5 Best American Lagers of 2021
We call America a melting pot, right? We're a country that has been influenced by so many cultures and heritages from around the world. And the world of beer is no different (maybe we're a melting mash tun then?). So it's only fair, when talking about the American lager, to pay homage to its origin—outside of our borders.
In 1840 John Wagner, a Bavarian brewer, arrived in America with a haul of lager yeast in his back pocket from his native country. Settling in Philadelphia, Wagner quickly realized that Americans had been drinking English-style ales for the last hundred and sixty or so years. More familiar with his own German-style lagers, Wagner took his precious cargo of yeast and brewed what is historically considered our nation's first lager beer. And he brewed it out of his home on St. John Street near Poplar. Simply a kettle hung over an open hearth, Wagner's brewing operations were pretty small, so he probably can't be credited with popularizing lagers per se, but he definitely had a pivotal hand in starting the style. In fact, there's a plaque where he set up shop in Philly.
And that's not the yeast of it. As a large population of German immigrants in Philadelphia immediately began drinking the style, the American people slowly caught on as well. By the late 1880s, lager had overtaken whiskey as America's favorite alcoholic beverage.
Today, lagers are actually the world's most popular style of beer. Now, that's due in large part to the popularity of macro lagers such as Bud Light, Miller Lite, Modelo, Coors, and Corona. But American craft brewers have been reclaiming this historical style and churning out versions that are worthy of one Bavarian brewer's months-long journey on a ship to come to the New World.
From a rice lager with lime to an easy, breezy version steeped with lemongrass, here are Untappd's 5 Highest-Rated American Lagers of 2021.
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