Lager Day 2013

Happy Lager Day!


So today is/was National Lager Day, by the time you read this it may very well no longer be that day, but at the very least by the time I make this post I hope for it to still be Lager Day! So I hope you all took a moment to drink a lager today in honor of this craft beer holiday. In our times, the lager has taken a back seat to the ales, especially in the west coast and more so specifically in Southern California. With every brewery doing an IPA of some sort, who needs a lager? Well Ballast Point, who already has a solid IPA in their arsenal of beers has taken the next step in taking an IPA inspired brewing process and applying it to a lagering technique of fermenting. The outcome is their Fathom IPL, and India Pale Lager. I have been wanting to try this beer for some time now, but it isn’t until now that I have actually come around to trying it. So let’s see what Ballast Point brings to the table in this unique style of brewing.

Ballast Point Brewing Company – Fathom IPL

Ballast Point India Pale LagerZe Beer? Fathom IPL
Ze Maker? Ballast Point Brewing Company
Ze Style? India Pale Lager
Ze Content! 6.8%
Serving Type: 22oz bottle

Fathom pours a clean and clear pale golden color into my glass fluffing a thick and foamy two inch head that retains for a good while before winding down to a quarter inch frothy layer and holds until the first sips are taken. The aroma is surprising given that this is a lager as opposed to an IPA, because the hop notes come through very strong and the bread malt character is well hidden behind those very hops. A strong grassy earthy aroma is prominent but still offers up a slightly soft citrus orange aroma as well. The more the beer has time to warm up the more the bread malts pull through, revealing its pale lager base structure. When you drink this lager you know hands down it is a lager, though the hops are present they fade away quickly behind the biscuity backbone characteristics. A slick oily mouthfeel is present on the aftertaste of this lager, helping remind you that the hops are there even though on a side cart to the palate compared to the nose. Very faint caramel presents itself on the palate combined with a slightly cracked grain taste, this is very much a lager, and a very good one at that. I pick up a slight honey taste as well helping to round out any kind of bitterness that lingers on the palate. Plenty of lacing sticks to the surface of my glass as I drink away at this lager, everything on the looks and aroma of this beer says IPA, but as soon as this beer touches your tongue; it is clearly a lager.

Ballast Point Brewing Co. makes a wide array of excellent ales. Though when I think of Ballast Point Brewing, the first beers that come to mind are their Sculpin, Victory at Sea, Sea Monster, Yellowtail. However, this isn’t too big of a surprise since this lager is fairly new to their arsenal. It is listed on their website as a limited release, but I have seen it available now for a long while, and don’t really see an end to this; I can see this becoming a year round beer very easily. Brewed with the same hop profiles of an IPA, but using lager yeast really defines what this lager is and claims to be. When I first opened this bottle up I smelled an IPA. Hops, citrus, pine, oils, but when it hits the palate you knew this beer was something other than that IPA you first thought it was. Over all a wonderful take on an “India Pale Lager” in my opinion this really grasps the concept of being both an IPA and a lager. Cheers to Ballast Point for making it enjoyable to drink a lager again, in a west side craft beer community of big hoppy beers!

Should you Buy this? Even if you are not a lager drinker, because let’s face it, most of us on the west coast love our hops; this is definitely a must try. Taking the idea of mixing an IPA and a Lager together may not be Ballast Point’s concoction, but they really did nail it on the head. With  having a solid line up of beers in their arsenal, this only adds to it. If you have not tried this beer just yet, this is something I really do recommend. Unless you are just completely turned off by the idea of a bread malt based beer, this will be enjoyable for you.

Is there a beer out there and easily accessible for me to obtain in the Southern California Region? Let me know and ill do my best to obtain it and share my thoughts with you! Just leave a comment or contact me at

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