BrewDog & lager as a style have somewhat of a tumultous relationship. Part of the issue is their general unhappiness with how their lagers either turn out for them or are received. Whether it was Hop Rocker, 77 lager, This is Lager, or the newest iteration, Kingpin, BrewDog it seems remain committed to creating the perfect lager.
I could not procure a bottle of Kingpin no matter where I looked. It would seem this is the one beer from the BrewDog range in Ireland in an off-license that is only in cans. I could be wrong, but it looked this was from the countless off-licenses I visited over the last week around Dublin & Kildare.
I am no lager fan (yes, I’ve written about this what feels like a bajillion times at this point), but BrewDog’s 77 Lager was the first European style craft lager I actually took any liking to. I never got to try their Hop Rocker lager, but with the recently released OG trilogy pack, I will.
Pouring this beer is a full on Germanic lager experience. There’s no fancy hops. No fancy malts. This is pure, & that’s fully evident in the colour of the beer. It’s a super typical pilsner on the nose. Bread, apricot & sweet malt. This is not a typical BrewDog sensory assault challenge. Nor should it be.
Some lagers try to disguise their mediocrity with an abundance of carbonation. Kingpin on the other hand has a soft carbonation. The result of this is that the malts get to do their job imparting the primary exponents of what a lager should be about – the yeast & the malts, with a bready medium body leaving a crispy bitterness that trails off nicely.
As I’m not a lager afficianado, I honestly fail to sense much of a difference between this & ‘This. Is. Lager’. My recollection of 77 Lager was it was a lively beer in terms of carbonation, far more crisp & has some killer lemon notes witha touch of caramel in the body with a cracking level of bitterness.
There is absolutely nothing wrong with this beer technically. It is a well crafted Germanic pils lager. I am just not a lager fan. I don’t think I ever will be. If there was nothing else I fancied on tap & this was there in a pub, I’d have it happily. But, there are other craft lagers that have gotten my attention I would choose over this if I had to choose a craft lager, which again is more about me & my lager fussiness than this beer, which is perfectly good.