I am a frequent participant in a craft beer chat on twitter that takes place most Thursday nights at 9 PM EST. Everyone is welcome, you can follow along/participate in the chat using the #beerchat hashtag. Last week one of the questions was about potential emerging trends in the beer industry, and I opined that more small brewers would add lagers to their menus. There are many great lager beer styles that American brewers haven’t fully explored due to the longer fermentation times and added equipment needed to produce lagers. One response I got was “I can see lager making a comeback, not a fan myself”. I didn’t argue at the time, but that seems like a ridiculous statement. Too many people equate lager with pilsner only, and specifically with the mass-produced flavorless pilsners, but there are diverse lagers that cover the complete spectrum of beer flavors.
I think MA residents take the idea of full flavored lager beer as a given due to the regular availability of Jack’s Abby Brewing Company beers in the state. Quite possibly the most innovative lager-centric brewery in the world is right in our backyard, Jack’s Abby Brewing Company in Framingham. This week I am going to post my newest brewery overview article featuring Jack’s Abby. For my lead in review I sampled Maibock Hurts Like Helles, one of their spring seasonal releases. Maibock Hurts Like Helles is a traditional German lager style that can be called a Maibock or a Helles Lager. Maibock’s are lighter in color than traditional bocks, but still pack a little alcoholic punch. Jack’s Abby Maibock Hurts Like Helles is released every spring on draft and in 0.5 L bottles.
Jack’s Abby Maibock Hurts Like Helles pours a clear gold with a mild white head. The scent is a subtle mixture of bready malts and earthy hops. It is immediately evident when you first taste the beer that this is a lager, the flavor is crisp and very clean. There are distinct pale malt flavors, touches of crackers, toast, and just a little honey. This mingles with some old-school hops that add notes of lemon and cut grass. The beer is light bodied and very smooth, the 6.5% ABV catches you a bit off guard. Overall Jack’s Abby Maibock Hurts Like Helles is a very well made spring/summertime beer, perfect to sip while grilling or relaxing outside. Hoppy Boston score: 4.25/5.
Previous Jack’s Abby Reviews:
Jack’s Abby Hoponius Union, Jack’s Abby Barrel-Aged Framinghammer, Jack’s Abby Bride Maker, Jack’s Abby Brewery/Hopstitution BAM, Jack’s Abby Copper Legend, Jack’s Abby Session Rye IPL, Jack’s Abby Mass Rising, Jack’s Abby/Evil Twin Jack’s Evil Brew, Jack’s Abby Wet Hop Lager, Jack’s Abby Pro-Am Pilsner