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mark wood

by Bill Reddy

Brew House Munich Lager

If you're not familiar with Brew House beer kits here's the concept. Brew House is made by RJ Spagnols in their own German style brew house. It's made entirely from grains and fresh hops. No sugar or syrups are added. In essence you're getting a professionally designed micro style beer kit. Detailed information is available on the Brew House web site.

I've already reviewed the Brew House Red Ale and given basic information about the packaging and contents so I'll just stick to my impressions of the finsihed product in this article.

Brew House kits are simple to make so there was little effort involved until bottling day. As I added and stirred in the priming sugar I was welcomed by a malty, almost coffee like aroma. Brew House Munich Lager is dark in colour and looks similar to stout but that's where the similarity ends. While stout typically has a bitter, dry, dark roasted flavour this Munich lager accentuated the malt with more complexity provided by the use of a variety of specialty grains. The hops bitterness was there but not nearly as aggressive as a stout. Just enough to temper and balance the sweeter malt flavour.

I had a sip of the flat beer before bottling and it was tasty but I was a little concerned about the sweetness. It was more than I wanted but my past experience has shown that the flavour of a beer can make a big transformation after it's carbonated and aged. So I capped it and put it away until it was ready to drink.

After 20 days in the bottle I popped a cap and had my first sip of the carbonated beer. Just as I had expected the sweetness had receded. It was still there but at the right balance. I really enjoyed the melange of toasted, nutty flavours in this beer. The only complaint I have is that it tasted more like an ale than a lager. It didn't have that smooth clean taste that you expect from a lager. All Brew House kits come with a packet of Coopers dry yeast. This is a good fairly clean tasting yeast but it is an ale yeast. If you want to get the authentic lager flavour I recommend that you replace the Coopers yeast with a liquid lager yeast and ferment it at a cooler temperature. The Wyeast Munich Lager strain would be my preference.

Over all this is a very nice beer to be sipped and savoured. I enjoyed it very much. I'll give it 4 stars out of 5.