Columbus Beer Guide: Must-try lagers

Staff Writer
Columbus Monthly

Despite their popularity in the American macro beer realm, lagers aren't brewed often by smaller breweries. Lagers take more time (lager yeast is slower-acting than ale yeast), and they require lower temperatures (35 to 55 degrees compared to 60 to 75 degrees). Lager locks a brewer into a two-weeks-plus process, as opposed to one-week fermentation for ale. It's a difference that adds up when brewing at high capacities.

But the art of lagers is not lost. In fact, it's often more impressive when a brewer can create a clean and balanced lager without overusing hops to cover mistakes.

Barley's Pilsner (4.8 percent ABV): Although brewed with ale yeast, Barley's Pilsner uses Czech hops to achieve the light and clean marks of the style.

CBC's Summer Teeth (5 percent ABV): As a perfect summer sipping beer, this cloudy unfiltered lager is aptly named.

Elevator Xtra Light (5 percent ABV): This is the gateway beer for light beer drinkers, brewed similar to the clear and bright yellow kolsch lager originating from Cologne, Germany.

Elevator Dark Force (5.9 percent ABV): Dark Force pushes the lager style into darker territory with a deep copper color. It also won a bronze medal at the 2007 GABF.

Elevator Procrastinator Doppelbock (7 percent ABV): The bock is a darker and maltier German lager, boasting heavier coffee, toast and chocolate flavors.

North High Lager (5.3 percent ABV): A perfect example of the easy-drinking lager-it's crisp, low in bitterness and has a clean finish.

Wolf's Ridge Sustinator (7 percent ABV, 20 IBU): Named for the sustenance a traditional lager provided, Sustinator provides a sweet, bready finish.

Wolf's Ridge Golden Standard (5 percent ABV, 20 IBU): Golden Standard is a Munich Helles lager (helles meaning bright), originally brewed as a competitor to the Czech Pilsner style.