Beer Review: Stoudt’s Gold Lager

Stoudt's Gold Lager

We played trivial pursuit while we drank. It is best to test one’s knowledge throughout all stages of inebriation.

The more I brew and drink beer, the harder it is to impress me. I’m not talking about beer snobbery (although I’ve been known to suffer from it occasionally), I’m talking about technical skillEvery home brewer knows that some styles are more “forgiving” than others in terms of off-flavors. Don’t get me wrong, I love a palate-wrecking quadruple IPA as much as the next guy, but what’s much more rare and exciting for me is finding a super clean, fresh, well-handled Kolsch or Bohemian Pilsner. Those styles don’t hide flaws, and you have to be pretty damn good to pull them off well.

I encountered one really good example of this kind of skill at a recent trip to Breukelen Bier Merchants in Williamsburg: a German Helles called Stoudt’s Gold Lager.

Color: Like the name suggests, this beer is  supremely clear, bright gold in color.

Aroma: The aroma is minimal,  a bit spicy from the hops.

Taste: A really nice rush of noble hop bitterness up front, but nothing too overwhelming. The finish is very smooth, with subtle graininess. This beer has none of the overwhelming hop character that many domestic craft lagers have, and it works because it’s such a squeaky clean beer. As a lowly home brewer, it makes me jealous.

Completely Scientific Rating: 93

When you look up “drinkability” in the dictionary, there should just be a picture of this beer. You should also throw the dictionary away, because no self-respecting dictionary should contain that word.