The Lager Wizards at OEC Don't Miss

Feb 20, 2024

Connecticut based, Old-World beer geeks OEC are revolutionizing lager by honoring tradition and exploring modern possibilities

We get really excited about lager around here. And OEC makes some of the best lager available anywhere. This tradition-obsessed collective has made huge waves in the beer world by looking back, and in doing so, looking at the future of beer with a different lens.

These folks are extremely strict in their adherence to old-fashioned brewing methods and ideologies, but that doesn't mean they are adverse to modern technologies or developments. Particularly, they have seamlessly incorporated modern, worldwide hop varieties, products, and addition methods into their markedly orthodox recipes.

Check out Jake's favorites from the bunch, including three brand new offerings, as well as his two all-time favorites from the brewery.

Anytime Lager
Czech tradition meets American practicality in this ultimately crushable yet deeply flavorful pale lager. Pilsner malt meets a modern Cara Pils, sidesteps corn altogether, and gets the open-fermentation and extended lagering treatment. But you don't have to think about any of that in order to enjoy three or four of these.

This is a slightly rustic country lager that highlights some very pretty, low alpha-acid (the ones that impart bitterness) French hops. The dry finish and light body make this one particularly drinkable, and the floral, citrusy aroma brings this pastoral creation to life.

Robust New Zealand Nelson Sauvin hops match up with hearty Maris Otter malt in this round and hoppy South Pacific lager. A mild bitterness blends with a lovely white wine-centric nose, all set atop a somewhat substantial lager body. An impressive balance we didn't know we needed.

A thorough demonstration of old-school meets new school. A hyper-traditional double decoction mash gives this one an insular, focused depth and mild sweetness, while a last minute, bombed out Galaxy dry-hop addition blasts it into the purple candy and kush stratosphere.

This one doesn't illustrate anything particularly interesting in regards to tradition vs. modernity, but holy crap does it replicate this traditional brew beautifully. Not only is it double-decocted, not only is it hopped with the finest European hops, but it is also lagered exclusively in oak barrels, lending this rich, pretty dark brew a lightly earthy depth that is frankly unmatched in most modern lager.

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