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Lagers on cask

Discussion in 'Beer Talk' started by Providence, Jan 10, 2013.

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  1. Providence

    Providence Feb 24, 2010 Rhode Island

    Does this not exist? I never see them. Maybe I am just having a brain fart here, but whenever I see cask beers it's always an ale. That's all fine and good as I love cask beer period. But I am also obsessed with good lagers. Is this a trend you see as well? Am I missing something and lagers don't hold up in casks for some reason or can't be dispensed from casks or something of that nature? Have you seen lagers on cask and if so, how were they?

    How great it be to walk in to a local bar and find something like Weihenstephaner Korbinian on CASK!
  2. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania

    “Have you seen lagers on cask and if so, how were they?”

    I have had several lagers on cask both domestic and imported.

    Sly Fox has dispensed their rotating lager of Standard Pils on cask (hand pump) a number of times. It is a very enjoyable beer on cask but I personally prefer this beer on regular draft.

    Mahr’s imports a number of their beers in Firkins. I have had the Ungespundet-hefetrüb (a Kellerbier) and the Bock-Bier on cask (both gravity pour) and I have enjoyed both of those beers.

    I am confident that HerrBurgess will chime in with his infinite (a slight exaggeration) experiences with drinking cask lagers in Franconia.

    drtth and jmgrub like this.
  3. Providence

    Providence Feb 24, 2010 Rhode Island

    I am so jealous!
    YamBag likes this.
  4. hopfenunmaltz

    hopfenunmaltz Jun 8, 2005 Michigan

    Having lived and traveled around the Fatherland, you can get Altbier from the wood (top fermented lager bier if Marquis stops in).

    In Bamberg I have had Rauchbier from the wooden casks, which may be lined with pitch but who cares. Wonderful stuff if you can get there.

    In Munich I have seen many beers from wood, I think those might be actual.

    In the USA not so much.
  5. billandsuz

    billandsuz Sep 1, 2004 New York

    there are not alot of craft lagers being made. that is beginning to change but lager is still of course not nearly as common as ale in our world. being that cask is still rare, it isn't surprising that cask lager is hard to come by.
    cask is a traditional British habit and that is ale country.
    lagers do not fare as well at the temperatures needed for cask, not any typical lager anyway.
    i would argue that the defining characteristics of lager are not ideal for cask, though there are exceptions. the changes brought on by cask storage and dispense aren't going to be very good for most all lagers. but im not much of a cask ale fan either fwiw.

    SABERG Sep 16, 2007 Massachusetts

    Mahrs Kellerbier once at Black back in Vermont.
    Quite a treat
  7. marquis

    marquis Nov 20, 2005 United Kingdom (England)

    While not exactly thick on the ground there are quite a few cask lagers brewed in the UK
    To be honest I don't know how authentic they are but the ones I've tried have been pretty uninspiring.

    FeDUBBELFIST Oct 31, 2009 Pennsylvania

    I had the first pour from a firkin of Franconian lager once. OH MY GOD was that special...
    acevenom likes this.
  9. gory4d

    gory4d Apr 14, 2007 New York
    Beer Trader

    Yes, the cask lagers from Germany's Franconia region are something special. Shelton Brothers imports a bunch in the fall, and some make it to NYC - a treat I look forward to every year.
  10. Providence

    Providence Feb 24, 2010 Rhode Island

    Good information everyone, thanks. It's a shame that lagers are so neglected in the craft world....If they weren't perhaps the demand for cask lagers would increase?
    Eriktheipaman and fuzzylogic like this.
  11. BearsOnAcid

    BearsOnAcid Mar 17, 2009 Massachusetts
    Beer Trader

    You can find gravity kegs at Lord Hobo or Deep Ellum a few times a year.
    pjl44 and Providence like this.
  12. Providence

    Providence Feb 24, 2010 Rhode Island

    What does gravity kegs mean?
  13. smakawhat

    smakawhat Mar 18, 2008 Maryland

  14. hopfenunmaltz

    hopfenunmaltz Jun 8, 2005 Michigan

    Providence likes this.
  15. litheum94

    litheum94 Dec 29, 2008 California

    Moonlight Brewing (who does mostly lagers) has cask versions of a lot of their beers.
  16. Rekrule

