Traditionally, bottom-fermented beers were more common in the colder parts of Europe - here yeasts would settle at the bottom of the tanks, allowing brewers to make a clearer, crisper beer than traditional Ales. With the advent of refrigeration, bottom-fermenting yeasts could be used anywhere in the world. In the late 1800s to early 1900s most of the world’s brewing companies converted to this fermentation process using cold storage. This became known as ‘lagering’ from the German word largen, (to store). The end products quickly found themselves called ‘Lager’.
Lager beer is now a generic term for these styles of beers. They are matured in cold cellars at almost freezing temperatures - resulting in a refreshing, chilled drink. Although a number of variations exist (including the Czech-born Pilsner) Lager is now the predominant class of beer in the world.
Lager is generally lightly coloured with a clean, fruity and slightly hoppy aroma, coupled with pleasant malt flavours. Some are sweeter on the palate and have a smooth creamy finish (e.g Crown Lager). Others may be more bitter and slightly drier on the finish (e.g Melbourne Bitter and VB). Most lagers have an alcohol content of approximately 5% alc/vol, and are best served lightly chilled.
The most readily available and consumed beer in the world, a raft of popular premium Lager beers now exist, including:
A Pilsner is a type of Lager with a more prominent hop character. Developed in the 19th century in Plzen, in what was then Czechoslovakia, Pilsner’s beginnings marked an exciting break away from entirely top fermented dark Ales. This experimental Bavarian brewing style helped spawn the Lager method used so widely today.
Pilsner is usually pitched differently to other pale Lagers, carrying its famed hoppy vibrancy. This is achieved by using the original Czech region’s Saaz hop, adding a noticeably drier and bitter finish. Dan Murphy’s range of Pils includes:
Breweries have taken note of consumers’ desires to have a less alcoholic beer - still with the characteristic qualities expected of today’s premium Lagers. The result: Light Beer. Lower in alcohol (ranging from 2.0-3.5% alc/vol) yet retaining much of the flavour profile of its more potent cousins.
The following selections are some of our favourites:
One of our most popular premium beers, crown lager delivers full flavour and a crisp clean finish. A great all rounder!
James Boag’s a perfect balance of brewing passion and the finest natural ingredients including a unique yeast culture delivers a world renowned, smooth, malty and subtle lager.
Bluetongue Premium Lager is brewed in the traditional way, with malted barley from the Tamworth region.