Lager’s hoppier cousin

By on November 18, 2015

Shoppers may have been a bit surprised last week when entering the aisle looking for Yuengling Lager. Next to the traditional, beer-colored cases of the Pottsville brewery’s flagship Lager sat green cases bearing the Yuengling logo. Meet the new Yuengling IPL!

As a style, the India Pale Lager is an infant and some beer purists cry foul with the category completely. Basically, the beer is a mashup of two styles — a lager and an ale — making itself its own category. A lager is slowly, cold fermented, while ales usually undergo a rigorous warm fermentation. The differences in the fermentation processes allow — or discourage — the amount and style of hops used in the brew. Lagers tend to stick to the noble hops, while ales are open to new styles of the beer-flavoring flower. The first IPL, named Sword Swallower, was created by New York’s Shmaltz Brewing Company in 2007.

When I saw the new brew from Yuengling, I had to check it out. It’s priced comparable to their line of other beers like my favorite, Lord Chesterfield. The IPL reminds me of Lord Chesterfield. The aroma is wonderfully citrus-filled. It pours a nice golden color with a thick effervescent head. It is a floral beer with a lot of hop flavor, which is not overly annoying as it can be in some big IPAs; there are hints of grapefruit and rose and it finishes dry. The Yuengling IPL is a well carbonated, tongue-tingling beer.

Yuengling Brewing Manager John Callahan describes his IPL as a “nice, smooth, crisp, clean drink.”

 

The new Yuengling IP clocks in at 5 percent ABV and 60 IBUs (double that of their Lager). Yuengling Brewing Manager John Callahan describes his IPL as a “nice, smooth, crisp, clean drink.”

The new Yuengling IP clocks in at 5 percent ABV and 60 IBUs (double that of their Lager). Yuengling Brewing Manager John Callahan describes his IPL as a “nice, smooth, crisp, clean drink.”

 

He uses four types of hops, the same yeast strain as the brand’s flagship Lager, and a combination of pale and Munich malts. For bittering, Callahan used two new strains of hops, Bravo (created in 2000) and Belma (from Washington state’s Puterbaugh Farms). During the dry hop process, Callahan uses two popular varieties, Cascade and Citra. This is the first time Yuengling has used Citra hops, an insanely popular hop comprised from Hallertau Mittelfrüh, Tettnang, Brewer’s Gold and East Kent Golding hops. The result is a beer clocking in at 5 percent ABV and 60 IBUs (double that of their Lager).

America’s oldest brewery is no stranger to seasonal beers. They started brewing a seasonal bock beer back in 1930 and an Oktoberfest in 2011. I definitely prefer the Oktoberfest over the bock.

Have I piqued your interest in IPLs? If so, here are a couple I’ve enjoyed over the years.

  • Fathom from Ballast Point Brewing Company — This award-winning beer is the one to go for if you love hops.
  • Magic Hat Brewing Company makes their Dream Machine with Nugget, Cascade, Amarillo, and Sterling hops.
  • There are five types of hops in Pyramid Brewing Company’s IPL: Nugget, Chinook, Amarillo, Centennial, and Sterling.
  • Hitting the hop overload button is Samuel Adams; their Double Agent IPL packs seven varieties into their brew: Zeus, Simcoe, Citra, Ahtanum, Cascade, Centennial, and Nelson Sauvin hops. (I just had a great beer with Nelson Sauvin hops at Iron Hill in Lancaster; check out The Kabouter.)

While Yuengling’s IPL is a limited release, these other suggestions can be found year round. Cheers!

Michael C. Upton works as a freelance writer specializing in arts and leisure, covering subjects ranging from funk punk to fine wine. He invites your comments and suggestions at facebook.com/SomebodiesProductions.

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