Tuesday 2 March 2010

Like lager, only worse

Sometimes it's not easy being a beer nerd. I always keep my eye out for new beers when I'm in a supermarket and I had noticed that lager made with champagne yeast had appeared. It sounded like a crap, gimmicky idea to me though so I passed on by. Until that is, it was on offer at reduced price. My nerdiness won over my better judgment.

Lager is normally made with yeast currently trading under the name of Saccharomyces pastorianus. It is a hybrid of Ale yeast, Saccharomyces cerevisiae and wine yeast Saccharomyces bayanus. I've had beer made with ale yeast, I've had beer made with lager yeast and now I've had beer made with wine yeast. It was a crap idea though. The beer is very dry and has high carbonation, presumably to play up the champagne connection. Tastes even worse than normal lager.

I did have to drink it all though, you can't let alcohol go to waste.


  1. Ooh, you'll get in Kristy's bad books by saying that.

    I tried some a while back and found the taste dull and cardboardy, tbh.

  2. How very dare you ;o)

    Are you much of a lager drinker normally? My hunch is that a delicate, crisp lager like Kasteel Cru Rose is perhaps not for you but it is a great beer to attract more women into the beer category - not all women, there are tons of ale drinking women out there I know - but with over 60% of women never drinking beer this is a great place for them to start.

    Interestingly Kasteel Cru Rose was in today's Daily Mail and not everyone agrees with you :o)

  3. Saw this product on special offer in Sainsbury's at the weekend. Glad I didn't buy a bottle now!

  4. so would you turn your back of Deus or Malheur Brut, which is made with a champagne yeast — the British Guild of Beer Writers once had a seminar on yeast and there were several beers made with different yeasts, ie whisky, ale, lager, bakers; one of the organisers threatened to make one with human yeast…

  5. Ed, agree with both you and ATJ - this is not a beer I like, it is overly dry and to me both smells and tastes like the faint aroma a Boots wine kit leaves after exploding in the airing cupboard.

    However, I do think to turn your back on all beers brewed with champagne yeasts would be to miss out - as ATJ mention, Deus is divine (sorry for the pun) and Bracia is re-seeded with champagne yeast which is what imparts some of its gloriously rich, intense flavours.

  6. Yeh Paul, Sainsbury's still have this on half price. The squeeze likes it. I think its a poor lout but reasonably drinkable piss. The pink version is foul.

    It appears a marketing con to charge more for nothing at all special. Nothing wrong with a cheap box of Carlsberg Export. Its all just commodity grains, weed & water.

  7. I would say I’m not really a lager drinker at all, though I’m partial to bocks and double bocks when I can find them so I suppose saying I’m an occasional lager drinker would be more accurate. Bland and fizzy may help to win non-beer drinkers over bit it’s not really for me.

    I wouldn’t rule out drinking beer made with any yeast though, you never know what might be the only thing available. As far as I can see champagne yeast is going to have high alcohol tolerance and high attenuation. For some beers this could well be a good thing. I would like to try Deus but I am wary of beers that pricey, some of these ultra premium beers seem to be a case of style over substance.