Lager’s a funny old drink. On the continent, it is variously a refreshing, civilised afternoon tipple on a sunny terrace; a tourist attraction steeped in years of brewing history; not considered alcohol. In the UK, it’s fizzy, watery fighting-juice. I often drink lager out if the only alternative is nitro-keg ‘smoothpour’ bitter - annoyingly many of the big brewchains will do a reasonable premium Czech lager but not a proper beer - or when what I really want is alcoholic water (ie I have a hangover, or am on a gig). But in all honesty, a pale ale like last week’s would be my choice over lager on a sunny day if it was available.
This week’s Beerbods selection is a 4% premium lager from The Cotswolds Brewing Company, who are based not far from me in Bourton On The Water (home of Brum). It bills itself as ‘easy drinking with hints of tropical fruits and elderflower’, but for me it’s just too light. I get the elderflower, but a hint is right - it’s barely there, and is gone almost straight away. There’s no discernible finish, and I can’t imagine this holding my attention for any length of time.
In the interests of science, I decided to taste this alongside one of my favourite lagers, St Mungo, from Glasgow’s West Brewery. Admittedly, it’s a Bavarian-style lager, more amber than straw-coloured and an extra .9% on the Cotswold, but this isn’t just ‘hints’ of flavour. Kiwi fruit on the nose, dry and hoppy on the palate and a creamy finish (IKAGLTO), and enough character to accompany food rather than just provide lubrication.