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Best Lager beer in the World!

I admit it ,I like Lagers.

I don't care for creamy wheats or cranberry ales.

I just want ice cold lager.

Perhaps its years of playing tennis in the hot sun or surfing in tropical locals.

But the last thing i want after fun in the sun is a warm yeasty bread in a bottle.

So here our my two favorite lagers in the world.

#1 Castlemaine XXXX (Queensland, Australia)

#2 Steinlager ,big bottle (New Zealand)

I would love to hear or any other favorites out there?

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    1. re: Diana

      Is Budvar available in the U.S. ?

      1. re: debbieg2210

        Yes, but due to a near-century old conflict with Anheuser Busch over ownership of the brand name "Budweiser", the brand is called "Czechvar" in the US http://www.czechvar.com/ (and is now distributed by a new import division of A-B - go figure).

        1. re: JessKidden

          But Staropramen tastes better, to me anyway.

          1. re: Loren3

            Both are still quite tasty and for my $ the best representation of a classic Czech Pilsner (including Plzen) available in th euSA. They also have expirtydates which is doubly important when it comes to the Czech beers.

            1. re: MOREKASHA

              First, it REALLY depends on whether you hail from the right or left coast, as to what is available, I'm in San Diego where local and Mexican beers pour abundantly...As far as thirst quenchers go I would take an ice cold Foster's oil can, a Red Stripe big bottle, Beck's, Stella on tap or Hofbrau original. But I do like my Pilsner's too, they are excellent thirst fixer's. Truman Pils is awesome, as is Victory, Prima pils, Pilsner Urquell and Scrimshaw by North Coast. Yueng Ling is awesome too, I just don't see it much...Any Spaten, Ayinger, especially Ayinger my fave brewery, Weihenstaphaner, Bitburger, Warsteiner, and Paulaner rock my taste buds!!!

              1. re: DejaDru

                I forgot Tsing Tao, one of my top tens period...

                1. re: DejaDru

                  You mentioned "Truman Pils" but I think you meant Trumer Pils, right?
                  THat's a great beer and a good company, too.

                  Also, the Sierra Nevada Summerfest is a lager, and it is also quite good.

                  1. re: Tripeler

                    You're correct, I guess I was thinking of the limited edition presidential beer...

      2. I admit my tatse changes fairly often, but I suppose the two that always crop back up sooner or later would be

        (and for a 3rd choice I'd agree with Budvar)

        1. Brooklyn Lager is terrific, as is Smuttynose.

          1. Lager is a pretty broad category which includes a lot of rich malty beers as well (i.e bock, doppelbock, etc). And having said that I wouldn't think that given a choice many of us would reach for a doppelbock or "warm yeasty bread in a bottle" after "fun in the sun" as you put it and definitely not after playing tennis in the hot sun or surfing in tropical local(e)s.
            As for your selections they could both be considered decent light lagers (and fully appropriate for sweltering, suffocating heat (as would a glass of ice water, but I digress).
            Lager is originally a Czech-German thing (many still consider them to be the best). I don't know how many from there that you've tried by I would suggest that you do:
            Spaten Lager
            Jever Pilsenser
            Czechvar (or "Budvar" in Europe)
            Pilsner Urquell
            Staropramen Lager
            Stiegl Pils (Austrian)

            1. If you want your beer ice cold, it is probably best to stick to what you like and not venture into the more flavorful lagers. As was stated elsewhere, there are many styles of lager, not just watery yellow stuff. Marzen, Dunkel, Doppelbock, Hellesbock, Helles, Dortmunder, Pilsner ( roughly what you prefer ), Schwarzbier, and Rauchbier are some others. A Dunkel, Pilsner, Helles, or Schwarzbier would quench my thirst pretty easily.

              4 Replies
              1. re: hammerhead

                Yeah! Gimme a big cold steinie anyday! 4x nah...if aussie better off with Boags from Tasmania...that is an awesome lager beer.

                Lowenbrau up there too for refreshment. Also the lighter IPAs do the job...smuttynose...lagunitas...

                1. re: hammerhead

                  Augustiner Helles - best lager regardless of category. Unfortunately it's $12 for a 6-pack at my local store.

                  1. re: famedalupo

                    Well, break it down for us? What does it taste like?

                    1. re: Chinon00

                      All I've found out here is the Augustiner Edelstoff, so I'll comment on that. It's a bit different from the standard Augustiner Helles, which I've yet to find here. Edelstoff is lightly hopped, generously carbonated, somewhat sweet and a delicious cinnamony taste, and clean on the finish. Best of the Munich helles. Global Village Imports LLC distributes it in the US, although it can be hard to find.

                2. Paulaner Marzen is a personal favorite. Dunno though, it has flavor and stuff. Might not suit you. ;-)

                  1. One other note. I didn't quite understanding having to "admit" that you like lager (as you stated in the first line of your post). Lager is one of the two fundamental branches of the beer tree (the other being ale) and even your personal favorites shouldn't be derided in this manner (i.e. having to "admit" that you like them).
                    I think that this goes to your present understanding of the term lager.

                    1. "Best Lager beer in the World!"
                      ".. here our my two favorite lagers in the world."

                      Well, I'd say your subject line and your "favorites" are two vastly different concepts.

                      I agree, that lots of comments on these groups make a similar claim (BEST pizza in New England! Best SUB in New Jersey! Best BBQ in the Confederacy!) but I always think when I read such an outlandish comment, "Uh.... and you've tried them all?"

                      Because, until you have -and yeah, I know it's opinion, not fact- but how can you have an opinion of a beer you haven't tasted? - how can you even attempt to make the claim of "world's best"?

                      Me, I'm glad I've never come close to finding the best lager (or ale, ipa, stout, porter, etc.) in the world- I'm having too much of a good time sampling them to stop because I've found "the best". And even tho' I have favorites, beer's cheap enough and varied enough so that I can always grab a different brand or style and find something enjoyable ...

                      8 Replies
                        1. re: JessKidden

                          While I completely agree with you guys, can we give this poster the benefit of the doubt? Instead of critisizing his question we could give responses back on other lagers we have liked.

                          Pretend he asked the question differently and just help the guy out. We all know what he was trying to get out of this.

                          1. re: MVNYC

                            I guess I have to make it clear what this thread is about?

                            "What is your favorite lager beer in the world?"

                            And to further clarify ...The lager beer I am interested in will say that its a "lager" on the bottle or can.

                            Thanks to the people who gave their positive feedback.

