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Steins With Stein: August Lager Roundup

If nothing else, DC Beer writers are known for their love of lagers, and in the content-deprived dog days of August, with Marzens, Festbiers, and other fall seasonal releases upon us, what better time to take a look around the Beltway at the local offerings? Below, Mike Stein tells us about some of them.

It’s still summer, so let’s start light and easy, with 3 Stars Pickup Limes Light Lager. For extreme crushability consider this one. At 4.2% ABV a 32 ounce crowler (a measly two pints) needs no limes, simply some light curls from table to face. If table curls are too taxing, consider shower curls: 32 oz of light lager in the shower (or the tub) may be just the trick to make good daily hygiene more enjoyable. Available for curbside pickup or delivery.

Atlas Brew Works is serving up sixers of their Bullpen Pilsner and Festbier from their Half Street, SE location. With the Festbier clocking in at a surprisingly easy drinking 6.1% ABV, its crushabiliity [ed: we’re going to use this phrase a lot, be warned!] is only usurped by the Pilsner with a slightly more crushable ABV of 4.7%. It’s quite easy to put away a sixer of this in nine short innings. These clean, neutral expressions of hop and malt are different from 202, a Helles lager that’s barrel aged for six months and dosed with Brettanomyces. 202 is only available on draft (no crowlers!) and has a subtle brettanomyces character.

Black Narrows, the little brewery that can’t get enough of Virginia agriculture, has growlers for delivery via the Churckey Beer Shop. How Bout It is an heirloom corn lager with Virginia ingredients that runs a crushable 4.2% ABV. Former Bluejacket brewer Josh Chapman setup the Chincoteague brewery with his family and just recently began canning the pale lager with the help of Dynasty. A growler of this is easy to finish: crisp, dry, very moreish. Invest heavily, and hope that the DMV sees Black Narrows cans sooner rather than later.

Bluejacket cranks it up to 11 with Radio Cure, a 5% ABV dry hopped Pilsner. Note, this is Bluejacket’s third Pilsner available for delivery in two weeks, following the more bitter Love Cats and the softer Self Portrait. Per the brewery, Radio Cure has been “dry-hopped with a fine crop of Bavarian-grown Spalter Select hops” and was step mashed, lagered for six weeks, and naturally carbonated. Similarly, the dry hopped dunkel, They Both Melt, is a wonderful expression of a unique lager. So pickup the new lager, Radio Cure, or support some of the classics like For the Company (a Helles), Love Cats, Self Portrait, or They Both Melt. Make more Paper Jet, a collaboration Pilsner with Virginia’s Crooked Run, while you’re at it! 

DC Brau has just released their Oktoberfest, brewed with German malts, hops, and yeast, weighing in at 5.5% ABV. The lager is available for curbside pickup at the brewery or delivery purchase on their online store.

Port City’s award-winning German Pilsner returns to us in crowlers and 16 oz cans to go. At a respectable 4.6% ABV this Great American Beer Festival winner is just what the lager lover ordered. Unfiltered, naturally carbonated, and chock-full of German malts and hops, this beer is the embodiment of DC area brewing excellence. Naturally carbonated, this beer scoffs at the flavor-stripping C02 brewers have been blowing into their zwickelbiers, which will never win gold medals. And like Atlas and Brau, they’ve got an Oktoberfest beer, too. Lager up!

So, there you have it. We hope you enjoyed this non-comprehensive look at local lagers. Go forth and order beer. Drink it outside or in your home. And stay tuned for more lager coverage. Got any local favs? Sound off to us online.

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