The British don’t tend to have a very good reputation when it comes to beers, but there are many craft brewers that have made it their personal mission to shake that awful stereotype and bring us some of the best British lagers there are. We’ve created a list of some of our favourites.
Coniston Brewing Co., Thürstein Pilsner (4.8%)
This is a juicy, balanced lager with a slightly less hoppy punch than a traditional pilsner, but it’s a great beer nonetheless. It’s perfect for tempting those fussy ale fans across into drinking lager with a firm, but not overpowering, hoppy character and a decent biscuity aftertaste.
WEST Brewery, St Mungo (4.9%)
The founder of this Glasgow brewery was born in Bamberg, Germany so she has brought with her some glorious European lager heritage to this Scottish lager. Their beers conform to the 1516 German beer purity law, which states that no additives are allowed to be added into the in beer; it’s just water, malted barley and hops. There’s also a touch of vanilla and a very subtle fruitiness to this brew, which makes it easy to drink.
Adnams Jack Brand, Suffolk Dry Hopped Lager (4.2%)
This lager is far fruitier than the name suggests, which makes this another great lager for ale-lovers who want to be converted. The Suffolk Dry Hopped Lager has lots of body, subtle hint of mandarin and melon flavours, a dry finish. It leaves you with a malty aftertaste, which could persuade even the most dedicated of ale fans.
Williams Bros, Clackmannanshire Ceilidh 90 (4.7%)
It seems that Scottish Breweries have really got lager brewing sussed. Rumour has it that the soft water there is perfect for making lager. This beer is crisp and balanced with a light floral character and a decent hop hit balanced by honey and cereal flavours.
Camden Brewery, Camden Pils, 4.6%
Camden brewery is one of the leaders of the new British lager brewing pack, which is why it’s become such a well-loved brand. Some of their lager has been barrel-aged and smoked for adventurous drinkers, but the original pils is pretty hard to beat for its perfect simplicity. It has a rich and creamy sweet malt base, which leaves the drinker with a crisp and dry finish, while the hops give off simple flavours of spice and pine. This needs to be served ice cold, so don’t accept anything less!
Hammerton Islington Steam Lager, 4.7%
London’s Hammerton Brewery has been taking brewing notes from America when it comes to lager. They ferment with a lager yeast that performs at warmer temperatures so the larger tends to be crisp, very much like a traditional lager but with a fuller, ale-like body. This is a truly great beer with the lager flavours turned up a notch or two.
Lost Rivers Brewing Co, Neckinger Lager, 4.5%
Basildon in Essex is the home of Lost Rivers Brewing Co and they bring in their hops from Germany. These hops are used for their premium lager, which has been named after one of London’s lost rivers, the Neckinger, and doesn’t mean you have to neck the beer when drinking it. It’s far too good for that! Those German hops provide a bitter orange aroma, while the beer’s body is bready and dry.
BrewDog, Kingpin, 4.7%
BrewDog produces a number of decent lagers but the Kingpin would be the one you’d find easiest in your local supermarket. It’s a pilsner and according to its marketing blurb, it’s made with ‘a juggernaut of hops’, which led us to detect just a bitter and citrus note that isn’t in your traditional pilsner. Both new lager drinkers and well-seasoned lager drinkers will enjoy a bottle or two of this.
Cotswold Brewing Company, Premium Lager, 5%
When you think of the Cotswolds, you tend to think of stunning countryside, horses and quaint stone houses, not the Cotswold Brewing’s Premium Lager! This is a refreshing, clean lager, which suits the area perfectly. The finish is dry and bittersweet, and has some hints of cracker-like graininess lingering. Grab a seat in front of a roaring fire and enjoy a pint or two.
Meantime, Larger, 4.5%
Perfecting the ultimate English lager has been a 20-year labour of love for the Meantime Brewery in Greenwich. It’s London’s second largest brewery after Fuller’s, and they make their beers very well, which has enabled them to feature in some previously beer-unfriendly high-class restaurants! Their lager has some country roots making this a straightforward, clean, long-matured lager that bursts with the classic flavours that ooze from the East Anglican malt and Kentish hops.