                            1. re: Mission

                              I guess mine is one of the "negative" comments? <g> Well, I think it's pretty *postive* to try a lot of different beers and appreciate the differences, rather than worry about what beer is the "best in the world". (I don't think I was the only one who found descriptions like "creamy wheats or cranberry ales" or "warm yeasty bread in a bottle" somewhat argumentative to begin with.).

                              Now, granted, I don't surf or play tennis but I've work on a assembly line in an un-air conditioned factory where it'd hit the high 90's, drove a truck in summer in Manhattan and a tractor on a farm in August in the Finger Lakes, so while they don't count as "fun in the sun", I, too, can appreciate a classic light lager beer in hot weather.

                              Right now, my "favorites" (i.e, beers currently in my beer frig) are Pilsner Urquell (in the 1/2 liter can) and Victory's Prima Pils...


                              (damn, there's the buzzer! - disqualified 'cause they don't say "lager" on the label...)

                              1. re: Mission

                                Sorry, not trying to be a dick. To me your question was loaded with all kinds of things I look at as being problematic with the state of beer awareness right now.

                                The world of beer is vast, and limiting yourself to one type of brewed beer (lager) because of how you think it differs from ale (incorrectly) means you're closing the door on a lot of stuff you might really enjoy.

                                The only thing that differentiates ales and lagers is the kind of yeast used to make them. Lager yeast ferments at cool temperatures, and requires a long fermentation. Ale yeast ferments at warm temperatures, and is a more rapid fermentation. In both styles you can have heavier, maltier examples, and light, crisp examples.

                                For example, one of my favorite light beers in hot weather is Cooper's Sparkling Pale Ale. Not a lager, but light in color, light in body, and damned refreshing.

                                Another very refreshing style of beer is Belgian gueuze, which is an ale made with large amounts of wheat, but also yeast strains that give a tart flavor. These beers can also be incredibly crisp and thirst-quenching.

                                So to me, when you ask what you asked, I just think that you are missing out a lot on what there is to be found in the world of beer, through misconceptions and a lack of exposure.

                                All that being said, here are some good lagers that you might want to try:

                                Paulaner Marzen (I wasn't joking)
                                Palma Louca (Brazilian)
                                Victory Prima Pils
                                Full Sail Session Lager
                                Brooklyn Lager (incredible!)
                                Sierra Nevada Summerfest (only available during summer, and really great)

                                1. re: Josh

                                  I agree with you both here, his comments did sound a tad condescending, but attacking the guy back won't make him change his mind.

                                  to the original poster, I agree with both of these guys. Don't limit yourself to lager, as it is not the only thirst quencher. I tend to drink mmore ales than lagers, even in the hot summer.

                                  the following ales might suit your purpose,

                                  Kolsch-the ale version of a pale lager. This is much more my style of light beer

                                  lighter pale ales-should be crisp and smooth without too much of a bready taste.

                                  To me there is nothing more refreshing than a bavarian hefeweizen in the summer but this may not be up your alley.

                                  Plus there are plenty of darker lagers that end up much heavier or richer than liht ales. For a nice taste of the dark side with a light body try a Swartzbier.

                                  1. re: MVNYC

                                    Not to get too sentimental but I many moons ago (1993?) found Steinlager to be "amazing" as well. I remember having a thing for Sol too (I think that a part of my attraction to it was the clear bottle with the raised etching). But at least I drank with flavor in mind as I believe the OP'er is and that's a good thing.

                                  2. re: Josh

                                    cannot agree more on Brooklyn and Sierra Nevada. Can't go wrong with either.

                            2. Staropramen - a great Czeck beer but only drink it if you are in Europe. It doesn't travel well - It's everything Pilsner Urquel strives to be.

                              1. my current fav lager is Sam Smith.

                                1 Reply
                                1. re: pfarrell

                                  Sam Smith's is an awesome brewery...I personally love the Oatmeal Stout and also the Imperial Stout, they also make a very nice crisp India Pale Ale

                                2. Weihenstephaner Hefeweissbier

                                  The first beer to be poured into my brand new Franziskaner weizen glass. 3 fingers of head form instantaneously and I have to be cautious with the rest of the pour to maintain that amount of suds. The white foam lays atop a gorgeous, hazy organic unfiltered apple juice-colored body. OK lacing, good retention.

                                  The definitive weizen aroma: bananas and cloves. Very appetizing on this hot night.

                                  This beer is extremely mellow. Every flavor blends immaculately with the next. Soft banana and clove flavors meet honey, lemongrass, very subtle hops, a faint hint of pear skin, a bubblegummy note, cereal grains. Deeper than your average hefe.

                                  This beer has a nice crisp finish despite the cloudiness. Great balance, ample carbonation, mellow and sweet flavors, and low alcohol make for an insanely drinkable beer. Nice and refreshing. On a hot day I could easily imagine 3-4 of these disappearing.

                                  19 Replies
                                  1. re: Jimbosox04

                                    Brooklyn Lager! Bottles are great for home consumption, but on tap at a place with clean lines is beyond great!

                                    1. re: Jimbosox04

                                      "Weihenstephaner Hefeweissbier..."

                                      Nice review, but it's not in the running for the "Best Lager Beer in the World"...

                                      1. re: JessKidden

                                        I don't think any lager is in the running. Its all a matter of opinion.

                                        1. re: Jimbosox04

                                          "I don't think any lager is in the running. Its all a matter of opinion."

                                          ...so, no lager is in the running for the best lager, therefore a non-lager is the best lager? am I confused?

                                          I am going to answer the question, Best Lager Beer in the World by ignoring the OP's intent to find the best cool refreshing light lager and just tell you all the name of the best beer made with lager yeast that I have ever had:

                                          Smuttynose Oak-Aged S'muttonator, Doppelbock, on tap, aged in Jack Daniels barrels...Diversity in Lagers!!

                                          1. re: kenito799

                                            I simply meant that there is no "ONE" we all have out opinions of what lagers do it for us. Some people go by absolute volume, some by finish, some by just what they think tastes good. If many understood what atributes makes a beer perfect they may then taste beer a little different. If you are interested in researching many beers there is a wonderful site you can check out and maybe join. www.beeradvocate.com

                                            1. re: Jimbosox04

                                              Thanks I am working on my beer karma points...just 27 reviews to go till Initiate!

                                              That's why your post confused me, although I too love Weihenstephaner and agree that it is a perfect warm weather beer, it is not a lager, as lagers are made with lager yeast (Saccharomyces uvarum or carlsbergensis) and all other beers are made with vaious strains of Saccharomyces cerevisiae.

