Got Microlager?

July is American Beer Month—summertime means warmer weather, so people tend to go for cooling, refreshing beers. Lagers should be ideal for this, but they have strayed, terribly diluted into a bland, dumbed-down, mass-marketed means of alcohol delivery. Craft-brewed and imported specialty beers offer a rich, robust range of flavors. There is good news: Local brewers have put the craft back into lagers, too. In fact, with Olympia and Rainier now just labels for beers brewed elsewhere, all of our region's lagers are craft-brewed. Two breweries most focused on classic lager styles are Baron Brewing, operating in a tiny facility in South Park, and Alpine Brewing, which brews at a plant in Oroville, but wisely markets its excellent draft-only beers in metro Seattle. Both have introduced good-quality fresh Pilsner-style lagers as well as other high-quality drinkables. Redmond's Far West Brewing brews a hoppy U19 Pilsner; Leavenworth offers a dryish, unfiltered Friesian Pilsner; and Anacortes Brewing has recently featured both a Maibock and a pale Helles-style lager. Roger's Pilsner, the second beer introduced by Georgetown Brewing, is a reliable rendition of the style. Maritime Pacific's Old Seattle Lager is a malty reminder of pre-Prohibition brews. For brewpub lagers, Elysian Brewing offers seasonal bocks and Zephyrus Pilsner; Gordon Biersch, downtown, has just introduced a golden Czech Pilsner. Our craft brewing industry makes some damn good lagers in a range of styles—just perfect for your summer drinking. But if you're a traditionalist, remember that the European classics are still with us. Pilsner Urquell, the original pale lager of Pilsen, made its debut in 1842, and it's likely that the Czech lager will be celebrating 200 years in 2042. Prost!

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