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FOOD HOLIDAYS: National Lager Week For Beer Lovers

Love your lager? This is the week to celebrate: It’s National Lager Beer Week.

Lager (the German word for storage) refers to any beer made by bottom fermentation. It is usually golden in color but sometimes can be dark.

Lager requires a longer, colder fermentation than ale (which is a top-fermenting beer), and uses a different species of yeast that tolerates cold temperatures well. The result of the cold fermentation is a lighter, crisper, smoother beer.

Ale is the favored beer style of England, and as the British colonized America, it became the beer of the Colonies. Lager beer was introduced to the U.S. during the German immigration of the early 1800s. It was immediately adopted and the country switched from being an ale-drinking country to a lager-drinking country.

The only challenge was that brewing lager required a colder environment, 30°F to 40°F.

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Tip a glass to National Lager Week! Photo by Duncan Tidd | SXC.

Brewers in the days prior to refrigeration would brew the beer in caves or burrow into sides of mountains to create the right environment (in Germany as in the U.S., hence the word for “storage place”). Thankfully, in modern times, countries with no mountains or caves can brew lager. That’s another reason to celebrate National lager Week.




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