                                              1. re: Jimbosox04

                                                Um, yeah but in terms of "what lagers do it for us", a weissbier isn't a lager!

                                                1. re: Jimbosox04

                                                  I think that we might be able to agree on solid examples of particular styles though. For me a solid example of German Pils (whether I like it or not) is Jever for example. When we get apples to apples it makes more sense.

                                                  1. re: Chinon00

                                                    I have never had a Jever that was not skunked, even in Germany. I have heard it was good but all I got was skunk. I would like to try it on tap as I have heard good things.

                                                    By the way a great light summer beer is Brooklyn Summer Ale, which is a very light English style ale that is very refreshing in the summer. Look for it.

                                                    1. re: MVNYC

                                                      I've never had a skunked Jever because I never buy less than a case at a time - and I'd estimate I've bought several dozen cases in the past 5-10 years or so- starting when they still came in those plastic cases [my beer cellar is still full of those cases for my singles]. As a long time Ballantine Ale drinker, I learned 30+ years ago to avoid green bottled beer that's been exposed to light. Why do brewers still do it? Beats me. But ultimately, it's not the green glass that's the *cause*, it's exposure to light...

                                                      1. re: JessKidden

                                                        Well I am not going to buy a case of something that I have only had skunked, if you catch my drift. I have purchased cases of Urquell and still been dissapointed so I am not going to buy a case of something I have had in the country of origin as skunked. Especially not when I can have a good American Pils.

                                                        1. re: MVNYC

                                                          I've had skunked beer before but I think also that European Pils can have what I would describe as a slight “musky” smell/ taste (along with hops, grass and metal) which you may be confusing with skunked? This muskiness is to me part of the character of the beer and not a flaw or the product of mishandling. Additionally, I’ve never noticed this muskiness in American Pils. Could you please describe what you consider a "skunked" taste/ smell?


                                                          1. re: Chinon00

                                                            Um, skunked beer is really, really obvious. I mean, it smells exactly like skunk. I just had one, in fact, Castelain Blond Biere de Garde. As soon as I popped the cork, an overpowering smell of skunk. I've had many of these beers, and that was the first time I'd gotten a skunked bottle.

                                                            1. re: Chinon00

                                                              I lived in various places in Europe, one of which was Prague, I drank Pilsener that was fresh on a daily basis(with an ever expanding waistline to prove it). You think of a Czech pilsener I have tried it. While it is not nor has it ever been my favourite style of beer I have drank enough of it to know what the fresh stuff tastes like. Here in America we don't get fresh pilseners from Europe. We do brew our own just fine. Are they as good as the good stuff at the source, probably not(though I did just try Prima Pils and enjoyed it quite a bit). The only places I drink Euro Pilseners are those in which it is on tap and has a high turnover like the Bohemian Beer Garden in Astoria which might be one of the greatest beer gardens in the US. Still even there it is not fresh as it was back on the continent. I usually go with Radegast Dark which i believe is a Swartzbier there as well.

                                                              Pilseners are fragile beers, they dont have high alcohol content nor a big malty profile to protect them in shipping. Since they are so light and any mistakes are magnified due to their clarity they simply do not travel well.

                                                              By the way I only had Jever in the bottles in Germany, and they must not have been handled well. In prague when i wasnt at the bar(which wasnt often because beers cost about $.20 when i was there.) I usually bought cans of beer. All Czech beers came in cans over there.

                                                              1. re: MVNYC

                                                                MVNYC the only reason that I directed that comment at you was because of how you framed your comment on skunked Jever. I could understand if you'd never had an unskunked Jever in the States (due to pilsener's fragility) but when you included Germany as well (which in my experience is a country which is anal about beer freshness) it triggered that question from me. You've clarified things above so sorry for the confusion.
                                                                Back to my original point though we can I think tend to agree on solid examples of certain beer styles. For me Prima Pils, Pikeland Pils, Jever Pils, Dinkelacker CD are good examples of German Pils.

                                                                1. re: Chinon00

                                                                  Sorry to be harsh but the internet basically sucks. I much prefer talking with people beacuase so much of communication is non-verbal. Pikeland

                                                                  Pils is good stuff, i forgot about that one and i just remembered Rogue Uber Pils as well. Both good things as well. My knowledge of Pilseners are mostly based on the Czech varieties. Whenever I went to Germany I had been so sick of pils that I drank whatever else was available so the few times i did have Jever i had it skunked unfortunately

                                                                  1. re: JessKidden

                                                                    yep thanks, for more info on German Pils please reference


                                                                    I guess this is the correct posting edicate when using someone elses articles. Many thanks Jess.....

                                                                    1. re: Chinon00

                                                                      Here's the think about light-struck (aka "skunked") beer- it's not a matter of freshness, "handling" (a shorthand we all use) in general, the country of origin and/or imbidding or the nearness the drinker is to the brewery- it is exposure to light- specifically sunlight (real bad) or florescent light (not a whole lot better). Expose a light bodied, hoppy beer bottled in green glass to sunlight and you're going to get skunky beer in about a half an hour (even if you're across the street from the brewery in Friesland, Germany and the beer just came off the bottling line 31 minutes ago).

                                                                      All the shipping via truck, ship, train, handtruck or forklift isn't going to cause a beer to become light-struck UNTIL the retailer takes it out of the sealed case and put it on his shelf, exposing it to sunlight or florescent light. And it takes less than a half hour (sun) and maybe a few hours under modern florescent light, so no amount of "turnover" is really going to help.

                                                                      So, who's to blame? I blame the retailer, ultimately, for not knowing his product, for shrugging his shoulders and saying, "But EVERYBODY retails beer that way in the 21st century".

                                                                      But, does that let the brewer off the hook- not really. Don't THEY know what a modern retail beer store looks like? Glass-doored coolers, open shelving for six-packs and singles. Gone are the days of the non-self-service, "clerk gets your beer out of the heavy wooden-doored cooler behind the counter" retail beer store in America (altho' I *still* remember bars and liquor stores like that....).

                                                                      Here's some 50+ year old quotes about retailing beer that were 'common wisdom" once, but have long since been forgotten in the retail segment but seemingly are still the rule of thumb of brewers:

                                                                      "(The bottle mfg) admitting that sunlight is hardly good for beer … contends that very few dealers or consumers are foolish enough to expose beer to the direct rays of the sun. (Shopkeepers put dummy bottles in their windows).” Fortune, Jan. 1936, article “Beer Into Cans”

                                                                      “Q-How Can the Tavern Owner Avoid Improper Storage of Bottled Beer?

