A beer that has been stored or matured for a time at a cold temperature. In Britain, ‘lager’ usually denotes a golden beer that is light in flavour, but this interpretation is an over-simplification. A lager beer can be light or dark, hoppy or mild, strong or weak. The common characteristic is that lager is ‘bottom-fermented’ – that is, the yeast sinks to the bottom of the fermentation container, where it carries out a slower fermentation, giving the resulting beer a clean, subtle flavour.
Lager, much of which is imported, is ubiquitous in Britain, and is sold in a variety of strengths. Check the label for information on alcoholic strength.
Lager is not made for long-term storage and does not improve with age. Store in a cool place away from sunlight.
Lager can be a good cooking ingredient, for example in meat- or poultry-based stews. Seek out a higher-quality, fuller flavoured bottled lager for cooking.
Article by Susan Low
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