Thursday, March 10, 2011

Beau's Knows Beer I -- Lug Tread Lagered Ale

You may not be old enough to catch the Bo Jackson reference in the title. I hope, however, you are old enough to enjoy beers without soliciting passers-by or using a fake ID--because getting Beau's on tap is hard enough as it is in my city. Located near Ottawa, my current homebase of London, Ontario is simply too far to be a regular stop for them.

Here is the scoop in the 4 brews they brought down to Gambrinus Bistro as a special treat.

Lug Tread Lagered Ale
Beau's All Natural Brewery 
Vankleek Hill, Ontario, Canada
5.2% Alc.

Notes: Lug Tread refers to the tire treads on the tractor in Beau’s logo and is Beau’s flagship beer. First off, let's tackle the 'Lagered Ale' addendum to the name.

This is another way of saying the beer is a Kolsch, a style of beer native to Cologne (Köln in German). Kolsch, however, is just like an Appelation controlée in the wine world. It can only be used to describe beers made within the city of Cologne that fit the style. This is why you will sometimes see references to ‘Kolsch-Style’ or lagered ale in beer names. They are simply attempts at Kolsches that are not made in Cologne.

How does one lager an ale? The exact definitions and technical processes that define lagers and ales could fill a whole post. The easiest way to explain it is that the wort is fermented with a lager yeast and then chilled down like a lager. This combines the crispness typical of lagers and some of the flavour notes typical of ales. Kolsches are beautiful beers and Köln is more than worth a visit if you want to dip your toes in the German beer world.

This beer is very more-ish. You want to have a second. Lug Tread does a good job of displaying bitterness in a beer that, for all appearances to the mythical ‘average drinker’, looks like a typical mainstream lager. It is a great flagship product with a quenching bitterness. It hints at the potential at the rest of the lineup.

Hay is a word that comes to mind when initially sipping. The body is not thin and watery, but has the appeal of cold water in your mouth.  The CO2 bite, the airy and bready malt notes and the bitterness come together in a finish that shows what a lager-influenced beer can be. It isn’t complex but it isn’t supposed to be. It is a relatively simple and well executed brew that can appeal to those with little experience outside mainstream brews. Yet it is an example in a traditional European style that craft beer enthusiasts prize for its flavour.

2 comments:

  1. I bought some Lug Tread from the LCBO on st. Patty's Day (Yes, I managed to be unprepared enough to actually have to go to the LCBO on st. Patty's day.) based mostly on you little mini-series of beau's beer articles. It was really good. I liked it, and tried it again a few days later to make sure I actually liked it and not just St. Patty's day and I do. Some really really nice tastes in there, so thanks for the articles!

    Also if you're ever in the waterloo area we should go grab a beer. There's a place kick offs in the plaza by the university that has a selection of 50 or 60 beers that you'd probably like!

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  2. Thanks for the invite, Kyle! I`d be happy to stop in and say hi next time i`m in the KW area.

    It`s really cool to know we were able to inspire you a bit and to give Beau`s a try :) Thanks for the feedback. It is what makes this all worthwhile...ok the beer also make sit worthwhile, but I think you know what I mean ;)

    Sorry for the slow reply, Josh and I have both been very busy. Keep reading for more Adventures!

    --AB

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