Jul 12, 2018

Surly Rosé Lager

I’m a big fan of a quality lager. Hell, despite their recent purchase, I’ll still grab a bottle of Devils Backbone Vienna Lager when available — it’s a darn good beer. Surly Brewing, with their Rosé Lager, certainly have themselves something a big different than what I’ve personally come to expect in the style. The 5.2% ABV lager (not a sour as stated in the press sheet) is latest release in the company’s BC Small Batch Series.

Rosé Lager is started with a lager yeast, but finished with a champagne yeast for additional dryness through a “brut” process. In addition, a healthy amount of organic black currant and strawberry puree were added to the mix. The result is a pinkish tinged brew that is loaded with strawberry and lightly tart grape notes in both the aroma and flavor profile. To say that Rosé Lager is an interesting and unique beer would be quite the understatement.

This brew is unlike any other lager that I have encountered. It’s effervescent and lively as expected, of course, but that fruity strawberry presence and gentle sour tartness were a twist. I was expecting it to be a bit fruity, but Rosé Lager is packed with berry and grape flavors from start to long finish — just a bit too much for my own liking, but I can see how this one is going to do well during the hot Summer months.

The fruit-forward nature of this lager may have been a tad too much for myself, but that didn’t stop me from draining the two sample cans like it was my job. The welcome tartness and active mouthfeel were just too much to ignore. I thoroughly enjoyed those aspects of this refreshing brew. And over time, my tastebuds adjusted to the dominating strawberry flavors. Perhaps, I liked it more than I thought.

This is a review of a promotional sample.