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Amber / Vienna Lager
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All about amber/Vienna lager
How amber lager is made
Like all lagers, amber lager undergoes a conditioning process at very low temperatures. When refrigerators didn’t exist, Germans sourced ice from nearby rivers and used it to fill beer cellars. In addition, they planted chestnut trees near the cellars to keep them even cooler. Eventually, brewers started to serve lagers among the chestnut trees, starting the tradition of beer gardens.
To make lagers, the producers use a specific type of yeast. Other types of beers can use the lager yeast, but they aren’t lagers unless they undergo the cold conditioning process.
Vienna lager, which is the middle ground between pale and dark lagers, was born in Austria’s capital. In 1841, the forward-thinking brewer Anton Dreher created the first amber-colored lager. In case you were wondering, yes, Dreher’s family is behind the homonymous commercial brand of pale lager beers.
In modern times, when pilsner and other pale beers superseded the Vienna variety in Europe, Austrian brewers emigrated to Mexico, where their homegrown beer had a huge success. That’s why many varieties of Vienna beer still hail from Mexico.
What foods pair well with amber lager?
Who said that you can only pair wine with meals? Drinks such as beers are food-friendly and pair well with many dishes. Amber-colored lager beers don’t overwhelm the palate like the darker ones may, so they pair well with Mexican dishes, grilled meats and fruity desserts. As for cheese pairings, try white cheddar, gruyere or spicy cheeses like pepper jack.
What do amber-colored lagers taste like?
These medium-bodied lagers have a sweet malty flavor with toasty or caramel notes. The hop bitterness ranges from 18 to 30 International Bittering Units (IBUs), which is low to medium. With a moderate carbonation level, Vienna lagers offer a satisfying mouthfeel. Serve them in a tulip glass at a temperature of 45 to 50 degrees Fahrenheit, or just drink them straight from the bottle.