Beer of the Week: North Coast Scrimshaw Lager
The development of my beer drinking habit seems to be running in reverse. Where I once was attracted to big beers full of so many hops they rip the enamel off your teeth, these days I prefer a subtle, well-balanced brew. Call it maturation, I guess. It's sort of like how I grew up listening to balls out punk rock, but now prefer more carefully orchestrated tunes. I still love to put on a NOFX album every so often, but it's not how I'd unwind at the end of a long day either.
I suppose that's what has drawn me into the hunt for the perfect lager. Lager's a beer that gets a bad rap for being low on flavor. Thanks to mass produced swill, that's largely true. But there are some great lagers out there, pilsners and bocks and stuff born of fine, European heritage. Beers with flavor profiles that are more subtle than balls out, that you CAN unwind at the end of a long day with.
Take North Coast's Scrimshaw Lager. It's patterned after German beer-making tradition, using Munich, Hallertauer, and Tettnangand hops to lend it a spicy, crisp finish. There's plenty of dry, pale malt and some very refined fruit ester undertones, and an alcohol content that won't knock you down at 4.4%. And with food, Scrimshaw delivers. I paired a few bottles of Scrimshaw with some take-away Indian food the other night, and the cooling lager held up beautifully with the spicy chicken curry chock full of green chilies.
Like other North Coast brews such as Red Seal and Old No. 38 Stout, Scrimshaw is a classic example of a lager done right. That's why it's landed numerous silver and gold medals at beer competitions over the past 15 years. I'm becoming a huge North Coast fan because of this reverence to tradition, but also because, as a brewer, they seem to know exactly how much oomph to put in their beers.
Pick Scrimshaw up at Crown Fine Wine & Spirits.