“Grave Shift has a blend of pilsner, 2-row and Munich base malts and just a touch of dark malt for a little flavor and, of course, the color” writes Jared Pulliam, Head Brewer/Owner. “It’s a simple recipe, but for most of my beers, I think water is what helps set it apart. When I come up with a desired flavor profile, I think of exactly what my water base is going to be and it’s different for every beer–literally. So I alter my water for Grave to allow for that nice malty character to shine, but also give it that crisp bite.”

On Monday, Lost Generation hosted a media and industry night. Four brewers from a well-known Maryland brewery and I drank Graveshift, and I asked them if they thought the beer bitter, as it has more than a little hop bite, mostly from both noble hops and the Belma variety. One of the four brewers thought the beer bitter, but the other three thought it not bitter at all. All agreed it was neither too thin nor too rich: medium-bodied was the consensus. The consensus was also that the beer struck a Goldilocks balance of not too sweet and not too dry. That beautiful balance is the result of pale and dark German malts, somehow both complex and yet simple all at the same time.

As a beer with 4.9% alcohol by volume, Graveshift has a malty richness typically reserved for larger beers like imperial porter, double stout, or black IPA. It has the complexity of coffee with the drinkability of water. And while it might seem strange to read, it is absolutely the beer you want at 6 AM. Don’t take my word for it, ask Pulliam:

“This beer is inspired by what I craved when I got off overnight shifts. At Lags [Lagunitas Brewing Company], the overnight was from 7pm-5:30am. So realistically, you’d get off shift around 6’ish and you’d obviously want a drink after work. While I normally crave a crisp lager with a little bite for after work drinking when I work normal hours, at 6am when it’s cold and dark and damp I wanted this (Petaluma winters are not what most think of when they think of California weather). Stylistically it’s nothing, but it’s the amalgamation of all the notes I wanted at that hour after a long day. Crisp, but a tinge of malt character, some nice roast (coffee seems apropos at 6am) and a mildly dry finish. Pair that with some classic noble hop notes and give me just a touch of berry (one of my favorite coffees at the time had a great berry note to it, which is largely an inspiration of that part and why we used the Belma) and that’s what I craved. It’s what I wanted so I designed a beer around that.”

All pics via Brandy Nicole Holder

While Lost Generation’s hard opening is tomorrow, Saturday, October, 29, the early consensus is Graveshift is their most popular beer. “Grave is likely a core brand for us.” say Pulliam. “Based on the reception we are planning on brewing another batch right away. It should be in tank next week. Cross our fingers, what we have will last until then, but lagers do take time. But in the meantime, we did put an all German malt and hop Dunkel in the fermenter today. Should be drinking great in December.”

The consensus amongst brewers and media was that the Lost Generation beer quality is very high and standing out amongst all of the beers is the Graveshift Dark Lager. Four packs of Graveshift are available for purchase from the brewery for $15.

Listen to The DC Beer Show Podcast with Lost Generation.