                                                                      A- The reserve stock of bottled beer should be stored in a cool, dark place. He must never use full bottles for display purposes, where they will be exposed to the sun or strong daylight. Bottles with clean labels filled with water may be used as dummies for display purposes. Beer exposed to light will become light-struck. Light-struck beer assumes first an off-taste and then becomes hazy and develops a sediment. The speed at which beer becomes light-struck depends upon the intensity of the light. Beer must never be exposed to the direct rays of the sun which will noticeably affect it in a few minutes.” The Practical Brewer, Master Brewers’ Assoc. of America 1946

                                                                      I can sympathize with MVNYC who says above, " I am not going to buy a case of something that I have only had skunked..." but, unfortunately, because of "tradition" the only way to insure non-light-struck beer in green bottles in most cases is going to be buying by the sealed case.

                                                                      I'm not sure of exactly HOW this tradition came to be (in the US, it was European imports and ales that came in green glass with a few notable exceptions- Rolling Rock, Heileman's Special Export come to mind)- the urban legend lately is that a "shortage of brown glass after WWII" created the tradition- but I'd never heard that before in 30+ years of reading about beer and, IIRC, Heineken was in green glass in the US *before* the war and (according to the book by Van Munching's grandson) Molson didn't really take off in the US market until IT, too, was bottled in green bottles.

                                                                      Both beers were bottled in brown bottles for their home market, ironically- one of the factors that led to many "Hey, how come Heineken/Molson doesn't taste the 'same' in the US as in Holland/Canada?" comments [short answer- "'Cause they ain't SKUNKED at home!"].

                                                                      1. re: JessKidden

                                                                        Someone posted this up here before, and it's still a great read:

                                                                        I would love to see brewers use the ruby-red glass. Pity it's so expensive.

                                                                        Rogue's ceramic bottles for their high-end beers are perfect. If you're gonna pay $13 for a pilsner, it's good to know it won't be skunked.

                                              2. Oh! I almost forgot about Samichlaus Bier, a doppelbock (lager) that was once the highest %abv beer in the world at 15%. There are tons of things going on in this lager like peaty scotch, raisin, malt, molasses . . . One of my favorites!

                                                1. My favourite beer more or less in the major-label lager style is Sam Adams Boston Lager. The aroma alone makes me like it much more than Steinlager, and I say that as a New Zealander.

                                                  1 Reply
                                                  1. re: bradluen

                                                    You can't compare a Sam to a Steinie like that...Steinie is much more pilsener in style...completely different.

                                                  2. I must say, it seems everyone is in search of the most exotic, hard to get. When it comes to lager, there really are fewer choices (lager is harder to make). Actually, I can think of 3 that are relatively high volume that stand the test of time.

                                                    1. Harp Lager (Guinness Brewing Company) - My personal fav but not widely available if drinking in a restaurant/bar.
                                                    2. Carlsberg - I developed my taste for beer via this one - a bit strong though unless on draught (can't explain that).
                                                    3. Red Stripe - Hits the spot when it's hot out and a perfect accompanyment to carribean food.
                                                    Honorable Mention - Stella Artois - This is a newly 'popular' beer and a good one at that but I find it less distictive than the 3 previously mentioned so if it's on draft and the other 3 aren't, I'll choose it.

                                                    1 Reply
                                                    1. re: kddonovan

                                                      For clarification are these your personal favorites are these your choices for fantastic and outstanding examples of lager beer?


                                                    2. Fishrock Brewery in Sydney Australia (part of a wine making company) won first prize in 2006 for their "Leatherjacket" (type of fish) lager. I ordered a case and found that it beaded beautifully, the head/ foam was light and very smooth to drink...very popul;ar in the Southern states of Oz, so if you google "Fishrock Brewery", up will come the blurb...I have yet to try their "Red Emperor" (another fish) ale....bottoms up mate!!

                                                      1. My current vote has to go to Victory Pils out of PA, terrific brew with a great taste and ridiculous drinkability.

                                                        6 Replies
                                                        1. re: yankeefan

                                                          Amen to that. Easily one of the top beers being made in the US right now.

                                                          1. re: Josh

                                                            Prima Pils has been a fixture in my fridge all summer. A great beer for alot of different foods as well as one you can offer to most guests who drink light lagers.

                                                            1. re: MVNYC

                                                              I believe Josh agreed with me about this in another post but...how can Victory make such a great Pils but a tasteless lager? (this post was about lagers, wasn't it!)

                                                              1. re: imhungryletseat

                                                                Czech Pils, while a lager, is a nicely hopped lager. Perhaps their regular lager is just trying to be a lawnmower beer?

                                                                1. re: Josh

                                                                  I prefer the term "bill payer" for their lager (although I don't know how well it does actually). I brought a mixed case (which included Victory Lager) to a family gathering. Most of my people (who either don't drink or are light lager people) know that I'm into "real" tasting beer (but this never stops them from trying (then frowning) then trying again the assortment of beers I'll bring [Storm King was a real "crowd pleaser"]). Anyway an uncle of mine really liked Victory lager. He commented "any beer that I can knock off in two swallows in good beer to me".

                                                          2. re: yankeefan

                                                            If you like The Victory Prima Pils , and get to that area of Pa....stop by Stoudts and give thier Pilsner a try.

                                                          3. Hevelius Caper (not sure about spelling) from Poland. Terrific lager. Over 8% abv

                                                            1. My favorite lagers right now are both maibocks. They are Smuttynose's Maibock (from their "Big Beer" series) and Sierra Nevada's Pale Bock.

                                                              Next would be doppelbocks, including Smuttynose's doppel, and Optimator and Bajuvator from Germany.

                                                              1. I forgot about Baltic porters -- which are usually lagers and often spectacular. My favorite example of this style was a US micro take on it: Heavyweight Brewing's Perkuno's Hammer. Heavyweight closed, but the beer has been revived by Victory as the soon-to-be-released Baltic Thunder.

                                                                5 Replies
                                                                  1. re: MVNYC

                                                                    "Baltic Porters are ales".

                                                                    The designation "Baltic Porter" is relatively recent (unlike the style itself)- seems to me it was more or less created in the late 1980's or so by Michael Jackson (there's no "Baltic porter" style listed in World Guide or the early Pocket Guides, for instance), to describe the strong porters that are brewed in the Baltics that were inspired by the English porters and Imperial Stouts that were once exported to the area. *Most* of those beers are brewed using lager yeast, since that's the yeast most of the area brewers used. A few are top fermenting, thus making the "style" somewhat unique (there are a few other styles that are brewed with either yeast) and not easily classified.

