DES MOINES, Iowa — “We feel like lagers are sort of an underrepresented, under celebrated style, considering it’s the largest style in the world,” said Jon Shine, Vice President of Sales for Urban Chestnut Brewing Company. “It’s the workhorse of beer and we feel like it doesn’t always get its due and its appreciation.”
Shine says that’s why UCBC held a lager fest earlier this year in St. Louis. Jeff Bruning was there.
“Earlier this year, I went to one in St. Louis at Urban Chestnut,” said Bruning, Co-owner of Hessen Haus. “And thought about it and asked the guys, hey, let’s throw one here.”
And that’s how a celebration of all things lager came to Des Moines. Both Bruning and Shine say lagers are experiencing a renaissance.
“Right now a lot of craft breweries are starting to brew lagers,” said Bruning. “Some have brewed them since the start. Urban Chestnut’s been open for eight years. They’ve been brewing since the start. But, we have Exile’s making Ruthie, Firestone Walker just rolled out a lager this year. They have a Pivo Pils, which is also a lager based…style beer.”
And making a good lager can be tricky.
“A good lager, it’s gonna be clean,” said Shine. “It`s gonna be refreshing, and it’s gonna be crisp….you know, you have a beer like an IPA. if the beer`s off, you can cover it up with hops and bitterness, or you can cover it up with high alcohol. But a lager, it’s gotta be done well, or else anyone who drinks it is gonna know there’s something wrong.”