What are your feelings on the amount of readily accesible craft lagers vs ales?

Discussion in 'Beer Talk' started by Providence, Jan 17, 2013.


What are your feelings on the amount of readily accesible craft lagers vs ales?

  1. I wish there were no craft lagers! All ales, all the time!

  2. I am fine with the amount of lagers I have access to.

  3. I wish there were more lagers available, but I am still mainly an ale girl/guy

  4. I wish it was an even 50/50 split between ales and lagers

  5. I wish lagers dominated and ales just had a little section at the end of the aisle

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  1. Providence

    Providence Initiate (0) Feb 24, 2010 Rhode Island

    It has been my experience that beer geeks are an "ale-centric" bunch. Rarely do I see demand for craft lagers that rivals demand for craft ales. Breweries, as you would imagine, answer the call for ales. Understandbly so. As such, most of what I see on craft-dedicated shelves when I go to my local bottle shops is 90% ales and 10% lagers. This is frustrating to a lager lover like me who wishes it was more 50/50, but I get it. Sure, there is always Prima Pils and Brooklyn Lager and there is occasionally SN Summerfest and SA Noble Pils. That's all fine and good, but it'd be nice to have even more variety (pause...first world problems in a MAJOR way....unpause). Long do I yearn for the day when I walk into a bottle shop and I have the choice of 23 different Czech Pils instead of 23 different IPA's.

    Anyway, I am curious what you all think. I have the tendency to think most BA's don't want more lagers, but maybe I am wrong.

    Your comments are appreciated.

  2. CellarGimp

    CellarGimp Disciple (335) Sep 14, 2011 Missouri

    Appreciation of a good, well made Lager takes more palate refinement and understanding of the brewers' craft. Ales can simply mouthf-ck you into submission which explains why most people on here seem to prefer big bruisers to something subtle.
  3. Providence

    Providence Initiate (0) Feb 24, 2010 Rhode Island

    Ha ha ha, and with only one reply, the can of worms has been opened........
    jglowe77 and Atlas1977 like this.
  4. hopfenunmaltz

    hopfenunmaltz Meyvn (1,315) Jun 8, 2005 Michigan

    Most craft breweries can't spend the time on lagers, as the tank time can be used to crank out 3 or 4 batches of ale. It is a business decision for them. I know some that would like to make more lagers, but they want to stay in business and make a buck.
    EdH, mattbk and MarcatGSB like this.
  5. justintcoons

    justintcoons Poo-Bah (2,010) May 26, 2009 Pennsylvania

    I wouldn't mind seeing some more Imperial Pils.
  6. Hanzo

    Hanzo Initiate (0) Feb 27, 2012 Virginia

    I wouldn't mind seeing more good lagers, but 9 out of 10 times I'll reach for an ale so it doesn't really bother me much.

    That said, just give me Dortmunder Gold for my lager fix and I am good to go.
  7. Brew33

    Brew33 Crusader (748) Oct 24, 2007 Ohio
    Beer Trader

    The only thing you said that's in the realm of accurate.
  8. iwantmorehops

    iwantmorehops Aspirant (232) Sep 25, 2010 Vermont
    Beer Trader

    Now that I immediately associate the word Lager with Jacks Abby, I most definitely want more!
  9. Pegli

    Pegli Initiate (0) Aug 30, 2006 Rhode Island

    I wish I could get FRESH lagers...they (besides SABL) seem to just sit on the shelves due to, I guess, the lack of demand/appreciation. I haven't been that impressed by Jack's Abby due mainly to my inability to get nice, fresh ones. Lately, I've been reaching for St. Pauli Girl since it's the freshest pale lager in my local bottle shop....it's either that or buy up the 3-month out-of-date Brooklyn Lager in the hopes that they'll restock.
  10. acevenom

    acevenom Initiate (0) Oct 7, 2011 Louisiana

    More fresh lagers would be great. Unfortunately, it takes more time to make lagers than it does to make ales. People need to make money and ales make the most money. But if you're a home brewer with enough time and the capability to lager, then getting fresh lagers wouldn't be much of a problem.
  11. otispdriftwood

    otispdriftwood Defender (637) Dec 9, 2011 Colorado
    Subscriber Beer Trader

    Since I've discovered ales, I haven't paid much attention to lagers....but after reading about Jack's Abby beer, I think that will change.
  12. nickapalooza86

