One day, in your youth, your dad gives you a sip of his beer and you think he’s crazy for willingly imbibing it. It’s a macro lager. A few years later, taste is an afterthought and you’d do pretty much anything to get your hands on some of that fizzy, intoxicating liquid. When it does come into your possession, it’s a macro lager, because it’s cheap and has alcohol in it. Then you’re in college and you take beer drinking to new heights – like a story high beer bong to your head. Macro lager slips right past your taste buds and your pretty stoked about it. Time passes and by some strange twist of fate you discover craft beer and you have the epiphany of a lifetime. Beer tastes great! It’s a bit of a whirlwind from there. ”Good gracious hops tastes awesome!” “12%?!?!” “Sour beer?!?!” “They put it in barrels?!?!” “Belgium is the motherland!!!” etc etc…
Ales become your king and all that nonsense pre-craft revolution kinda makes you cringe with embarrassment.
Then your beer geekdom reaches an even greater height, because that holy fluid is the light of your life. It greases your gears. You start to not only crave knowledge of the next big release but of how the stuff is made…how it’s brewed…what it takes to craft the goods you so adore.
And it’s right about at this point that your whole world comes full circle as a beer lover. You realize that, of all the beer styles in the world, when it comes to professional, production brewing, very few styles are harder to master than the lager. That swill your dad drank, that piss you shotgunned in high school, that warm, rice flavored backwash you pounded in college – that stuff takes a master to concoct.
And then you visit Chuckanut Brewing in Bellingham, WA and Heater Allen Brewing in McMinnville, OR. You taste small batch, craft lager. You talk to the brewers and in doing so you realize how much these guys have to baby the beer. How they have unfathomable patience. How the idea of rushing a batch to market is not even in their vocabulary.
The thesis of my theory is that the long time beer geek ends up craving the lagers that he/she grew up on. Well, maybe not always those in particular, but there comes a great respect for the lager and its brewer. At Burial Beer, we have walked this road and we want to make the stuff that we most want to drink.
So that brings us to our North Carolina Lager – a beer that we are very proud to baby. From the stats alone, this Munich Helles is true to style in every way. But stats can only tell you so much. Put your nose in the glass and it will be apparent. This beer just might splinter your perceptions of what a light lager can be.