                                                                    In the early days of the beer revival, many purists just thought of them as "not real porters", just as they did with the other (even less well-respected) porter sub-style, "Pennsylvania Porter" (which included Yuengling, Stegmaier, Neuweiler and the non-PA Narragansett) which continued to be brewed despite the "light lager"dominance in pre-micro era US brewing. I've always thought that there was a connection between Baltic and PA. porters, since they not only both used lager yeast but also might have appealed to Eastern Europeans who eventually settled in PA mining areas or New England industrial cities.

                                                                    Pennsylvania Porters, however, were of "normal strength" for the most part and suffered the general "lightening" of flavor that all US brews suffered- altho' Stegmaier was once noted for a strong licorice flavor (totally different than the stuff The Lion now markets under the name) and another Narragansett/Falstaff product, Krueger Old Surrey Porter (draft only) was a real nice hoppy porter for the time, which showed a close relationship to it's sister brew, Ballantine XXX Ale. (Indeed, one might very well imagine it shared much of the same formula, with the addition of "Porterine").

                                                                    1. re: JessKidden

                                                                      That's a well-informed post. Some of the US micro takes on Baltic Porter, such as Perkuno's Hammer/Baltic Thunder, are, in keeping with tradition, made with lager yeast.

                                                                      Anchor's porter (a rich brew, but not a BP) is also, interestingly, made with a lager yeast.

                                                                      1. re: JessKidden

                                                                        I did not know that. So are most/all of the Eastern European porters made with lager yeasts? Why are they made with lager yeasts? It seems to me like ale yeast could get the job done for these beers without too much difference in taste at a lower cost. Is it done because these beers are brewed in a cold climate that would be difficult to use ale yeasts most of the year?

                                                                        1. re: MVNYC

                                                                          "Why are they made with lager yeasts?"

                                                                          I think in the past, it was very common for a brewery to have a "house yeast" that they cultivated and maintained in-house and it was much easier, and the risk of contaimination was lessened, if all their beers were fermented with the same yeast. That's why many of the surviving US "macro" ales (marginal products and a small percentage of the production totals by the, to be sure) were actually "bastard ales"- using lager yeast at warmer temperatures. (This was looked down upon by those same early beer purists of the 60's and 70's who distained US porters- altho', to me, it seemed awfully close to "steam beer", which was held up as an example of a unique American beer style. Go figure.)

                                                                          From what I understand, the craft brewers' use of multiple yeast strains in one brewery is quite an eye-opener for many "old line" brewers here and in Europe. (Seems to me I recall an article recently in one of the beer papers about a tour of a US craft brewery by an UK brewer (from Fuller or Youngs?) in which the brewer was very surprised at the number of different yeasts in use at the facility.).

                                                                  2. Maybe not "THE BEST".. but a few of my lager favourites~>

                                                                    1. Estrella Damm (ES)

                                                                    2. Stella Artois

                                                                    3. DAB (DE)

                                                                    1. Not that it's the best or my fave, but sitting by the Singapore river with ice cold Tiger on the rocks in a frosty mug on an 88-degree day. Mmmm.

                                                                      Also, NZ makes some of the best beers in the world, so why Steinlager?

                                                                      1. I had to post that tonight I had the pleasure of trying Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout for the first time. It was big, bold, and fantastic (9.0% abv). I then noticed Radeberger Pils on the beer board and had that second (although figuring I wouldn't be able to fully appreciate it due to what I'd previously had). I couldn't have been more wrong. The pils came screaming through, burning off the fog as it were, left behind by the impy stout. Was the pils better? That would be like comparing apples to oranges. But I guess my only point is that pils can pack a punch too.

                                                                        1 Reply
                                                                        1. re: Chinon00

                                                                          Old Rasputin is mostly a malt-fest, so it may have been the hops of the pils that cut through.

                                                                        2. I am getting back into beers after a 15 year hiatus drinking wine 99% of the time. I never cared for Castlemaine, thought it tasted too much like corporate U.S. beer but I liked the idea of a 12.5 oz bottle. Steinlager is much better than Castlemaine. I've tried "new beers" and occasional microbrews but found them typically overhopped and run of the mill. This is what I remember and I hope some of the less obvious ones are still available:

                                                                          Aass pils (Norway) - just wonderful
                                                                          August Schell Pilser (MN)
                                                                          Dortmunder Union (Ger)
                                                                          Czechvar (aka Budvar)
                                                                          Augustiner (Ger)
                                                                          Birra Raffo (Ital)
                                                                          Hansa (Nor)
                                                                          Eye of the Hawk (CA) - yes it's an ale but I have to mention it
                                                                          Sierra Nevada Spring Bock (CA) - haven't seen it in years
                                                                          Cheshire (UK) yes it's a lager but again it's been years
                                                                          Radeberger (thanks Chinon00 for helping me remember)
                                                                          Cooper lager (Aus) bottled - I've had it in cans and it's a completely different beer

                                                                          Please update me as it's been ages. Nowdays I drink Spatan Munich, Pilsner Urquell & Eye of the Hawk just because they're good and easy to find.

                                                                          7 Replies
                                                                          1. re: SF Bill

                                                                            I haven't seen the Aass beers in a long time, but recall a wonderful maltiness and fine bead.

                                                                            1. re: Jim Dorsch

                                                                              Yes, the Aass bock was really good. Not as strong as some of the classic German doppels, but a very pleasant drink. IIRC, there was another very good Aass lager, something like a cross between the bock and a marzen.

                                                                            2. re: SF Bill

                                                                              Sierra Nevada last bottled their Pale Bock in '99 or '00, but early last year they came out with a very similar bottled brew, just a tad lower in strength, called Glissade. This year's edition is out right now.

                                                                              1. re: Kenji

                                                                                I loved the Pale Bock, the Glissade doesn't do it for me. Being an ale brewery (primarily) I wonder what their capacity for ageing (lagering) is. This leads to my next question, shouldn't lagers be lagered for some time? Plzen (from what I've heard) doesn't age like they used to , either time wise or vessel. Hence, the loss of some great flavors and aroma...

                                                                                1. re: MOREKASHA

                                                                                  Have you noticed that "lagering time" is seldom (never?) mentioned by the US craft brewers who are making "traditional" lager styles like pilsners? Once, 3-4 months and up were standard times in the US even for the beers that evolved into today's "macro" lagers - and that's still the standard for a few European classic pilsners.

