When did the rift between ale and lager begin? I liked it better when it was real beer vs. mass-marketed offensive swill. Isn't the point of this kinda site to educate, rather than bitch each other out for having differing tastes?

    Pardon me folks, I've gotta pour an export ale and a schwarzbier into the same glass and congratulate myself on being a genius.
  2. Gutes_Bier

    Gutes_Bier Maven (1,339) Jul 31, 2011 Germany

    This is exactly why we should all be drinking more Alts!


  3. DubbelTrubbel

    DubbelTrubbel Initiate (0) Nov 19, 2012 Georgia

    New Glarus Two Women will convert you.
  4. BlackDragon

    BlackDragon Initiate (0) Feb 16, 2013 Michigan

    Your forgetting almost all the mass market swill your talking about is almost exclusively lagers and I don't know about ass kicking but I've never had a lager that had as much flavor as an ale.
    dachshunddude86 likes this.
  5. Ri0

    Ri0 Initiate (0) Jul 1, 2012 Wisconsin

    Not to mention Victory Prima Pils and NG Hometown Blonde.
    cnbrown313, mecummins and wiscokid920 like this.
  6. BigBarley

    BigBarley Initiate (0) Aug 5, 2011 Texas

    Cool beans, yo. But my point was, if you just assume that all lagers are flavorless and boring, you'll miss out on a lot. Why limit yourself based on something as simple as 'ale or lager?'

    And yeah, the mass-produced swill I was referring to is lager. The difference being that the adjuncts are there to lighten the flavor. Lagers that are brewed for flavor tend to have flavor. Dopplebocks and imperial pilsners can attest to that.

    And again, taste is subjective, so if you don't like lager that's fine, but just cause a beer is a lager doesn't mean it should be written off as flavorless.

    I dunno, just wanted to see who had what to say.
  7. TongoRad

    TongoRad Grand Pooh-Bah (3,848) Jun 3, 2004 New Jersey
    Pooh-Bah Society Trader

    They all do get along- in my fridge!

    Just who is saying these things, anyway. And, more importantly- who is taking them seriously?
  8. larryi86

    larryi86 Grand Pooh-Bah (5,106) Apr 4, 2010 Delaware
    Pooh-Bah Trader

    I know for my a stayed away from lagers and drank only ales when I started drinking craft beer because I thought all lagers were like mass marketed beers. Once I had a few German lagers and a few good American German-style lagers I learned that lager can be just as flavorful and asskicking as ales. Personally I would love to see more breweries making more lagers!
  9. BlackDragon

    BlackDragon Initiate (0) Feb 16, 2013 Michigan

    I'd love to try lagers that are like RIS if you know of any let me know.
  10. Domingo

    Domingo Grand Pooh-Bah (4,096) Apr 23, 2005 Colorado

    I never quite understood this either. I still find it amusing that the same people that love to claim they can taste 200 nuanced differences in very similar IPA's seem to think most lagers "taste like a better version of Bud." Some of it probably ties back to Heineken and Beck's showing up less than ideal in green glass, but too often that isn't even to blame. Maybe it's people wanting to recklessly rebel from the pale lagers that dominate our market?
    Personally, I love both equally. For every helles or doppelbock I drink, there's an IPA, amber ale, or big stout I enjoy just as much.
  11. waltmink88

    waltmink88 Initiate (0) Feb 17, 2013

    Jack's Abbey. 'nuf said.
  12. Domingo

    Domingo Grand Pooh-Bah (4,096) Apr 23, 2005 Colorado

    Baltic Porter seems like the easy answer here. They're like cousins. Some are ales, but in spite of the name "porter" most are lagers.
    Doppelbocks might also speak to you as well.
    joelwlcx, JxExM, SnowFlowMfg and 8 others like this.
  13. jesskidden

    jesskidden Pooh-Bah (2,981) Aug 10, 2005 New Jersey
    Pooh-Bah Society Trader

    So, any lager v. any ale?

    Why not have a bottle of Samichlaus and then follow it with a local "middle-of-the-road" brewery's pale or cream ale?
    Sarlacc83, Tut, tronester and 9 others like this.
  14. BigBarley

    BigBarley Initiate (0) Aug 5, 2011 Texas

    Well, if all you want is beer that tastes like RIS, only drink RIS. If you want everything to taste the same, cool. But a lot of craft beer enthusiasts do it for the differences available. Just cause a beer has a lighter mouthfeel does not mean it can't have the same depth or be as unique as something thicker. And vice versa, just cause a beer is thick, hearty, and full of alcohol, doesn't mean it will always hit the right spot at the right time.
    I feel like being a craft beer enthusiast is about avoiding fox-holing yourself and trying to explore subtle differences. All different beer is unique, and it's each new, unique experience with beer that can keep the passion alive.

    If I didn't have that passion for exploration, then trust me, I'd stock up on Old Rasputin, Oak Aged Yeti and Ruination and say screw the discovery!
    Tut, tronester, baconman91 and 3 others like this.
  15. fmccormi

    fmccormi Initiate (0) Oct 24, 2010 California

    Jack's Abby, man. Jack's. Fucking. Abby.

    I have a pretty serious hops habit, and Hoponious Union kicked the shit out of at least 95% of (D)IPAs I've had in the last few years. Go out and getcha some.
  16. Dtapeski

    Dtapeski Devotee (395) Oct 26, 2012 Colorado

    So this seems like a good time to ask for some widely distributed lager recommendations. I will admit that beyond Odell's Double Pilsner and Uinta Tilted Smile, I've tended to stay away from lagers except when its burning hot out and then will have a Mama's Little Yellow Pils.
    Thanks for suggestions.
    JxExM likes this.
  17. BigBarley

    BigBarley Initiate (0) Aug 5, 2011 Texas

    Well, if you look at the forums around here, there are a lot of folks writing off lagers as some sorta craft beer of shame, and there's a lot of bias towards the idea of a lighter-bodied beer. It just seems silly that just because ale is more extreme on average, that lagers can take a backseat. Personally, I think lagers are awesome in the summer or right after a hard night of work, because they drink a little easier and have more refreshing qualities. A nice pilsner can be just as rewarding as any IPA when you're sweaty, sore and hot.
    JxExM and Tut like this.
  18. BigBarley

    BigBarley Initiate (0) Aug 5, 2011 Texas

    Pilsner Urquell, easy
    Shankopotamus and fmccormi like this.
  19. Horseballs

    Horseballs Initiate (0) Feb 7, 2012 Ohio

    The style is called Baltic porter. You should try one some time. Unless it is considered mass-market swill because of the yeast used.
  20. steveh

    steveh Grand Pooh-Bah (3,988) Oct 8, 2003 Illinois
    Pooh-Bah Society

    You're drinking the wrong lagers.

    Not to mention that I've had plenty insipid and bland top-fermented beers in the past, the pendulum swings both ways -- I'm on the same page as the O.P.

    Too much good beer out there to single out via ignorance.
    JxExM likes this.
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