    nickapalooza86 Initiate (0) Feb 23, 2010 Wisconsin

    You could move to Wisconsin. Lagers a plenty here, between NG, Capital, and Schells out of MN I would say the shelves here are more 75/25
  13. tectactoe

    tectactoe Initiate (0) Mar 20, 2012 Michigan

    Lagers just don't hit the spot like most ales do, for me at least. Even when presented with a nice lager selection, there is typically always an ale I'd reach for first. The only lagers I consistently go back for are GL Oktoberfest and Eliot Ness.
  14. marquis

    marquis Crusader (743) Nov 20, 2005 United Kingdom (England)

    Ales (and I include stouts and porters here for the sake of argument) tend to have much more flavour than their equivalent strength lagers.For those who prize flavour above all else they are very attractive. They also require much less in the way of brewery overheads-plant and time in particular -so are more attrative to breweries which are starting up.
    But there's plenty of room for both and we should welcome the choice.
    frazbri likes this.
  15. Pegli

    Pegli Initiate (0) Aug 30, 2006 Rhode Island

    I run into the same problem with homebrewing lagers as the craft breweries do - not enough refrigeration space to fulfill demand :slight_frown:
  16. jageraholic

    jageraholic Disciple (396) Sep 16, 2009 Massachusetts
    Beer Trader

    I live in Massachusetts and we have full access to Jack's Abby Brewing which only does lagers and a great variety of them so I'm good with the ratio.
    jglowe77 and Jnorton00 like this.
  17. Providence

    Providence Initiate (0) Feb 24, 2010 Rhode Island

    I guess that's the kind of attitude that interests me. I wonder if anyone would ever say, "My state gets Ommegang which only does Belgians, and a great variety of them, so I'm good" ?
  18. frazbri

    frazbri Crusader (733) Oct 29, 2003 Ohio

    I'm happy with the lager choices in Ohio. Sometimes GL Dortmunder Gold or Victory Prima Pilsner hits the spot, but most of my purchases are ales, stouts and porters.
  19. GR_Rick

    GR_Rick Initiate (0) Jul 14, 2012 Michigan

    I'm mostly an ale guy (non-palate wrecking IPA's, Stouts, Porters mostly), but there's something about a nice, crisp, biscuity lager (pils, really), especially in the summertime or with nice meal (burrito, plate of pasta, even perhaps a nice burger come to mind) that really appeals to me. I bet if you re-posted this poll in May or June, you'd get a different mix of answers as well.

    Here in Michigan, I don't have (or at least haven't found) many good lagers that I can regularly get with the freshness they deserve. Great Lakes makes some quality lagers from what I've read and is readily available here, but I didn't like their Dortmunder or Oktoberfest (although I found their seasonal Wright Pils quite good, and will inevitably revisit their Oktoberfest next fall).

    I haven't found my "go-to" lager yet (although I really haven't tried). This thread though, may have me doing some more exploring soon. Been wanting to try try the Prima Pils, Scrimshaw Pils, and Lagunitas Pils for a while - maybe those will make their way into my fridge this weekend!

    I also enjoy the occasional dark lager (although lean toward not too sticky or fruity). Sorry for the partial thread-jack, but any ideas for darker lagers to try? Dunkels, maybe? Preference given to domestically (US) produced beers. :slight_smile:
  20. HoptimusMax1mus

    HoptimusMax1mus Disciple (305) Jul 10, 2012 Arizona

    I would directly attribute it to cost for the brewers and market demand. Craft Market is nuts over DIPAs,Imp Stouts,Etc..
  21. Pegli

    Pegli Initiate (0) Aug 30, 2006 Rhode Island

    Looking at the tap list of, some say, the finest drinking establishment in RI - out of 19 taps, 8 are IPAs but not a single lager (they usually have 1-2 tops).
    Providence likes this.
  22. brewbetter

    brewbetter Initiate (0) Jun 2, 2012 Nauru

    The wish there were more crazy hoppy lagers, but I'm still an ale head.
  23. Providence

    Providence Initiate (0) Feb 24, 2010 Rhode Island

    I just checked it. That's pretty disappointing :slight_frown:
  24. FosterJM

    FosterJM Poo-Bah (2,719) Nov 16, 2009 California
    Beer Trader

    If I could get Jacks Abby in So. Cal everyday then I would say yes. Without that then No.

