When Jeff of Beervana awarded the annual Satori Award to Fort George’s 1811 Lager, I figured it was high time to dust off the review notes I had written for this beer and get them published here. (I’m actually really behind on posting beer reviews of late.)
Fort George crafted this beer last year to honor the bicentennial of Astoria (the oldest U.S. settlement west of the Rocky Mountains), in the style of a Pre-Prohibition lager. Along with their Vortex IPA it was the first of Fort George’s beers to be packaged and distributed—in cans.
From their site:
Many West Coast brewers in the 19th century had no ice, so they improvised an effervescent beer by brewing lager yeasts at higher-than-normal temperatures. Described as a “refreshing drink, much consumed by the laboring classes,” it’s the inspiration for 1811 lager.
More flavorful than most modern lagers, and fermented at warmer temperatures, 1811 is lovingly concocted from 2 row malted barley and cracked maize; corn was a popular beer ingredient in pre-Prohibition days. 1811’s hop character gives it a distinctive Northwest style worthy of Astoria’s 200-year history.
1811 Lager is 5.1% alcohol by volume, and nicely unfiltered.
Appearance: Hazy golden-straw colored [my picture picked up a lot more “orange” than “straw”], lively bubbles, two fingers of nice fine white head.
Smell: Nicely hoppy aroma—Noble hops I think, spicy and floral—along with sweet maltiness that reminds me of corn.
Taste: Really pleasant zing of hops right up front, bright, bitter and popping out; they give way to a nice solid bitterness on the back of the tongue. Peppery and spicy, overlaying neutral malt backbone. Really tasty.
Mouthfeel: Light and crisp with lots of hop zing peppering the palate.
Overall: Excellent, mellow but big hops, and “zing” is the best word I can think of to describe the character here; it’s not hoppy like a big IPA but they’ve put the spicy, peppery, bright character of the Noble(?) hops to good use. I really like it.