When Creemore Springs Brewery purchased Granville Island Brewing last year, I expected it was just a matter of time that we would see the Ontario brewer’s beer on the West Coast. Now it has arrived in the form of their Premium Lager. Having drowned in lager for decades, one might rightly ask, “Why the hell do we need another one?” Well, Creemore Springs is not your typical “add junk” (adjunct) lager.
Four ingredients, brewed in small batches, taking 21 days to produce mean Creemore Springs Premium Lager is a craft beer, despite the MolsonCoors ownership. If you serve it at the proper temperature (8-12°C) in a stemmed Pilsner glass (Pokal), you’ll notice the difference in taste and aroma from a Canadian or Coors straight away. The malty sweet foretaste, medium-light body, and reddish amber colour mark this as more of a Vienna Lager, than a Premium American Lager, although I find the hop dryness overtakes a little too soon for it to be a classic example of the style. Try comparing it with Brooklyn, Dos Equis Amber, Gordon Biersch, or Negra Modelo.
Creemore Springs Premium Lager is a good crossover brew for the mass-market suds drinker. As a lager, it still has the characteristic clean, bright character that makes for easy drinking. Hops and malt are in enough balance to not seriously challenge the palate, but are in sufficient quantities that punters may be motivated to slow down and actually savour the taste. Bratwurst, roast chicken, pizza, and Swiss Bakery pretzels are good food accompaniments that are unlikely to get you accused of snobbery. However, you may find it will lead you to eventually parting ways with your Bud-swilling, Subway-scarfing friends. Try to bring at least one with you to the other side of the tracks so you don’t have to drink alone. Beer is a social beverage.
Most beer doesn’t travel well, which is why styles amped up in alcohol and hops, like India Pale Ale and Russian Imperial Stout, were created to survive lengthy transportation. I think this will be Creemore Springs’ main challenge in BC. Can they get this beer into people’s hands fast enough before the Premium Lager loses its snappy freshness? This will be even more the case with their Kellerbier, should they attempt to bring it out here, much less so Creemore Urbock. The answer to that largely rests on the follies of the LDB, which is why you should be paying attention to our government’s intent on privatizing the province’s liquor distribution.
Brewer: Creemore Springs
Category: European Amber Lager
Availability: 341 ml 6-packs at BC Liquor Stores and draught in select establishments.