Lager: what kind of beer it is and how to drink it properly

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Lager is the world’s best-selling beer: almost 80 percent of the lagers on the market can be attributed to this family of beers. Not surprisingly, such popularity gives rise to numerous myths: for example, some people believe that all light, unfiltered beers belong to lagers. But in fact, this is not true: it is not the color, strength or number of filtration that determines what style you belong to. The point is the brewing method: only low fermentation beers (i.e. beers made at low temperatures) can be called lagers. This distinguishes it from ales, which are brewed by top fermentation under warmer conditions.

Accordingly, the lager can be either light or dark. There are hundreds of varieties in this family, including the most popular — Pilsner, Bock, Schwarzbeer and others. What else is known about lager?

How and when?

Lager was born in Germany. Like everywhere else, beer was mainly brewed in monasteries — it was considered a great alternative to everyday beverages that could not boast a high degree of purification or a long shelf life. And because the German monks’ brewing season began in late autumn, the beer matured in cold cellars. Hence the name — «lager» in German means «storehouse».

It turned out that the method of bottom fermentation separates the beer yeast from the wort and settles to the bottom, which gives the drink a special taste. The monks highly valued their invention, proudly called it «liquid bread» and consumed it even during Lent.

Despite the apparent ease of production, modern lager — quite capricious beer. It is sensitive to temperature changes and requires strict adherence to the recipe. To make lager the malt should be firstly crushed, but not to a pulp, then soaked and filtered. Only after the mash is separated from the solid particles go to the boiling. Hops are added to the boiling mass, then cool it down to 5-10 degrees, and only then the yeast is added to the wort. It takes up to four months for the lager to mature. To «sink» the yeast to the bottom, the fermentation temperature is gradually reduced during the whole period.

The secrets of use

The classic of the family is European amber lager, which has a characteristic color and universal taste. Also popular variants include pilsner, which is made from light malt, dark lager with a smell of caramel, black Schwarzbier and bock of roasted malt. A distinctive feature of lagers — notes of bread, rye and banana in the aroma and a long pleasant aftertaste.

Lager should be consumed at a temperature of 5-8 degrees. Higher or lower is not an option: the drink will lose some of its flavor. After the lager has been poured into the glass you need to let it breathe and just before drinking it you need to shake it in a circular motion, covering the neck of the glass with your hand. Roll the drink in your mouth like wine, you do not need to — its taste is felt brightest after swallowing.

The best lager is waiting for you in the beer restaurant Come and try it!


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Why is traditional kölsch beer in German beer restaurants only served in narrow, elongated, small glasses? Why is it that local brews in other countries are served, for example, in pint glasses? It’s not a marketing move — the point is that in a properly shaped vessel beer better reveals its flavor and aroma, as well as retains a stable foam. And if you choose the right container, you can even at home to get maximum pleasure from your favorite varieties. To help all beer lovers — our guide to glasses! A pint of Nonic Suitable for styles: india pale ale, porter, brown ale, cider This is a versatile glass that is ideal for drinkable, low-alcoholic varieties. There are three types of pint glasses, the most popular being the 0.6 liter Nonic from the UK. It is a container with slightly curved walls that widen slightly at the bottom. Snifter Suitable for styles: stout, porter, barleywine The same «pouzat» glass that is also often seen in beer restaurants. The deep bowl retains the distinct flavor of the drink well, and the short stem allows it to be slightly warmed by human body heat, thus bringing out the aroma. The snifter is ideal for aromatic brews such as strong ales. Tulip Suitable for styles: Belgian ale, wild ale This glass is somewhat like a snifter, but with an elongated rather than narrowed neck. The tulip retains foam well, and the container also helps to capture volatile substances. A great choice for strong styles, although experts say it’s the perfect shape for any variety if you plan to drink just one glass. Pilsner Suitable for styles: lager, pilsner, bock A glass for serving all light lagers, including pilsners. It has a long shape with pronounced straight lines and a slightly tapered neck, which helps to stabilize the foam. The pilsner is also ideal for showing off the color and carbonation of the drink. Weitzen Suitable for styles: hefeweizen, witbier A smoothly shaped glass with a wide neck, originally from Germany. It is ideal for serving a variety of wheat beers, such as Hefenweizens and Belgian Witbiers. In such a glass, the flavor of the beverage will unfold well and a lush, high foam will be retained. Teku Suitable for: double IPA, saison, lambic This 0.3-liter glass is a relatively recent development and rather resembles a version of the famous tulip, but with sharper corners. The container well reveals the flavor of the drink and preserves the foam, and the long stem prevents it from heating up. By the way, in Lambic restaurants beer is served only in the right glasses. Come and see for yourself!

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Learning how to properly store beer so it doesn't lose its flavor

Learning how to properly store beer so it doesn't lose its flavor

Has it ever happened that you buy expensive and seemingly high-quality beer, but it doesn’t live up to expectations? Often the taste qualities are affected not only by the manufacturing process, but also by transportation and storage of the drink, and not only in the manufacturer’s warehouses, but also at home. And if you can’t influence some moments, then every responsible beer lover should understand the rules of home storage. We tell you how to properly store beer so that it retains its true flavor. No hot rooms Many people put beer in the fridge just before drinking, but before that they simply store it in drawers in the kitchen. This can be done, but not for long — after a few weeks, even at room temperature, beer will inevitably start to lose its flavor. The ideal storage temperature for beer is about +1 °C. Some varieties can be stored at 10-12 degrees, but if you are not ready to understand the subtleties — it is better to choose a cool place for beer. And even more so, beer should not be stored in hot rooms, for example, next to a radiator — it will quickly become unusable. Out of the sunlight The flavor of beer can be spoiled if it is constantly exposed to sunlight. Brown glass bottles cope best with direct rays — they keep out about 98% of the radiation. Green bottles, on the other hand, are only 20% impervious. It is undesirable to store beer in transparent bottles; it is better to consume it immediately after purchase. Therefore, the optimal storage method for all varieties is a dark space. Ideally a cellar, but a cupboard in the pantry will also work. Don’t open it! Leaving the beer open to finish it tomorrow is a bad decision. In the air, the drink quickly wears off and loses its flavor. By the way, oxygen can also get into closed bottles, if, for example, the production technology is broken. But this will immediately indicate an atypical odor — cardboard, paper or wax. Such a drink can not only not give pleasure, but also harm your health. And be sure to check the expiration dates even on tested varieties. How do you store draught beer? The average shelf life of draught beer is 3 days if the storage rules are followed. Such a short period of time is due to the fact that during bottling beer comes into contact with air, the bottle is not airtight and sterile. How long can you store draft beer in the bottle so that it does not spoil? Here are some tips. Of course, beer should be kept in the refrigerator. Strong beer should be stored at a temperature of no more than 15 degrees, low-alcohol beer — no more than 10 degrees. If the beer is not stored in the refrigerator but in another cold place, take care to keep it dark. Bacteria are more active in the presence of light. Bottles should be stored vertically. Because quality live beer has yeast sediment, storing it in the refrigerator is strongly discouraged. At low temperatures, the yeast dies, which also affects the flavor. Live beer is best consumed immediately after purchase — it is not pasteurized and therefore does not keep for long. Better still, come and try it at any Lambic beer restaurant. We take a responsible approach to beer storage and guarantee its excellent taste!

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