Lagerbier. This is a term that has kind of fallen out of favor in most of Germany but it lives on strongly in Franconia. Once upon a time, all beer was ale or top-fermented. Munich is credited with “discovering” lager or bottom-fermented beer. These “new” beers were stored (lagered in German) at cooler temperatures in caves. The rest is history. Lager took off and it wasn’t until the US craft beer revolution in the 1980s that ales came back to the forefront. This in no way is a slight to English and Belgian ale as I love both. It’s just that lager pretty much dominated beer prior to it becoming what looked like a fad in the US. At any rate, you never need to ask for a lager in Germany as that is mostly what you will get. Even if you see Lagerbier on the menu, you can just ask for a beer. So, what does it mean in Franconia? Well, just about anything but they are generally around 5%. There are some noted ones and they seem to be on the darker side but that is certainly not a hard rule.
don’t be afraid of lager, even if it is dark
Krug-Bräu Lagerbier is wondeful example of a dark one and Metzgerbräu Lagerbier is a great hoppy amber example. Reichold Lager is more balanced. Fässla Lagerbier is dry. Hönig Lagerbier, always served in a Krug and from gravity dispense, is more of a Kellerbier but I’m putting it here just so you know there’s no easy categorization in Franconia. Mönchsamber Lagerbier from Zehendner is just plain delicious.
Next up Landbier or back to Beer Styles.