Egerer Wiener Lager |Großköllnbach, Germany
Of course I thought I needed to be eating hot dogs or brats when I saw the label “Wiener Lager.” I counted to 10 and decided you can’t judge a beer by its label. Well you can but not one created in a foreign country and you aren’t familiar with the terms.
The Egerer website doesn’t mention this beer. (They also produced the Alms Hell from Advent Day 3). The tasting app says “Wiener Lager is a beer style by Anton Dreher, the Austrian brewing legend. He combined cold fermentation with knowledge of English malting technology and thus created the Viennese warehouse as we know it today.” 5.1% ABV. So obviously they used a cut and paste translation like I have been doing because I was stumped by “Viennese warehouse.”
Warehouse is German for Lager. Weiner is a demonym of Vienna according to Wikipedia.
It is a light-bodied beer, the lightest so far and is a very light in color but almost a dirty looking yellow. Not as bright as most of the helles. Unfortunately it has a very light flavor. On a very long finish there is a slight bitter hoppy side to it. What can I say. It helped me thru dinner since I had to cook. The last thing I wrote on my tasting notes is “It’s beer.” And it is. Not anything wild, nothing spectacular but a decent brew that goes well with cooking.
I turned to my handy Oxford Companion to Beer and read about Lagers. It would appear that all beer (most of it) falls into one of two families: Lagers and Ales. The big difference in the two are that each family has its own yeast “family.” It also says that it is a myth that Lagers are “yellow and light” and Ales are “dark and more alcohol.” A Lager can be almost any color but one of the big difference is that the Lager yeast goes through bottom fermentation (discussed earlier) and those brews can brew colder and pick up very different aromas and taste profiles. And another tidbit, the term Lager comes from the German word lagern which means “to store.” That, according to the Oxford Companion, is because Lagers are typically matured after fermentation “between several weeks and several months, often near or even below the freezing point.”
I have to wonder what the maturation period for this beer is. I mentioned that this beer was the lightest I’ve had so far and didn’t jump out on its taste. I think it would be interesting to taste a Lager early in its maturation period and compare it to the end. I was always led to believe that the longer the maturation the bolder the flavor. But that might be because most brews in the US are stuck in some second use barrel that held some other form of alcohol. If this matured in a stainless steel environment then the end result would be more mellow. I guess I need to read my Oxford Companion some more. Maybe while drinking tomorrows brew on Advent Day 9.