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.