Today might have been raw and chilly (and we did get some snow on Monday), but there are clear signs that we are moving into spring and warmer weather is on the way. As the temperatures start to rise I will also be transitioning my beer fridge from dark and heavy porters and stouts to lighter, more refreshing fare. Over the last couple years I have developed a taste for well crafted lagers, especially examples with solid doses of hops. The crisp and clean lager profile is the perfect showcase for the fruity and diverse flavors of American hop varieties. I am hoping that more breweries will venture into the lager space as they grow, there are many interesting traditional and new styles to explore. One brewery that mixes lager styles in with their staple ales is Big Elm Brewing in Sheffield, MA. One of Big Elm’s newer releases is Transformer, an “India Pale Lager” that uses a different blend of hops for each release. Big Elm Transformer is available on a rotating basis on draft and in 16 oz. tallboy cans.
Big Elm Transformer IPL pours a clear golden yellow with a massive white head. The scent is solidly hoppy, mostly the citrus and tropical fruit aromas you expect from popular New World hop varieties. The flavor is also hop forward, notes of stone fruit, tangerine, lemon and white grape along with a mild bitterness. The hops are balanced by a pale malt backbone, touches of toast and biscuits. Transformer is a light bodied, clean lager that is crushable at 5% ABV. The finish is crisp with just a hint of hoppy aftertaste. Big Elm Transformer IPL is just what you look for in a hoppy lager, big hop flavor and drinkability. I’ll probably go through a few of these on my porch this summer. Hoppy Boston score: 4.0/5.
Previous Big Elm Reviews: