Lager fans can be extremely particular, especially with “non-traditional” lager styles. While the American craft beer movement was built and has thrived on making ales that defy tradition, many lager enthusiasts prefer their lagers to fit into traditional style guidelines, and many lager-centric brewers are also focused on capturing the essence of the European lagers they fell in love with. I’ve especially seen many lager fans vociferously express their opposition to IPL or hoppy lager styles. Needless to say, there are no German or Czech breweries with centuries-long traditions of heavily dry-hopping their lagers before canning them. Personally, while I love many traditional lager styles, I also love inventive and new beers, and I am a big fan of hoppy lagers. When they are made well the bright hop flavors and crisp finish perfectly mesh with the clean and easy drinking lager body. A hoppy lager I enjoyed recently is Seaworthy from Oxbow, a brewery that has moved heavily into lager styles after starting with almost all Belgian inspired beers. Oxbow Seaworthy is dry-hopped with Centennial and Amarillo hops and is available on a rotating basis on draft and in 16 oz cans.
Oxbow Seaworthy pours clear light orange with a moderate white head. The aroma features some hops, floral and herbal. The flavor is hop forward, notes of cut grass, lemon, tangerine and a touch of late bitterness. Some pale malts add balance along with hints of crackers and cereal. Seaworthy is light bodied and super easy drinking but packs a little punch at 6.5% ABV. The finish is crisp and clean with just a little lingering hop flavor. This is a tasty hoppy lager, nice mixture of flavor and drinkability. Hoppy Boston score: 4.25/5.
Previous Oxbox Reviews:
Oxbow Black Light, Oxbow Saisontino, Oxbow Barrel-Aged Farmhouse Pale Ale