Beer Release: NW: Get It Now … Ninkasi Lux German-style Helles Lager

image courtesy Ninkasi BrewingFor most of the Pacific Northwest it’s May 19th. For those in the Seattle / Greater Seattle area, it’s the end of Seattle Beer Week. Indifferent to the zip code, Ninkasi would like to remind everyone that their newest Pravda series beer is here. Introducing Lux, a German-style Helles Lager.

“I have always been a huge fan of European-style lagers,” says Jamie Floyd, founding brewing and co-founder of Ninkasi. “They epitomize balance and nuance as their delicate flavors leave nothing for a brewer to hide behind. We love the challenge these beers present but most of all we love the wonderful beers that follow.”

Germany’s Helles Lager and its roots

Bavarian brewers in the sixteenth century were required by law to brew beer only during the cooler months of the year. In order to have beer available during the hot summer months, beers would be stored in caves and stone cellars, often under blocks of ice.

In the period 1820–1830, a brewer named Gabriel Sedlmayr II the Younger, whose family was running the Spaten Brewery in Bavaria went around Europe to improve his brewing skills. When he returned, he used what he had learned to get a more stable and consistent lager beer. The Bavarian lager was still different from the widely known modern lager; due to the use of dark malts it was quite dark, representing what is now called Dunkel beer or the stronger variety, Bock beer.

The new recipe of the improved lager beer spread quickly over Europe. In particular Sedlmayr's friend Anton Dreher used the new lagering technique to improve the Viennese beer in 1840–1841, creating Vienna lager. New kilning techniques enabled the use of lighter malts, giving the beer an amber-red rich colour. source, Wikipedia

Ninkasi, accepting the pressure to brew a true-to-style Helles, started with German Noble hops – including German Hallertau Herkules, German Hallertauer Mittelfrueh, and Hallertau from the United States. Paired with malts Bohemian Pilsner, Pilsen, Cara-pils, Acidulated, the beer lagered for eight weeks before being released. The result is a beer that is “… a crisp and defined lager that pairs easily with German favorites like brats, pork chops, sauerkraut, potato salad, and spaetzle and is a great companion to summertime activities.”

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Look for bottles and draft of Ninkasi Lux German-style Helles Lager throughout the area, until the end of August.

Beer Geek Breakdown

  • Style: German-Style Helles Lager
  • ABV: 5.0%
  • IBU: 20
  • Starting Gravity: 1050
  • Malt: Bohemian Pilsner, Pilsen, Cara-pils, Acidulated
  • Hops: GR Hallertau Herkules, GR Hallertauer Mittelfrueh, US Hallertau

Description: Illuminate your palate with this traditional German-style lager. Brewed with premium pilsner malt and bittered with German Hallertau hops, this Helles lager pours champagne in color. Bright, crisp and satisfying, enliven any occasion with Lux.

Tasting Notes: The lightest of the European lagers, this Munich-style beer was made to counter the bitter pilsners coming from Northern Germany and the Czech Republic. Lux has a clean aroma with just a touch of grassy hops leading to a sweet, toasty malt flavor. This sustains to a crisp finish with just a hint of noble hop aroma. This beer defines refreshing!

Food Pairings: Brats, Pork Chops with Brown Sauce, Sauerkraut, Potato Salad, Spaetzle

About Pravda Series

Commonly known for its big, hoppy Northwest beers, Ninkasi embarked on creating craft lagers in 2011. Since then, the series has highlighted Ninkasi offerings that are Northwest embellishments of traditional lager styles. Brewed with some of the purest water in the Continental United States from Oregon’s own McKenzie River, regionally-sourced hops and traditionally-grown German hops, each beer released under the Prismatic Lager Series remains true to traditional styles and achieves a brilliant balance only accessible by using the highest quality ingredients. In 2014, Ninkasi announced year-round releases to the series, making it a mainstay in its style offerings.

About Ninkasi Brewing Company

Founded in 2006 by Jamie Floyd and Nikos Ridge, Ninkasi Brewing Company continues to grow from its first batch of Total Domination IPA, to two brewhouses, a  55-barrel and a 90-barrel brewhouse, located in Eugene, Ore.  Ninkasi’s Flagship beers—Total Domination IPA, Tricerahops Double IPA, Believer Double Red, Oatis Oatmeal Stout, and Vanilla Oatis Oatmeal Stout—are sold throughout Oregon; Alaska; California; Idaho; Montana; Washington; and Vancouver, British Columbia. The brewery remains privately-owned and is committed to community support and giving. Ninkasi’s Beer Is Love program offers in-kind donations and support for organizations throughout its footprint.

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