                                                                                  From what I understand, modern brewing science and technology has pretty much eliminated the need for long lagering, mostly through extreme sanitary conditions, "microbiological control" and being able to easily control and regulate temperature during lagering. Or, at least, that's the current belief among those brewers.

                                                                                  Anheuser-Busch's claimed lagering time for Budweiser in the pre-Prohibition era was "no less than 4 months" up to 5-6 months. Post-Repeal it was usually stated to be around 3 months (as were most "premium" lagers in the US). Most sources give their current combined krauzening/beechwood aging-lagering period today at around 3 weeks.

                                                                                  I'd imagine that few craft brewers, with limited lagering space, time andmoney, do much more than that. (And they don't kraeusen, either, do they?). It's one of those "secrets" of the craft industry few discuss. At least, I've never seen a lagering time mentioned for beers like Prima Pils, Pikeland Pils, Sunshine Pils, Trumers', etc. Has anyone?

                                                                                  1. re: JessKidden

                                                                                    Our dirty little secret....i understand that many brewers/distillers dont have space, time/money to age a product, but if it aint properly aged, well; then to my mind/pallete it's not a real pils/lager....dont get us started on micro distillers.....John Hansell had a good piece on this in his what does john know blog

                                                                                    1. re: MOREKASHA

                                                                                      By chance I stumbled upon an article about Victory's draught-only "Throwback Lager" (a pre-Prohibition lager, using the old C. Schmidt's & Sons yeast) in which it's noted that they lager that beer for a somewhat respectable period: "From there, it will be crash-cooled, causing the yeast to precipitate to the bottom, before spending six weeks at around 33 degrees in a lagering, or aging, tank. "


                                                                                      Not quite Euro pils lengths, but longer than current macros. Would it be safe to assume that Prima Pils' lagering period is at least as long?

                                                                                      Some of the "history" is wrong in the article- using corn as an adjunct in the US dates from the mid-late 1800's, not WWI. During WWI there was "War Beer" limited by Presidential decree to under 2.75% alcohol.

                                                                                      Simarily, Coors currently has a "pre-Prohibition lager" (draught only) called "Batch 19" after the year 1919, the last before full National Prohibition. Of course, most breweries were shutdown or converted to near beer by the fall of 1918, and Colorado itself already had statewide Prohibition by 1916. http://query.nytimes.com/mem/archive-...

                                                                            3. Lager (as they are typically known) is not my favourite, but I like Stiegl for a clean, crisp one. I do also really like Paulaner's Salvator for a Bock.

                                                                              2 Replies
                                                                              1. re: dandyessex

                                                                                I loved Paulaner's Salvator in its classic version; it might have been my favorite doppel while it was around. Ten or eleven years ago, they lightened it up in several respects, though it still packs about 7.5% ABV.

                                                                                1. re: Kenji

                                                                                  Paulaner for me, the OctoberFest brew is slightly stronger but not overly so.

                                                                                  I can buy it in England now, pretty much everywhere.

                                                                                  Oh, any beer from Munich.

                                                                              2. Sam adams noble pils is a nice pilsner.

                                                                                4 Replies
                                                                                1. re: Td61

                                                                                  My favorite lager style is Czech Pilsner. Nothing beats a good fresh one. I like Pilsner Urquell and Rebel. But my favorite hasn't been around for a couple of years. I wonder if it's even being imported to the U.S. anymore. It was called Vysckovske or something similar. Not sure of the spelling. JessKidden, do you know of anywhere in Jersey this beer is available? I don't see Rebel anymore either.

                                                                                  1. re: hotdoglover

                                                                                    Don't recall ever seeing Vyskovske Pivo. It was imported by "Royal Imports" which may be same company of the same name that once imported the Whitbread brands (later brewed under license by Boston Beer Co. in Cincinnati). That "Royal Imports" apparently went out of business a few years ago.

                                                                                    Yeah, I haven't seen Rebel around for awhile, either. The current US importer's site says there's currently no NJ distributor http://www.totalbeveragesolution.com/...

                                                                                    I'm usually suspicious of a lot of the Czech and other central Euro beers on the shelves as far as age and condition (esp. green bottled beers), other than the brands distributed by the major houses - so Pilsner Urquell (SABMiller brand, distributed by MillerCoors in the US) and Czechvar (imported by A-B-InBev), both of which have easy to read "Best before" dates (tho' they're too generous, at 9 months and 1 year respectively for their suggested shelf life). Of course, that doesn't help the green bottle-light struck aspect, so when I buy them it's in a sealed case.

                                                                                    Mostly I drink the Pennsylvania pils these days - Prima, Pikeland, Sunshine, Stoudt's- the occasional Brooklyn Pilsner (if it's very fresh) and the Samuel Adams seasonal Noble Pils (very common on tap right now).

                                                                                    1. re: JessKidden

                                                                                      Thanks for the info. I drink Pilsner Urquell when I want a good Pilsner since I can't get the other two. One thing I noticed. Ever since this brand stopped being distributed by Peerless Beverage Co. (in my hometown of Union), I've never gotten a bad sample. Occasionally I would get skunky beer (I guess from the green bottles), but the current distributor seems to be doing a better job of getting the beer to the stores fresher.

                                                                                      Too bad since Peerless is located less than 5 minutes from where I usually buy my beer. And I know one of the guys who is a big shot at Peerless. Next time I'll mention it to him.

                                                                                      1. re: JessKidden

                                                                                        Budvar has had a best by date for a while. I just noticed it on a Plzen so I may have to give it another shot...

                                                                                  2. TRADITION! My family lives in Scykilll County and it is the home of Yuengling Brewery in Pottsville, Pa. A coal miner's beer since 1838, Yuengling Lager is very drinkable. My grandfather, father, and uncles all drank it and it was the first beer they gave me. I went to college in the area and my wealthy room mates from NYC & Philly lifted their noses at Yuengling as a poor coal miners beer, and drank "real" "Lowenbreau: and "Carlsen" instead.
                                                                                    I stuck w/ my Yuengling. I was very surprised when I returned to the US after 11 years overseas that they had built another brewery in Florida of all places. At our homes in New Mexico and Maine, we cannot get it, but when back home in McAdo, Pa, I very much look forward to a Yuengling Lager.
                                                                                    In other necks of the wood, I prefer the Chech lagars. I had a Chech student and when his parents visited they brought me a suitcase full of Chech beers. In '86 I watched The World Hockey Championship in Prague and became very, very well aquanted w/ Chech beers.

