For this post and this drink, Hop Kettle Pilsner Lager (brewed for the Eternal Optimist) we make a return visit to The Eternal Optimist bar on Devizes Rd above Los Gatos.
See also in this series, No 5: Gin & Tonic for more on the Eternal Optimist.
Pilsner Lager in general
According to the Beerwulf website, lager is bottom-fermented – whereas ale is top fermented. So ALL lager is beer but not all beer is a lager.
Lager, the website tells us, is a collective name for many bottom-fermenting beer styles. The colour of them can vary from dark brown to light blonde and the alcohol percentage can range from alcohol-free to over 10%.
Origin of the word Lager: the word’s root is in the German word lagern – meaning ‘to store’. Bottom fermentation beers need a longer rest period after the main fermentation that occurs in cold conditions (around 0 degrees) compared to top fermenting beers. This rest period (or storage) is called lagering and that is why we call all these beers lager.
See also: https://www.beerwulf.com/en-gb/articles-about-craft-beer/yeast-fermentation
The difference between lager and Pilsner: Pilsner is a type of later. It’s named after the Czech city of Plzen. Bavarian brewer Josef Groll first brewed Pilsner in 1842, when the good folk of Plzen asked him to brew a good, stable beer. He brought with yeast from Bavaria – the yeast used to brew lagers.
The Hop Kettle Brewery
You can find out more about the Hop Kettle brewery on the About Us page of their website here.
Founded by Tom Gee, the brewery is based in Swindon and Cricklade.
The Pilsner that we drank in The Eternal Optimist is a special brew for the bar. And, I have to say, it’s jolly nice. I’m not an expert at all but I thought I detected a malty hint to it. Either way, I liked it a lot.