    Rekrule Nov 11, 2011 Massachusetts

    I had Ignoble Lager by The Tap, on cask. It wasn't very good.
  17. chinabeergeek

    chinabeergeek Aug 10, 2007 Massachusetts
    Beer Trader

    NERAX used to have franconian landbiers and kellerbiers at their fests. some of the best beers i've ever had, to be honest. but they are dispensed from german-style gravity casks that you don't normally find here, and apparently the deposit on these was either insufficient or never paid, and from what i gather, the lack of american venues/distributors actually bothering to collect and return them has made the exporters loathe to trust americans with cask again...
  18. BeerIsland

    BeerIsland Feb 9, 2003 Pennsylvania

    Max's usually has several gravity kegs during German Weekend in September; they are always worth drinking. I also had the original Tuppers Hop Pocket Pils through the handpump years ago, also at Max's. It was excellent. A cask of the Raven usually shows up at the Fall Real Ale Fest in Baltimore. Generally, a beer hoppier than most lagers fares better through the pump which is why Pikeland or Prima are good candidates for this dispense method.
  19. ncaudle

    ncaudle May 28, 2010 Virginia
    Beer Trader

    do bocks count? I see Aventinus on cask occasionally
  20. Providence

    Providence Feb 24, 2010 Rhode Island

    Absolutely, that's one of my favorite lagers. I would love to try that on cask!
  21. hopfenunmaltz

    hopfenunmaltz Jun 8, 2005 Michigan

    Aventinus is not a lager (bottom fermented beer), it is bock strength. It is a strong wheat beer.
  22. Providence

    Providence Feb 24, 2010 Rhode Island

    Oh, that's news to me. Are most "Eisbocks" like that or is Aventinus a rarity. There's so much I still need to learn....
  23. hopfenunmaltz

    hopfenunmaltz Jun 8, 2005 Michigan

    Aventinus is a Weizenbock, a strong wheat beer. The wheat taste, and the yeast's phenolics and esters should be a clue. You can even find that one this site, look for #1.

    Eisbock are bocks (bottom fermented lagers) that have been made stronger through freezing and removing the ice, which concentrates the alcohol and flavor.
    I see that a Schneider Aventinus Eisbock is listed on this site, but I would not agree with that, and if I had an eisbock like that in a competition, it would get marked down as out of style.
  24. Providence

    Providence Feb 24, 2010 Rhode Island

    Interesting. Any idea why the site would list it as an Eisbock?
  25. hopfenunmaltz

    hopfenunmaltz Jun 8, 2005 Michigan

    It says so on the label. ;)
  26. Cascade77

    Cascade77 May 14, 2009 Vermont

    Trapp Lager here in Vermont tends to deliver a few firkins a year to the better beer bars. If memory serves their Baltic Porter was phenomenal.
  27. Providence

    Providence Feb 24, 2010 Rhode Island

    Ha ha, ok...any idea why the brewery would say it's an Eisbock if it's actually a Weizenbock?
  28. Pegli

    Pegli Aug 30, 2006 Rhode Island

    I believe they took the Aventinus Weizenbock and performed the "Eis"ing method on it - resulting in a stronger version known as the Aventinus Eisbock. It can be found in ~ 330mL bottles with a slightly darker label if my memory recollects...
    Providence likes this.
  29. Pegli

    Pegli Aug 30, 2006 Rhode Island

    I've been trying to hunt down the gravity-fed, unpasteurized version of Pilsner Urquell in the States...
    fmccormi likes this.
  30. acevenom

    acevenom Oct 7, 2011 Louisiana

    From what I remember, the bottle says "Weizen-Eisbock." It's basically an eisbock application to a weizen. It's stronger than the regular Aventinus.
  31. hopfenunmaltz

    hopfenunmaltz Jun 8, 2005 Michigan

    In Germany bock is more of a strength designation. Eis means it has been partialy frozen and the ice=eis removed, concentrating the alcohol and flavors more. Here bock = lager (bottom fermented), so some confusion can arise.

