Monday, January 18, 2010

Review - Lakefront Local Acre

Last week we published the podcast of our roundtable discussing the Local Acre and the state of Wisconsin local agriculture and value-added agricultural production. Today is a simple review of the beer that has generated all of this interest. As the label says, this is a lager that weighs in at 7.5% ABV or so. It uses 100% Wisconsin hops, and 100% Wisconsin grains.

Lakefront Local Acre
BeerAdvocate (B). RateBeer (NA).
Appearance: pale golden and hazy, a light straw color maybe? More hazy than typical for a filtered lager [ed note: it is not filtered; my comment here merely was a reference to the fact that lagers of this type typically ARE filtered]; this may be intentional to give it a "rustic", "authentic" Wisconsin feel, or it may just be a result of the sheer amount of 6-row, husky grain in here; the head is about 2 fingers and dense in my imperial pint; it's a very pretty beer actually
Aroma: husk and malt with a light floral hoppiness; I'm guessing that these are not cascade hops, but maybe something like a Northern Brewer or Hersbrucker; the aroma is pleasant and the presentation alone makes this quite a beer [ed note: they are actually cascade hops; but as I've mentioned before, the Wisconsin variety of Cascade is somewhat muted; and it might account for the lemony citrus-iness that seemed otherwise unaccountable]
Flavor: soft, with more hop bitterness than one might otherwise expect given the muted aroma; the taste is all malt, with lemony brightness and clean finish; there is a faint bit of alcohol that comes through at the very end; not a strong huskiness in flavor that one might expect with 6-row malts; the lemony brightness almost gives it an ale flavor
Body: soft, but medium-light bodied (at least as compared against other light-colored lagers); the finish is quick and fairly clean
Drinkability: quite nice, though a bomber goes a long way; but I can easily see drinking a bomber by myself (as I'm ... ahem ... currently doing) and wanting more.
Summary: reminiscent of a mai bock without some of the syrupyness typical for that style, this has an interesting flavor that is unique unto itself; there is a sweetness, brightness, and hoppiness that is unusual for a typical American pale lager; it would make an EXCELLENT festbier if Americans weren't so persnickety in demanding that Oktoberfests be amber styles and I can see this really taking off as a flagship for Lakefront; it's complexity is interesting, even though at the end of the day it IS a pale lager; I quite like it and wouldn't hesitate to spend the $6 for a bomber that's being asked, though perhaps as a Spotted Cow killer in keg and 12ozs it might be better-received (though I doubt there's the supply of raw materials to meet that kind of demand)

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