Recommended Euro Lagers?

Discussion in 'Beer Talk' started by FriedGold2112, Jan 8, 2013.

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  1. FriedGold2112

    FriedGold2112 Initiate (0) Apr 12, 2012

    I want to explore more European lagers(especially German) this spring/summer. There are a ton of imports available in my area, but I've really only been in-touch with American craft breweries lately. Anyone have any recommendations for a Munich, Marzen, Dutch lager, etc?
  2. marquis

    marquis Crusader (775) Nov 20, 2005 United Kingdom (England)

    "Euro lager" is a colloquial derogatory term describing such featureless beers as Stella, Heineken, Peroni,Carlsberg, Becks etc.I have a short list of recommendations from these; none.Often they are the most expensive beers in a pub with craft brews significantly cheaper but apart from this they earn no consideration in this thread.
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  3. Hanglow

    Hanglow Defender (656) Feb 18, 2012 United Kingdom (Scotland)

    Schiehallion is really nice as a cask lager but it's not as good in the bottle - although still a fair bit better than most pale lagers.
  4. BedetheVenerable

    BedetheVenerable Meyvn (1,023) Sep 5, 2008 Missouri

    I agree w/Marquis above, but there are a couple that, for some reason or other (maybe who I shared it with, the times I've had it, etc) I've enjoyed. I particularly like Svyturys (Lithuanian) if you can get it freshish.
  5. Providence

    Providence Initiate (0) Feb 24, 2010 Rhode Island

    I know it's not highly rated here, but I absolutely love Bitburger. 16oz. cans of that stuff are always welcome in my fridge.
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  6. steveh

    steveh Poo-Bah (2,045) Oct 8, 2003 Illinois

    Agreed -- to the O.P.: don't confuse some of the styles you mention with "Euro Lager."

    Here's the list of Euro Lagers:
    Here are some better choices:
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  7. Gutes_Bier

    Gutes_Bier Devotee (401) Jul 31, 2011 Germany

    That should be Maibock season...perhaps OP could track down Hofbräu's version? I also like their Original. Augustiner's Edelstoff is (I think?) an Export lager which may be widely available.
  8. steveh

    steveh Poo-Bah (2,045) Oct 8, 2003 Illinois

    Even now HB has a Winter Spezial out that's very similar to their Wiesn Oktoberfest -- and well worth checking out for anyone looking for how good a lager can actually be.
  9. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa Poo-Bah (3,545) Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania
    Premium Member

    There are a number of lagers imported from Europe that are worthwhile drinking. The challenge is obtaining good versions of those beers; good means the beer is not too old and/or beat up in transport. It has been my experience that with the exception of Doppelbocks, European lagers are ‘sensitive’ beers and prone to easily going bad due to age and poor transportation handling.

    An example of a beer that seems to being managed properly is Pilsner Urquell with their freshness initiative. I just wish they would have added a process change of not pasteurizing the imported beer.

    “Extensive measures, including refrigerated, express shipping and fully enclosed packaging, ensure this is the freshest Pilsner Urquell ever available in the U.S.

    “The primary enemies to beer are light, time and heat,” said Vaclav Berka, the Pilsner Urquell brewmaster. “Due to these factors, the Pilsner Urquell that people have drunk in the U.S. over the past years simply has not been the equivalent of the fresh Pilsner Urquell available in the Czech Republic. We are changing that.”

    The beer is now packaged in fully enclosed secondary cartons that ship from the brewery within 30 days aboard refrigerated containers. This helps stop the aging process of the beer. Distributors also will maintain the beer’s refrigeration once they receive it.

    The new quality measures for Pilsner Urquell will be vitally important to the beer drinker’s experience, addressing each of the “enemies” of beer.
    •Time: Express shipping dramatically reducing transit time.
    •Temperature: Temperature-controlled, refrigerated shipping from the brewery, slowing the beer’s aging process.
    •Light: New fully enclosed secondary packaging, keeping light from striking the bottles.”

    I would recommend some other European lagers assuming you can obtain them fresh and not beat up:

    · Weihenstephan: Original (Helles), Pilsner and Festbier
    · Ayinger: Dunkel, Jahrhundert Bier (Helles), Oktober Fest-Märzen
    · Mahr’s: Ungespundet-hefetrüb (Kellerbier), Pilsner, Bock-Bier
    · Furst Wallerstein: Zwickel, Pilsner
    · Jever: Pilsner

    I have no Dutch lagers that I can recommend. Hopefully somebody will provide input here.

    Good luck on your exploration of European Lagers! Remember: freshness is key!!

  10. Horbar

    Horbar Zealot (560) Feb 24, 2012 Rhode Island

    Good luck with this actually happening!!
  11. Crusader

    Crusader Aspirant (224) Feb 4, 2011 Sweden

    If you enjoy pilsners I would recommend Bitburger and Jever pilsener. I also find that König pilsener is quite good. For a Munich helles I would suggest Hofbräu Original.
  12. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa Poo-Bah (3,545) Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania
    Premium Member

    I understand your cynicism here; I have been cynical about the marketing ploys of the mega-breweries lately.

    It is my understanding that the majority of wholesale beer distributors do indeed refrigerate the beers that they have (in storage). So, in all probability the statement of “Distributors also will maintain the beer’s refrigeration once they receive it” is likely to be true at the wholesale level.

    The ‘weak link’ is retailers. I was recently at two local retailers (a retail beer distributor and a bottle shop within my local Wegmans Supermarket). In both instances the Pilsner Urquell was not refrigerated. The cases were sitting on a floor at the retail beer distributor and on a shelf at Wegmans.

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  13. steveh

    steveh Poo-Bah (2,045) Oct 8, 2003 Illinois

    It's been working well in my area.
  14. steveh

    steveh Poo-Bah (2,045) Oct 8, 2003 Illinois

    Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain, he speaks only with tongue-in-cheek and is trying to poison you.
  15. Danny1217

    Danny1217 Champion (858) Jul 15, 2011 Florida
    Beer Trader

    Weihenstephaner Original is a great Munich Helles
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  16. Chaz

    Chaz Poo-Bah (1,951) Feb 3, 2002 Minnesota
    Premium Member Beer Trader

    Some very good recommendations so far. I'd add this one for the Märzen style:

    Of the Dutch lagers, Christoffel Blonde and Robertus are better than average, and Bavaria 8.6 is a personal favorite (but I've always enjoyed the aroma of gasoline fumes, too!)
    gatornation likes this.
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