    This is Dornbusch, but since he is German it might be correct. The sidebar has all the names for bockbier.
  32. afsdan

    afsdan Dec 17, 2010 Colorado
    Beer Trader

    Hogshead Brewing in Denver has had a lager called Eurotrash on cask for a few weeks now
  33. geocool

    geocool Jun 21, 2006 Massachusetts

    Weizenbock is a recognized category, but Weizen-Eisbock is not. The Eisbock category on this site seems to list only three with the word "weizen" in the name. IMHO there are many many beers on this site that might be more sensibly listed in a new, more fitting category (and many in categories by themselves), but this would get unmanageable very quickly. Anyway, Aventinus is an ale.

    Side thought: Who would like to see Jack's Abby brew a Weizenbock? A lager version of an ale pretending to be a lager.
  34. Domingo

    Domingo Apr 23, 2005 Colorado
    Subscriber Beer Trader

    If you can ever try any of those Mahr's casks - they're AMAZING. The Bull & Bush got a few of them literally the week after I got back from Bamberg. The cask hell and pils tasted 100% just as good as the same beers straight from the source, and they were still fresh on my mind, too. Best imported German beers I've ever had.
  35. Providence

    Providence Feb 24, 2010 Rhode Island

    Great information on here. I feel as if I am in a masterclass. Thanks all.
  36. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania

    “If you can ever try any of those Mahr's casks - they're AMAZING.” That was my experience with the Ungespundet-hefetrüb and the Bock-Bier as well.

    A local beer bar (Teresas Next Door) had a ‘special’ of Firkin Fridays one month where each Friday of a given month (I think it was November?) they had four Mahr’s beers on cask. Unfortunately I found out about this late so I missed the Pils and Helles on cask.:(

    It seems that Shelton Brothers does an excellent job imported the Mahr’s cask beers. I wonder if they fly them in?

  37. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania

    “Generally, a beer hoppier than most lagers fares better through the pump which is why Pikeland or Prima are good candidates for this dispense method.” Permit me to offer a differing opinion. I think that hoppy beers (IPAs, hoppy Amber Ales, hoppy pilsners) do not benefit from being on cask. I think that the lack of carbonation via the cask dispense ‘dumbs down’ the beer.

    While I never had the chance to drink a Pikeland Pils on cask I did get a chance to drink the Sly Fox Standard Pils (which is very hoppy) on cask (hand pump at the Sly Fox Brewpub). That beer on cask was OK but it was not nearly as vibrant and exciting as when dispensed via regular draft. The lower carbonation levels muted the wonderful hop flavor/aroma of that beer. The regular draft dispense provide lot of CO2 and those CO2 bubbles carry the hop aromatics vigorously to your nose. Just the smell of a Pikeland Pils or Standard Pils from regular draft is enough to make you say “Yum!”

    On a related matter I once had the chance to drink Nugget Nectar on cask and regular draft side-by-side (at TJs Everyday). The Nugget Nectar on regular draft was very aromatic, vibrant and a very tasty beer. The Nugget Nectar on cask had a muted flavor/aroma and was a ghost of the regular draft version. I did enjoy the smooth mouthfeel of the cask Nugget Nectar but I greatly missed the hop flavor/aroma presence.

    Needless to say but YMMV.

  38. patto1ro

    patto1ro Apr 26, 2004 Netherlands

    If I had it in a competition I'd mark it up for being a beer I really, really love.

    Aventinus Eisbock in a kopstoot with Aventinus Bierschnapps in Weisses Brauhaus is heaven. Especially when you know a plateful of sausages will be arriving soon.
  39. hopfenunmaltz

    hopfenunmaltz Jun 8, 2005 Michigan

    Good to know, will have to try it there next time I'm in Munich. One of the problems with judging is you have to do the job as it is laid out.
  40. Domingo

    Domingo Apr 23, 2005 Colorado
    Subscriber Beer Trader

    Aventinus (either of them) and some bierschnapps on the Weissesbrauhaus patio on a warm day is pretty much as good as it gets.
    Not sure how it usually works, but in the past they had "normal" Aventinus on both draft and in bottles. When I asked why, the waitress simply suggested I get the bottled one. This last time I was there (Summer of 2011) they seem to have scrapped the draft versions for all of their bigger beers.
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