National Lager Day on December 10th raises a glass to the third most popular beverage after water and tea. While lager is typically characterized as a light, summer beer we believe that every season deserves to be celebrated with a few of your favorite things.
- Lagers are distinguished from other beers by using a cold-conditioning process. The types of yeast used are referred to as “bottom-fermenting” yeast or yeast that can develop at colder temperatures.
- Before the advent of refrigeration, brewers perfected this process in cellars dug into the ground and filled with ice.
- Born in the 19th century Bavaria Lager was the result of brewers experimenting with the benefits of storing beer for long periods in cold environments. Brewed using a bottom-fermenting yeast this beer would then be transported to places where the temperature remained low, first in cellars, and then transported to the caves of the Alps.
- Deep within this frozen cellars of the Earth they would be packed in ice from the mountains or lakes and left to “lager” over the summer. The word Lager itself speaks of this method, being derived from the German word for “to store”, Lagern.
- Lager styles include Pilsners, Helles, Dunkels, Bocks, Schwarzbiers and Oktoberfests (to name a few).
- The first US lager was brewed in 1840 by John Wagner, who had a small brewery in the back of his house on St. John Street in Philadelphia. Wagner brought the first lager yeast to the United States from a brewery in Bavaria.
- Lagers are relatively new to the beer scene, first appearing in Bavaria during the 16th century; before that, ales were brewed for over 7,000 years because ales are easier to ferment.
- Beer is the 3rd most consumed beverage in the world behind water and tea.
- The Pilgrims landed at Plymouth Rock, not because it was their intended destination (they were on course to sail well south), but they settled on the destination up north simply because they ran out of beer. [This item is repeated in several articles sourced for today’s facts]
- King Gambrinus is known as the “patron saint of beer” (not to be confused with St. Arnold, the patron saint of brewing).
- The oldest known written recipe is for beer.
- Lager beer is the dominant beer style throughout the brewing world today, except in England where Ale is the primary style of beer consumed in England.
- Cenosillicaphobia is the fear of an empty beer glass.
- The Vermont Country Store has Mini Chocolate Guinness pints made by Lir, one of Ireland’s award-inning chocolatiers, whose luxuriously smooth chocolate pairs perfectly with the rich molasses and espresso flavors of real Guinness stout.
- Presidents George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, James Madison and Barack Obama were all homebrewers.
- Frosty glasses cause foaming.
- Most Americans live within 10 miles of a craft brewery.