Sometimes when you are after a nice drink, you might just think a nice lager would be the perfect way for you to quench your thirst. However, there are so many variations and different types that it can be overwhelming trying to make a decision, which can almost make the whole process somewhat intimidating.
Generally speaking, a lager will be smooth and feel a bit lighter than other beers and ales, but the main difference comes from the yeast used to ferment the drink, and the temperature that this is done at. Lagers are fermented at a low temperature which causes changes in the characteristics of the drink, and give it a more mellow, refreshing flavour. With this guide, you’ll be able to understand exactly how to best taste your lager and what it is that you should be looking for throughout your drink.
If you have got a lager that you are trying, there are number of things to bear in mind when you are going to sample it which can all affect the experience. The first thing you should do before drinking though is to cleanse your palate to really allow the flavours to wash over you and not be mixed in with the last thing that you had to eat! A simple glass of water will suffice to get you ready.
Next, you’ll want to pick out a glass to use, as this gives a much better taste experience compared to drinking out of the bottle. Ideally, you want your drink to be around 4 to 7 degrees Celsius as well, as temperature has a massive impact on taste as well. If its too cold, it can affect your taste buds meaning that you don’t get the true flavour of what you are drinking. On the other end of the scale too, nobody likes a warm lager at all!
Pouring affects the carbonation of the lager too, so pour your drink down the side of your glass (held at a 45 degree angle) until about halfway, and then pour the rest right over the centre of the glass. Remember, don’t worry if your drink does foam at the top, it is meant to!
Now, to actually taste your lager, give your glass a proper swirl and really smell the drink. A lot of taste is based on the smell of the item, so get in there and take note of the smells that you pick up. Then take a sip and let the lager roll over your whole palate to take in the flavours, as well as taking a deep breath or two before you swallow. Feel the features of it all, such as the carbonation or the body of the drink. After you swallow, pick up on any aftertastes that follow and then just take stock of what you’ve made of the drink and if you’ve enjoyed it.
Beginners should probably start with a product that is recognisable and familiar to them. Readily available in shops over the country, a popular lager like San Miguel from Spain or the premium Italian lager Peroni are perfect entry points. They are both great drinks with distinctive tastes that will really allow you to explore the aromas and the flavours that have been drawn out through the brewing process, as well as highlighting the overall differences between the different variations of ales and lagers.
There are also a number of lagers that would be suitable for both beginners and lager aficionados alike. Sapporo Premium is a pale lager that has a wonderful balance to it as the light malt flavours and very smooth body combine to provide a great experience. If you really fancy an experience however, King Cobra lager comes highly recommended. The Bavarian lager is double fermented and brewed to be extra smooth, which brings out the subtleties of the ingredients used to make it, as well as its unique presentation which makes it a great drink to share with friends too. Both drinks can be picked up at Bring a Bottle for a very fair price too.