Is lager the most misunderstood beer? Generally clean and crisp and the reach-for liquid when the days heat up, there is so much more to lager than what the big breweries offer, which generally ranges from the nicely refreshing, to a shade of piss water. Lager is the much younger sibling of ale—it's only been around a few hundred years while ale dates back millennia—and comes in a range of different styles. American pale lager is the stuff the commercial brands spend millions telling you is great, but generally it’s the most mundane tasting (making it a good choice for flip cup tournaments, though). You need to look to Germany and central Europe for something more interesting—boch, helles, dunkel, dopplebock, pilsner are some of the key words indicating varieties of strength, taste and weight.
Fortunately, many of our local and regional breweries have been playing around with lager styles and the results have been popping up on taps around town. More fortunately still is this weekend is the second annual Lagerfest hosted by White Owl Social Club (out on the big patio) where some 60-odd varieties of American craft lager will be on show. It’s a great chance to try and compare the full range of what lager has to offer, from the relatively light and fresh Breakside Pilsner to Rogue’s full-bodied Dirtoir Black Lager. The taps rotate over Saturday and Sunday, so you might want to get yourself a weekend ticket—it's educational, after all.
Lagerfest 2014, White Owl Social Club, 1305 SE 8th, July 19, 20, 2 – 10pm, $10/$15 weekend pass (inc. tasting glass + 5 drink tickets)