    TWStandley likes this.
  25. LeRose

    LeRose Meyvn (1,183) Nov 24, 2011 Massachusetts
    Supporter Subscriber

    ^ This.
  26. TWStandley

    TWStandley Crusader (738) Jan 15, 2008 Massachusetts
    Beer Trader

    I like beer, don't really care what it is classified as. If it tastes good, I like it.

    That being said, Jacks Abby has been killing it with lagers...so I guess I wouldn't mind some more experimentation by other breweries into this realm.
    5thOhio likes this.
  27. brewbetter

    brewbetter Initiate (0) Jun 2, 2012 Nauru

    where is that?
  28. bleakies

    bleakies Disciple (380) Apr 11, 2011 Massachusetts

    I only started drinking (German) lagers again a couple of years ago after years and years of only drinking ales, so I'd like to see more good ones made by American craft breweries (like the aforementioned Jack's Abby).

    But even more, I'd like to have better access to fresh German versions.
  29. Pegli

    Pegli Initiate (0) Aug 30, 2006 Rhode Island

    With Allagash White being the only "session" beer -- Bros. definition of < or = 5% ABV
  30. Providence

    Providence Initiate (0) Feb 24, 2010 Rhode Island

    Weak sauce.
  31. Pegli

    Pegli Initiate (0) Aug 30, 2006 Rhode Island

    With an average %ABV = 7.66 +/- 2.3 for those 19 taps !
    Sorry for the thread-jacking rant but you're picking up what I'm putting down.
    Providence likes this.
  32. jbertsch

    jbertsch Meyvn (1,094) Dec 14, 2008 Massachusetts

    The thing with Jack's Abby is that, while I love them and drink their stuff regularly, their core purpose doesn't seem to about meeting a need for traditional lager. They have a couple exceptions to that, but overall I think their game is more about taking ale sensibilities and cramming it into lager brewing. It's a great little corner of the market they have and they do it very well. But they don't fill my need for a great local version of traditional classic lager styles (at least not the types of lagers I love from Mahr's, Augustiner, etc.) and I don't expect them to because that doesn't seem to be their thing.
  33. herrburgess

    herrburgess Meyvn (1,035) Nov 4, 2009 South Carolina
    Industry Beer Trader

    So in your opinion are they the new darlings of the BA crowd because of the well-crafted, rounded character of their lagers; the ale-like hopping rates; or a combination of both?
  34. jbertsch

    jbertsch Meyvn (1,094) Dec 14, 2008 Massachusetts

    Maybe both, but from my own anecdotal observation I think the buzz they get is due mainly to their hopped-up offerings... from people getting slapped in the face with citric hops when they first taste Hoponius Union or Kiwi Rising (and even "Lashes") and say "wow I didn't know lagers could taste like this!!"

    I love those beers, too, but jack's doesn't meet my need for what I envision a fantastic traditional pilsner (for example) to be. And again, I'm not expecting them to because that's not their vision.
  35. Thirstygoat

    Thirstygoat Defender (616) Nov 22, 2012 Illinois
    Beer Trader

    Two words : Capital & Ayinger.
  36. loupap

    loupap Devotee (413) Jun 21, 2008 Rhode Island

    I believe they are referring to Julian's in Providence
  37. Providence

    Providence Initiate (0) Feb 24, 2010 Rhode Island

    Personally, I'd like more variety than that (especially considering one of them doesn't get sent to RI)
  38. Providence

    Providence Initiate (0) Feb 24, 2010 Rhode Island

    Nope. Track 84 in Warwick.

    EDIT: Or were you kidding?
  39. loupap

    loupap Devotee (413) Jun 21, 2008 Rhode Island

    Julian's also has 19 taps, and Allagash is currently on their list.

    They're both fine drinking establishments
    Pegli likes this.
  40. Providence

    Providence Initiate (0) Feb 24, 2010 Rhode Island

    I see. I didn't realize Julian's had so many taps, it seems like they had less last time I was there. I thought you were joking because your location was Warwick and I figured that you must know "The Track." Ha ha.

    Totally agree, both have great tap selections! Cheers.
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