Any craft beer industry vet or trendsetter will likely admit to their secret love of light lagers. Whether the light lager style is craft beer’s next big thing is up for debate. But the undeniable fact? Craft is taking lager back.
We tried more than a dozen craft lagers to reach these final picks. Let it be known that the differences between these lovable bottom-fermenting brews are so subtle that your preferences, and ours, may change by the day. Use these as a benchmark. Here are eight unapologetically “fizzy and yellow” beers at their best.
This take on the Mexican lager has a sweet aroma of corn chips and a took us home with Fritos-like flavor. Still subtle and refreshing, our tasters imagined taking this anywhere from Taco Tuesday to a pool party.
This creamy and crisp take on the classic offered up aromas of fresh grains, bread dough, hints of hop earthiness, and sweet, fragrant florals. Crush it again and again.
A self-proclaimed “Tampa-style lager,” Cigar City’s take claims to bring refreshment suitable for a humid Florida afternoon, and it certainly delivers. Soft and pilsner-like in mouthfeel, tasters offered up notes like “delicious,” “easy,” and “hard to hate.”
Subtle in every way, Green State is a pilsner that’s pale in color, gentle in aroma, and medium-light in mouthfeel. Tasters noticed a crisp, zippy kick, likely thanks to the Hallertau Mittelfruh and Saaz hops.
Don’t let the name fool you: This award-winning pilsner is as summer-crushable as it is winter-huggable. You can depend on this one anywhere, anytime — ideally soon.
Longtime champions of the craft lager, Victory hasn’t ceased to impress us with its year-round Helles lager, which one taster described as “like chewing on a piece of barley.” Simple, clean, and crushable, this beer rivals one of our other all-time favorites, Victory Prima Pils.
Paso Robles, Calif.
This brand new offering from Firestone Walker is soft and clean, with a slight grain sweetness that had tasters gulping down their glasses before we could say “unicorn.”
The only lager on the list to dip a toe over 5 percent ABV, Threes Vliet takes pilsner to a special place for us. Its herbal, green aroma is akin to freshly cut grass; its clean, sweet, and soft on the palate; Vliet continues to crush our expectations, as we continue to crush can after can.