On tap at 98 Cannon – Chestertown, Md., resilient amber lagered ‘common beer’ (a.k.a. California-styled Steam Beer utilizing lager yeast at warmer ale temperatures) brings fruity pale ale disposition to lightly pungent piney hopped herbage contrasting toasted caramel malting. Modest grapefruit-peeled orange rind bittering stays easygoing while rustic earthen grain minerality rides below.
Straight-ahead dry lager offers musky earthen leathering, desiccated orange spritz, grassy hop astringency and bready sourdough malting. Better than less decisive lagers, if not truly distinct as a sessionable moderation.
Halfway dependable moderation brings mild barley-toasted caramel sweetness to slightly coarse raw-honeyed molasses astringency and acrid corn-stalked dry hopping circa 2018.
On tap at The Oath, straightforward year-round all-malt amber lager stays robust. Sturdy Vienna, barley and pilsner malting gain caramelized sugaring. Mild raw-honeyed spicing and tempered hop musk recede carefully above doughy baked bread bottom. Excellent.
On tap at Ambulance, crisp moderate body lets tart white grape esters and sour lemondrops receive corn-chipped bread crusting. Light white peppered stint and cacti-like Mexicali herbal spicing provoke smoked barley whim way below the surface.
On tap at Seven Lakes Station, enigmatic amber lager brings orange-dried tartness to earthen compost midst and spicy floral hop astringency in nebulous fashion.
On tap at Shepherd & Knucklehead – Haledon, sessionable lemon-spiced Mexican lager picks up taco-shelled cornmeal influence above grassy Noble-hopped Vienna malt toasting. Piquant lemon zest briskness retains effervescence as mellow walnut, plum and rye undertones subdue light-bodied pleasure.
On tap at Blue Grasshopper, soft-tongued pilsner brings honeyed lemon sweetness to floral-daubed earthen hop astringency, getting a tad soapy at the musky maize-dried citrus finish.
Boldly swaggering Vienna lager loads sharp Citra-Simcoe dry hops atop oily pine resin, sweet floral perfuming and caramelized amber grain toasting. Vibrant orange-peeled yellow grapefruit tang and zesty lemon zing brighten tertiary mango, pineapple, peach, apple and pear fruiting. A fine crossover for middle-of-the-road IPA lovers.
On tap at Ambulance, underwhelming bock brewed in “monastery tradition of beer sustenance” simply lacks specificity and depth of flavor. Docile spiced fig snip falls off off as phenol hop astringency pushes back bland pale malt dryness and dank earthiness. No dark-fruited bock semblance exists.
Simple amber lager retains moderate body as light sourdough yeast creates Easter-breaded baguette sweetness. Sugary crystal-caramel malts contrasting mild hop astringency remain subdued to wispy Portugeuse sweet bread finish.
Perhaps emulating Augustiner’s lager with its Munich pilsner malting and delicate Noble hop pep, German-styled moderation picks up sweet honey sedation over buttered biscuit bottom. Suited for summertime sessioneering.