Loving lagers is like a secret handshake among the American craft beer elite. For years, ales have traditionally dominated, but experts and enthusiasts across America now commonly name-drop Märzens, pilsners, and zwickelbiers as some of their favorite styles. Thanks to light flavor profiles that can’t be masked with an overabundance of hops, the signature precision and delicacy (not to mention all-day drinkability) of lagers appeal to a higher level of beer drinker. This a huge shift in the “go big or go home” mentality that’s overshadowed the craft beer scene.
Ridiculed as boring or wimpy, macro lagers like Budweiser, PBR, and Corona have given the entire category a bad name despite being a small fraction of the different styles that fall under the anti-ale umbrella. However, with the tides turning in favor of these oft-sessionable, unquestionably drinkable, bottom-fermenting craft creations, more and more indie breweries around the country are embracing this surge in popularity and coming out with some of the most interesting lagers in years -- none more so than in San Diego.
There are plenty of places across San Diego to grab a pint of pilsner or a bottle of bock to celebrate National Lager Day on December 10th. From Thorn Street Brewery to Green Flash Brewing Co., seemingly everyone in San Diego is cashing in on the lager bandwagon and the results are glorious. Here are 10 of the most vibrant cold-finished creations to imbibe right here in the Capital of Craft.