It’s well documented that I like an unassuming lager. I write about it. I drink them a lot, and I love the style. And what’s not to love? They’re damn good beers, and they don’t try to be more than they are. They won’t give you a hop enema or a malt blast, and they harken back to the day when beer was actually part of our food pyramid. Good times. Good beer.
Most of the great lagers available today still come from Germany or the Czech Republic, but there’s a few stateside that deserve my trumpet. Firestone Walker’s Pivo Pils is the first that comes to mind, and it’s still my pick for the best beer in America regardless of style. Locally, there are several good lagers but Jack’s Abby Craft Lagers has been producing nothing but exceptional lager beers, and with its House Lager, it’s now solidified its place among the best anywhere.
Jack’s Abby Craft Lagers / House Lager / Golden Lager (ABV 5.2%)
As much as I love their beers and look forward to trying anything new from them, the House Lager was not something I sought out. It was released in 2015 but I never saw it on tap (outside of the beer hall), and until recently I never saw it at my local craft packy either. Thankfully, I finally stumbled upon the shiny six-pack of 16-oz. cans and had to try it. The price point at just around $10 was a great bargain, considering four-packs of pint cans from other brands usually run $12-14. Price points aren’t my go-to guide when picking any beer, and more often than not there’s a reason it’s cheaper than the rest, so I tend to be suspicious more than curious. However, knowing that Jack’s Abby has recently expanded and upgraded their brewery and has been managing its growth better than most up-and-coming brands in New England over the last 10 years, maybe the savings from scaling up were trickling down to me, the consumer, and this wasn’t just grab-market-share pricing.
It didn’t take more than my first few sips to forget any and all price point considerations. The usual crisp, clean, lagered body and taste that I like immediately came to mind—but this was a different, cleaner, crisper, better beer. Before I could finish taking notes, my first pint was gone and I was cracking open another. This is exceptionally drinkable beer for people who like drinking exceptional beer.
The beer bio on their website says this lager is inspired by the landbiers (translation: essentially local, but inspired by the local flavor as much as just the location) of Franconia, a sub-state of Bavaria. Famous for its malt, and a diverse selection of amazing lagered beers, Bamberg is the hub of this beer-drinking region, and the kellerbiers you’ll find here are what bring people to it. So does this House Lager live up to its inspiration? Hell yes, and true to its “locally sourced ingredients,” it also lives up to the landbier legacy that nothing worth drinking should travel far from the malt fields to the mouth-face. Time to crack another one open.
JACK’S ABBY CRAFT LAGERS. 100 CLINTON ST., FRAMINGHAM.
BEER HALL AND KITCHEN HOURS AVAILABLE AT JACKSABBY.COM