Lager. The word has been known to send shivers down drinkers’ spines thanks to the wonderful work of macro swill-brewing corporations such as MolsonCoors, AnheuserBusch-InBev, and others in that rogue’s gallery of piss-manufacturing. People often forget that good lagers exist – and when they’re good, they’re bloody good (if you’ve ever drank Pilsner Urquell at the source in the Czech Republic, you’ll know what I’m saying).
Today’s review is a lager (a bloody good one at that) – but not as we know it. The American Dream is part of Danish gypsy-brewer Mikkeller’s newly established ‘core range’, and it blurs the lines between a seriously hoppy American Pale Ale and a crisp, refreshing lager.
Upon pouring this, you’d never have guessed it was a lager. First, there’s the hazy deep orange hue – proper pale ale territory. Next, as soon as beer hits glass there’s an instant zing of fresh tropical fruit filling your nostrils – lots of nice sweet mangoes and passionfruit – as well as plenty of citrus (limes and grapefruit especially) and a touch of semi-sweet caramel. No wonder there’s so much fresh hoppy goodness: the bottles which have just hit our shelves are only six weeks old – score.
The taste gives plenty more juicy hoppiness, although admittedly not to the same full-on fruity extent as some of Mikkeller’s pale ales and IPAs (it is a lager, after all). Juicy tangerines and mango take centre stage, alongside some supporting piney/sprucey notes and a touch of zingy citrus. Light biscuit and caramel tinged malt keep it balanced and add the perfect amount of body to keep it from being watery. Some light herb and mineral stuff happening too. The finish is really crisp and clean – hello lager characteristics, I knew you’d be in there somewhere. There’s some residual piney/grapefruity bitterness, but only in a subtle way – this one isn’t just for the pure hopheads among us.
At only 4.6% ABV this is quite possibly the ultimate summer afternoon session beer. It’s pricey at around four quid for 33cl, but that won’t surprise you given the fact it’s a Scandinavian import. Grab a couple of bottles, get out your Confederate flag bandanna, sit on the porch, and tell those pesky kids to get offa your land. Welcome to The American Dream.