We love lagers. Ales, you’re great too, but we think bottom-fermenters are tops. In fact, when we first opened in 1988, the first two beers we introduced to our new customers (thanks to veteran brewer Thaine Johnson and engineer Charlie Price) were Dortmunder Gold Lager (then called The Heisman) and Eliot Ness Amber Lager.
At the time, brewing craft lagers wasn’t a very popular choice. Lagers traditionally take longer to ferment and condition, and it’s often said that lagers are more difficult to brew than ales. Still, owners Pat and Dan Conway were enamored with the flavorful, full-bodied lagers they’d consumed in their European travels, and wanted to bring that experience to American craft beer.
In 2017, we’ll add to our legacy (lager-cy?) by restoring the lager-ale balance in our year-round portfolio with Turntable Pils, a Czech-style pilsner. So how different are our three year-round lagers? Let’s explore!
Dortmunder Gold Lager
About the Style:
During the mid-19th century, seven breweries within the city of Dortmund, Germany, began brewing beers in the same manner, resulting in what we now know as the “Dortmunder” style. Also known as a “Dortmunder Export” this style is marked by its medium body, golden color, balance, and smoothness.
About Dortmunder Gold Lager:
Brewed with our proprietary lager yeast, our Dortmunder Gold is recognized by the Beer Judge Certification Program as a commercial example of the Dortmunder Export Style. Since 1988, we’ve been partial to our Dortmunder Gold for its balance of sweet malt and dry hop flavors.
The Best Time to Drink a “Dort”:
Perfectly suited to any social occasion from baseball games to backyard barbecues, Dortmunder Gold is a known crowd pleaser that pairs well with salads, fish, and chicken. Or, save a bottle to make our brewpub’s beloved Dortmunder Gold Stilton Cheddar Soup at home.
Eliot Ness Amber Lager
About The Style:
While there are quite a few different types of Amber Lager, Eliot Ness was inspired by the Vienna Lager, perfected around 1841 by Brewer Anton Dreher who, with his family, was responsible for a brewing empire that included Vienna, Bohemia, Budapest, and Trieste. The style is known for low bitterness, bready and malty aromas and flavors, and its signature light amber color.
About Eliot Ness Amber Lager:
Our second original recipe (but second to none in our hearts) Eliot Ness Amber Lager has stood its 28 year test of time thanks to its untouchable blend of lightly toasted malts and easy-drinking style. Mt. Hood hops give Ness a subtle earthy aroma, but Eliot Ness even has our Master Brewer’s stamp of approval—it’s his favorite, go-to brew.
The Best Time to Drink a Ness:
Once again, it’s hard to think of a time the smooth, approachable Eliot Ness would feel out of place. But because of its caramel malt flavors, we recommend Eliot Ness for outdoor activities when there’s a little chill in the air. It pairs beautifully with pizza, or save a bottle for your next Taco Tuesday—Eliot Ness tastes great with carnitas!
About the Style:
The Burgess Brewery recruited the Bavarian brewer Josef Groll who, using new techniques and the newly available paler malts, created the first batch of modern pilsner in 1842. The combination of pale color from the new malts (aided by the city of Plzen’s soft water), noble hops, and Bavarian-style lagering produced a clear, golden beer which caused a sensation.
About Turntable Pils:
Pub Brewer Steve Forman went back to basics when he developed the recipe for the Czech-style pilsner that would become Turntable. With a simple ingredient bill featuring Sterling hops (which share many characteristics with Saaz hops, traditionally used in pilsners) Turntable Pils is perfectly crisp and smooth with bright, earthy aromas.
The Best Time to Drink a Turntable:
Of course Turntable’s music theme makes it the perfect companion for vinyl parties, shows, and jam sessions. But its lower alcohol content and light refreshing body also make Turntable a strong candidate for just about any day or night-long adventure. And with food? It’s versatile enough to fit with anything from pizza to sushi to spicy wings.
For any occasion, any dish, and any mood, Dortmunder, Eliot Ness, and Turntable will make you fall in love with lagers again… and again.