I am a big fan of dark lagers, I love the combination of roasted malt flavor in a clean lager body. Unfortunately, relatively few brewers take on dark lager styles, most of the craft lager beers are light styles like pilsner and Helles lager or cross-over “IPLs” that are loaded with hops. From what I’ve read and the discussions I’ve had with brewers most dark lager styles are niche, there is a subset of beer drinkers that love them but they don’t sell well overall. Fortunately, we have a number of lager-centric breweries in New England, and each brewery makes some interesting dark lagers. One lager-heavy brewery that has recently become regularly available in Massachusetts is Schilling Brewing Company out of Littleton, NH. Schilling makes a variety of dark lager styles including Modernism, a Czech style dark lager available on a rotating basis on draft and in 16 oz. cans.
Schilling Modernism pours cola brown with a small tan head. The aroma features some roasted malt. The flavor is malt forward, notes of caramel, chocolate, and brown sugar. There is a touch of late hops for balance, earthy and grassy. Modernism is light and easy drinking, sessionable at 4.8% ABV. The finish is crisp and clean, with just a touch of lingering malt flavor. This is a very tasty dark lager, plenty of flavor but super drinkable. I’m glad Schilling is making regular drops in the Boston area, and I will definitely drink more Modernism, especially in the spring and fall. Hoppy Boston score: 4.5/5.