                                                                                    3 Replies
                                                                                    1. re: Passadumkeg

                                                                                      Yuengling Lager is only a little over two decades old (first released in 1987), for most of the post-Repeal era the flagship Yuengling beer (now known as "Premium") was the same typical US adjunct light lager beer that most every brewery in the country brewed. There's some conflict about what the current flagship beer's origin really is- their FAQ claims it's their old pre-Pro recipe, the brewmaster who created it claims he based it roughly on an early-19th Bohemian recipe - tho' it does use corn as an adjunct like all their beers.

                                                                                      Early in the 2000's, Yuengling did build a new brewery outside of Pottsville- what's usually referred to as their "Mill Creek" brewery- but the Tampa, Florida facility was bought from Stroh in 1999 just before that company threw in the towel. It had been built buy Schlitz in the 1960's (IIRC), acquired by Stroh when they bought the Milwaukee company after it's collapse in the early 1980', was actually "traded" to Pabst (just like baseball players) to solve some anti-trust problems and some excess/lack of capacity in the wrong regions for both companies . Stroh later bought it back as Pabst collapsed. The point being that brewery has seen a lot of beers brewed their over the years. (For a while, Stroh even brewed the Black & Tan in their PA brewery for Yuengling).

                                                                                      Yuengling was prematurely said to buy another former Schlitz brewery in Memphis (once one of their biggest) but the deal seemingly fell apart when the current owner (an ex-Coors exec, who bought it from Coors) claimed it wasn't for sale.

                                                                                      1. re: Passadumkeg

                                                                                        Yuengling Lager is by far the best I've tasted. Oldest truly American owned Brewery! Clean and fresh, no after taste, best bottled or on tap.

                                                                                        1. re: mdr2415

                                                                                          Great stuff, and a great success story for an almost 200 year old family business. They almost didn't make it.
                                                                                          Long may they wave!

                                                                                      2. Best lager I have ever had: Liters of fresh helles at the Hackerhaus in Munich.

                                                                                        Best lager I can get my hands on right now: SN Glissade

                                                                                        Best lager for the price: St. Pauli Girl.

                                                                                        Favorite "lawnmower" lager : Corona (sans fruit)

                                                                                        Favorite Nostalgic lager : Beck's

                                                                                        Favorite Strong/Dark lager : Augustiner Maximator

                                                                                        Favorite Amber Lager - Paulaner Ofest

                                                                                        21 Replies
                                                                                        1. re: LStaff

                                                                                          I too love the glissade-but I believe it is technically a "golden bock" rather than a lager.
                                                                                          SN summerfest is a damn good lager though.

                                                                                          1. re: AdamD

                                                                                            Do you mean, perhaps, that Glissade is a golden bock rather than a _pilsner_?

                                                                                            I've never had a pale bock that wasn't a lager.

                                                                                            1. re: Kenji

                                                                                              Yeah you are right as far as I can tell. I just thought it was different because SN doesn't call it a "lager" like they do with summerfest.

                                                                                              1. re: AdamD

                                                                                                Not to be contentious, but Glissade has all the characteristics of a lager; pale bocks are traditionally lagers; and -- finally -- Sierra Nevada _does_ say that the Glissade is a lager (look the beer up on their website; what yeast is it made with?).

                                                                                                1. re: Kenji

                                                                                                  No worries. Makes sense. A bock is a type of lager. So anything made with lager yeast is a lager?

                                                                                                  1. re: AdamD

                                                                                                    It's complicated. A brewer friend of mine was explaining that you can get "lager" characteristics using ale yeast by brewing a lower temperatures and as a result create a cleaner beer with fewer esters; esters being characteristic of ales. I'm not sure if the opposite us true though. To add to the confusion our English brothers think ale refers to their pale ale and IPA ONLY but not their stouts which are merely stouts. Therefore to them Belgian ales or German Hefeweizen (both brewed with ale yeast) and despite being highly estery aren't "ales". It's complicated however I stick with the idea that the yeast dictates whether the beer is a lager or ale.

                                                                                                    1. re: Chinon00

                                                                                                      Yes, it is complicated. Since "lager" comes from the German word meaning "to store", one could perhaps define lager beer by whether it's cold-conditioned (which would really gum things up, as some ales are cold-conditioned). Then you have Anchor Steam, which is fermented with lager yeast at a higher than usual temperature. Which leads me back to pretty much agreeing with your last sentence, perhaps with an asterisk for Anchor Steam, particularly if we want to keep things reasonably simple for the person who asked.

                                                                                                      1. re: Jim Dorsch

                                                                                                        I'd put it:

                                                                                                        "All beers that are fermented with lager yeast are lagers, except those that aren't."

                                                                                                        re: ChinonOO's "I'm not sure if the opposite is true though," in the US, the Feds define "ales" simply by a warm fermentation rather than the type of yeast employed:

                                                                                                        "ALE- Malt beverage fermented at a comparatively high
                                                                                                        temperature containing 0.5% or more alcohol by
                                                                                                        volume possessing the characteristics generally
                                                                                                        attributed to and conforming to the trade understanding
                                                                                                        of 'ale'.” http://www.ttb.gov/beer/bam/chapter4.pdf

                                                                                                        Many pre-craft-era US ales were so-called "Bastard Ales"- brewed with the brewers "house" lager yeast, but with a warmer fermentation. Classic still existing examples are Yuengling's Lord Chesterfield Ale and the now Pabst-owned Rainier Ale and, according to some, even today's sham Ballantine XXX Ale. Another of the US's largest ales, Genesee Cream Ale is a blend of lager beer and an ale. Even the once #2 craft beer , Pete's Wicked Ale, was converted to a bottom fermentation when it was brewed at Stroh breweries. The old line breweries were often not set up for top fermentation or just didn't want to mess with a different strain in their facilities.

                                                                                                        1. re: JessKidden

                                                                                                          The TTB definition is sort of like saying that ale is ale, without saying just what ale actually is.

                                                                                                          Let's not get cream ale into this discussion. My head's starting to hurt.

                                                                                                          1. re: Jim Dorsch

                                                                                                            Yeah, I've always thought of it as"
                                                                                                            "Ale is whatever the brewing industry says is ale."

                                                                                                            ...but they do throw in the really rather vague "comparatively high" temps. Almost all the rest of the definitions, save for the geographically based ones, don't even do that much.

                                                                                                            "Malt Liquor" over 0.5%- ah, no problem...

                                                                                                            1. re: JessKidden

                                                                                                              All of that is exactly why I just go by what the brewer calls it despite the technical definitions. So many variables to consider. And going back to the original conversation, the glissade does taste different from what I consider to be traditional lagers, despite its characteristic golden color. Pass the advil.

                                                                                                              1. re: AdamD

                                                                                                                "...the glissade does taste different from what I consider to be traditional lagers..."

                                                                                                                But I think that was "Kenji's" original point - that there are many different and varied traditional styles of lagers, one of which- Helles Bock/Maibock - is certainly the inspiration of SN Glissade (I suppose some might find it over-hopped for the style).

                                                                                                                I think there's a tendency, because of the dominance of "Lager" styles like pilsner, adjunct light lagers and light beers, to believe those styles define and are the limit of "lager".

                                                                                                                I'm still a bit shocked when people say they "only drink lagers [or ales]" or, conversely, "don't like ale [or lager]". Which ones? Does someone who favors top fermented porters really can't appreciate a Baltic Porter or even a Schwarzbier or other dark lager, simply because of the yeast?

                                                                                                                1. re: JessKidden

                                                                                                                  I expect that the people who 'only drink whatever' don't know what they're drinking, nor what they're not drinking.

                                                                                                                  I often relate the story Michael Jackson told about a grocery store tasting of a dark beer he was doing early in his career. customer says, "I don't like dark beer."

                                                                                                                  "Which ones don't you like?"

                                                                                                                  "I don't know. I've never had one."

                                                                                                                  1. re: Jim Dorsch

                                                                                                                    Didn't Will Rogers say, "I never met a beer I didn't like"? The was, of course, before the devolution of "lite" beers.

                                                                                                                    1. re: Jim Dorsch

                                                                                                                      Even the imprecise category "dark beer" has undergone some adjustment during the craft era. Here's a photo of Anchor Steam Beer from a "taste test" article from NEW WEST magazine at the dawn of the era, where it was described as "dark beer". https://sites.google.com/site/jesskid...

                                                                                                                      Things were changing- Anchor Steam "won" the test.

                                                                                                              2. re: Jim Dorsch

                                                                                                                >Let's not get cream ale into this discussion. My head's starting to hurt.

                                                                                                                Or Baltic Porter...

                                                                                                                1. re: LStaff

                                                                                                                  has anyone brewed a baltic porter with a lager yeast??????

                                                                                                                  1. re: cwdonald

                                                                                                                    That's pretty much the definition of a "Baltic Porter" - a term beer writer Michael Jackson coined, for the strong porters brewed in the Baltic region in sort of imitation of the UK imperial stouts once exported to area, usually with the lager yeast that was routinely used in those breweries for their other beers.

                                                                                                                    As to your question (6 question marks, no less!) about "anyone" - do you mean US breweries or homebrewers? I'd guess most of the US brewers with a beer labeled "Baltic Porter" use lager yeast. That was the case with one of the first US BP's - Heavyweight's Pekuno's Hammer and Victory's BP which basically used the same recipe, Baltic Thunder. Ditto for IIRC Smuttynose's BP.

                                                                                                                    1. re: JessKidden

                                                                                                                      Thanks for the information. After reading your post, I did a bit of digging too, and found the original Baltic Porters were in fact brewed with top fermenting yeast, and it hasnt been til later years that some folks switched to lager yeast. I personally see something like a Porter and assume it is brewed with top fermenting yeast. I guess I should ask whether anyone today tries to brew a baltic porter with a top fermenting yeast. Again thanks for enlightening me.

                                                                                                                      1. re: cwdonald

                                                                                                                        Sinebrychoff from Finland is made with top fermenting yeast and is my favorite of the style.

                                                                                                                        IMO, doesn't really matter since the yeast character should be somewhat neutral , and all the dark and caramel malt character kind of covers it up anyway. I just made one with chico ale yeast which has pretty neutral yeast character when kept below 66F - and it came out wonderfully.

                                                                                                                        Like JK said in a previous post, lager yeasts started to be used because that's what brewers in the Baltic region had on hand as their house yeast when they started making them.

                                                                                                                        1. re: LStaff

                                                                                                                          Cool thanks for the information ... still wouldnt call Baltic Porter a lager though ;-)

                                                                                            2. Wurtsteiner, "Because Life it too short to drink cheap beer."

                                                                                              1. i love dark beers. ill take a bock or porter anyday. sam adams makes a good black beer & double bock (also love their ocktoberfest). best ive had is kozel from czech repub. dark, smooth & delicious! also enjoy grimbergen (double dark)

                                                                                                1 Reply
                                                                                                  1. re: burntwater

                                                                                                    If in Austin, give Live Oak's Pilz a try; unexpectedly good.


                                                                                                  2. One of my favorite lagers is Eliot Ness by Great Lakes. It is very flavorful, not malty, just the right sweetness and bitterness for me. I believe it is a Vienna Lager style.

                                                                                                    1 Reply
                                                                                                    1. Trumer Pils. Brewed in Berkeley. Owned by Austrian company. Good stuff.

                                                                                                      1 Reply
                                                                                                      1. re: Ed Dibble

                                                                                                        Yes Trumer Pils is fantastic !

                                                                                                        And brewed just a couple miles away!

                                                                                                        How good is that!!

                                                                                                        Nice to see my thread is still going.


                                                                                                      2. - Stela

                                                                                                        1. I haven't encountered it in a while, but St. Christoffel pilsner from Holland is certainly among the best lagers I've ever had. I love classic Czech pilsners, but St. Christoffel has got to be my favorite example of the style ever. It's unfiltered, on the strong side (6% ABV) for the style, and full of beautiful hop flavors and aromas.

                                                                                                          I'd love to try the same brewer's Robertus bock as well; I'll bet it's amazing too.

                                                                                                          1. I nominate Maritime Pacific's Old Seattle Lager.

                                                                                                            1. Try the Full Sail LTD series - number 3 is my favorite. Port Brewing Midnight Sessions Lager is excellent. It's a schwarzbier, a very dark lager. Ballast Point Fathom India Pale Lager is quite tasty.

                                                                                                              1. You don't drink good beer out of a bottle. You drink it out of a glass so you can smell it, thereby enabling you to taste it. Ice cold just covers the taste. You might as well drink Bud. $.02

                                                                                                                1. Moonlight Brewing in Santa Rosa makes 3 outstanding lagers, which unfortunately are not available in bottles yet. If youre in the bay area, look for their dark lager death and taxes, reality czech and lunatic lager.