Profiled by Maria Devan
Here we go! Green Flash Sea to Sea Lager. The can is dated best by 12/18/2016. I bought it a while ago and it’s been ogled. It’s past what many lager fans believe is the end of it’s shelf life and I bought it because it was in a can and because I actually believe in the freshness date on it as far as the lager in cans is concerned and in general because of the style of hopping. Low to moderate hops. This is a zwickel lager made with German pilsner malt, Hallertau Mittlefruh and Czech Saaz hops. They say a notable yeast so maybe that means a house strain not necessarily theirs?
Off topic a bit, in my beer world the grocery has just changed everything about the beer section. There is a new distributor I hear. There are more selections that resemble the selections you find in the bottle shop. The mainstays are still there but the way it’s organized is different. Now it is alphabetical instead of geographical region. It seems like there is more beer, but is there really? They have two huge palates taking up space where there used to be shelves full of beer. That’s not actually more beer but there do seem to be all kinds of new choices. The imports section is the same. Didn’t change at all and I want some of that Spaten oktoberfest. Let me tell you how that influences my buying habits as I think of it later, in other non related threads.
OK . . .
Soft nose. Breaddy with a nice toasty brown bread crust. Sweet herb from hop. Cool. Earth and mild sulfur and spice. A bit of malt richness. A little sweetness.
Taste follows the nose. Breaddy. Soft hop with a low presence on the palate but it is striking. Saaz are sweet leafy herb, the Hallertau are spicy earthy and floral. Crisp bubble, clean, no diacetyl, faint dms. Delicate flavors but a hearty mouthfeel.
Lightly hazy, pale golden yellow undertone. Bubbly soapy head, creamy on top. Excellent presentation. Lace is clinging.
I drank it pretty fast and I could go for another. As far as hops fading, these are not that faded from their low to moderate presence and the features that make the noble hop distinct are alive and well. Good clean bitterness lasts and takes the flavors away to leave the bread or the malt. This was an exemplary beer. No fruity esters, that hint of sulfur makes it appealing and authentic to me and opens the palate at the end so it goes well with food. No fruity hop flavors except for the characteristic light lemon. It should only be in the finish and not all over the palate. Brewers used to say the lager takes too much time, too much space and is not a good investment on the shelf either. I think it is. I think lasts longer than you think as compared to an IPA that has to be drunk today or else AND you can drink a lot of it, a surprising whole lot of it!
The lager is an extreme beer. Happy New Beer Sunday!
Welcome to the PGA beer rating system: one beer “Don’t bother.” Two: Eh, if someone gives it to you, drink. Three: very good, go ahead and seek it out, but be aware there is at least one problem. Four: seek it out. Five: pretty much “perfecto.”
Maria Devan lives in Ithaca, NY and is a great beer writer. That’s Maria in the middle. The other two are not, but they are lucky to have her as a friend.