Turn on the Light: The Rise of the Low-Alcohol Craft Lager

Photo: Olivia Rae James

Photo: Olivia Rae James

Scroll through Instagram, peruse Twitter and tiptoe through Untappd, and you might assume that beer fans have blinders on for everything but IPAs and pastry stouts. Blow hype’s smokescreen aside, however, and you’ll see the light: Americans love low-ABV lagers. In January, sales data revealed that the country’s best-selling beers are Bud Light, Coors Light and Miller Lite, the first time the top three were all light. With lower-calorie beers ruling the land, craft and independent brewers are making unlikely moves, especially as conglomerates increasingly encroach on their turf. “They’re firing shots, so we’ll fire shots back,” says Night Shift co-founder Rob Burns.

Enter the era of light lagers, low-calorie craft beers and nonalcoholic sips suited for one and all. My Imbibe feature awaits your clicking finger. 

May Means Maibocks. And Goats

This week I started contributing craft beer content to the Food Republic, a killer new website covering everything that you can shove into your mouth. I should be delivering fresh and tasty content a couple times a week. Huzzah! Continued employment! That said, my first post focuses on maibocks, a criminally under-loved style of German lager. Maibocks (that is, "May bock") are strong and bitter, but easy-drinking enough to get into your belly on a sunny afternoon. I love me the maibocks from Smuttynose, Victory and Stoudt's so much, I decided to pen an ode to the maibock in today's column. Curious? Read it up!

P.S. Why the goat? Well, bock means billy goat in German. Hence, the goat is the bock's unofficial mascot. Check out this crazy goat race at the Sly Fox brewery this weekend.

Hair of the Dog Adam - Beer of the Week

My latest beer pick takes me to Oregon's Heater Allen, quite possibly Oregon's most excellent lager-producing brewery. In the land of hoppy beers, this is quite an accomplishments. Folks poo-poo dark dunkels and sparkling pils in lieu of monstrously hoppy brews that smell a little like a certain stinky green weed. But Heater Allen is turning heads with terrific brews like Coastal, an easy-drinking, super-aromatic riff on the California common, a classic American. Curious? Drink up the full review at Slashfood!