Thursday, August 21, 2014

New Beer Thursday: Southern Star Backwoods Lager

This edition of New Beer Thursday, finds me grabbing a beer not at home, but out at a bar.  The one the only Petrol Station, one of the great craft beer bars in the country.  The beer itself is from relatively local Conroe brewery Southern Star and is a beer that has been out for a couple of weeks at least.
Backwoods Lager is Southern Star's take on a Pre-Prohibition Lager.  What's a Pre-Prohibition lager you ask?  Its a lager that is significantly different than the typical American Adjunct lager that many are used to.  Much more malt based (although pre-pro lagers did use some adjuncts, just not as heavily as the mass produced boys do today).   They were traditionally made with six row pale malts and some flaked maize (corn).  But to emphasize, not in the manner of today's mass produced lagers, this ingredient helped give a little bit of flavor and nuance, helping give strength to the beer.  These pre-pro lagers were also much higher gravity, and much more hopped then what we are used to with respect to American Lagers today.
Backwoods Lager weighs in at 5% ABV and was poured into a typical shaker pint glass.  The color was golden with a thin white head.  Golden, but a bit darker then your typical American Lager.  The nose was of cereal grains, pale toasted malts, fruitiness, and a hint of pinkness.  The mouthfeel is mild, maybe not quite medium bodied.  A much bigger hop profile here than what I senses on the nose.  It finishes nicely dry.  Piney, citrus pith up front, with some sweetened cereal grains in the mid-palate, before finishing crisp, clean, and dry like a good lager should.  Good carbonation.  This is a great beer.  It hits all the right notes of a top notch lager, with the hop presence of a good IPA.  Great job by Southern Star.

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