Total Score: 8.35/10
Disclaimer: this beer was gifted to me by the Newstead rep, and he doesn’t even know how much I trash their beers… JK! Jokes aside Newstead have on occasion brewed a decent beer (they are mostly a dark beer brewer for my money*). Lager is not their strong suit AFAIK with this being their first canned Lager, and me only having only been to the brewery twice. Regardless I’m going to give this “Spring Lager” a go through the wringer (aka my taste-buds) and see where it lands.
Poured from a 375ml can into a pilsner glass.
A: Clear golden body, boisterous titanium white head that leaves a decent lashing of lace on the way down, yep this is a looker of a Lager, especially that lace-work inside the glass – proper Pilsner stuff right there. 8/10.
S: Not bad at all! Fresh and floral with a light piney touch, hints of spicy character in the background, and a crisp clean dry cracker malt base. Pretty bang on for a decent Pale Lager, bit crisp and a bit hoppy, good stuff so far. 8/10.
T: Begins dry, finishes dry: in between? Well it reminds me of my good friend Ballistic Dirty Word Lager: floral/earthy/piney hop notes, dry cracker mid, grapefruit, with spicy noble hop character towards that looong dry finish. Newstead have picked a damn good Lager to be similar to: it’s right in that Ballistic/All Inn Consequences zone of craft Lagers that I most like [and importantly: am not yet sick of]. Plenty of hop character in this Lager too, which is most welcome to see/taste. Reckon this might make it on to my rotation now. 9/10.
M: Mid to light bodied, fairly dense carbonation, but a touch on the flatter side, could use a bit more fizz. 7/10.
D: Better than expected. I’ve always considered Newstead to be better at dark beers (their Porter/Amber), I’m not a fan at all of their IPAs and APAs, and I hadn’t even bothered reviewing the Session Ale because it wasn’t going to go well and I’m not a person who likes to outright trash beers [sometimes it’s good for a lark though, looking at you VB]. So it is good to see them do a Lager like this that is at times hop punchy, dry and subtle. Aside from being a solid Lager this another example of Newstead’s recent good form – keep it New up-stead! 8/10.
Food match: Tacos, big spicy tacos, dos capos too – coriander salsa FTW.
*see Doc’s Dark/Light Beer Theory: essentially I categorise that breweries are better at one or the other (or both)… [or neither!].