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Session #25: Yellow fizz just for you

The SessionMemo to Greg Koch: Here’s a fizzy yellow lager you can cuddle up to. Not all that yellow, I guess, and not necessarily that fizzy. But definitely a lager, a puny 3.7% abv beer in the Munich Helles tradition.

A beer I last enjoyed about six months ago, but I remember well enough to feature as my contribution to The Session #25: Lager Love. And since I won’t be around today to keep up with how this plays out on Twitter, I’ll give you a series of thoughts, all less than 140 characters.

– Surtaler Leichter Typ is light colored, although I don’t know I’d use the word yellow. But when your host asks you have to do your best to oblige.

– Private Landbrauerei Schönram in the German village of Schönram-Petting near Salzburg, Austria, brews the beer.

– It earned a silver medal as a European Light Lager in the European Beer Star competition.

– Yes, it’s a light version of the brewery’s best selling helles (65 percent of sales – a dang nice beer at 5.4% abv).

– You can drink this all night, well maybe 5 liters, and maybe blow .04 on a breathalyzer (the brewer and owner did this to make sure).

– A great beer to shift to after several “big” ones. Because you can still taste it. This isn’t water.

– Smooth (lagered for a silly amount of time), bready, grassy, lots of noble hops.

– Goes well with conversation.

– It says 3.4% on the label, it’s really 3.7% and it tastes twice as big as a 4.2% American light.

– I want this beer brewed close to my home. Not a beer meant to travel, so don’t try it more than 20 kilometers from the brewery.

– Twitter pretty much sucks when it comes to describing the pleasure of drinking this beer.


7 Responses to Session #25: Yellow fizz just for you

  1. SteveH March 6, 2009 at 6:25 am #

    With all the stabs at a color description, it would be nice to see a picture of this gem.

    And let us know when you find it brewed near you, Stan — I’ll be second in line!

  2. Stan Hieronymus March 6, 2009 at 6:32 am #

    Didn’t take a picture, Steve, sorry.

    The good news for me, is that when we return home I can go to Chama River and drink the Class VI Golden. Just a little bigger (maybe 4.7%) and a nice helles.

  3. SteveH March 6, 2009 at 11:21 am #

    The closest I can get to that is from the new Chicago brewery Lew Bryson and I inadvertently discovered (isn’t that the best way?) last week: Metropolitan Brewing, and their Flywheel Bright Lager. A German style Pils at 5.0 ABV — but there’s no way I can sing its praises like that Surtaler Leichter.

  4. Todd March 6, 2009 at 11:27 am #

    Great post! I’d love to try that beer. I once brewed a whit, my first partial mash. I messed up the mash and ended up with a 3.5% beer. It’s still my favorite of all the beers I ever brewed. Full flavored, nice body, and you could drink pints and pints of it and stay sober.

  5. Joshua Humphries March 12, 2009 at 6:08 am #

    I enjoyed your write-up – it’s the first Session post I’ve read from this month so far.

    I was just curious: do you know why does the label indicate 3.4% if it is actually a 3.7% beer? That is too small of a difference to be by-weight vs. by-volume. I’m surprised that labeling laws wouldn’t require it to be correct – and also wondering how you know the actual strength (I usually just read the strength on the label bottle if/when it’s there). Was this a discussion with the producers while in Europe last year?

    Sorry if this seems like a bombardment of questions or harassment 🙂

  6. Stan Hieronymus March 12, 2009 at 6:43 am #

    Josh – I don’t know why the difference.

    When I was there the brewer told me the label said 3.4%, but it was really 3.7% (that level of variation is legal in Germany and most of Europe). He didn’t explain why they hadn’t updated the label.

    I will see if I can get an answer (it may be a little while) and send you an email.

  7. Joshua Humphries March 12, 2009 at 6:49 am #

    Don’t worry about spending effort tracking it down. I asked out of curiosity. I also didn’t realize that label laws there were loose enough to allow that sort of discrepancy. Thanks for the reply!

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