Lager Beer |

The beer market in Nigeria accounts for 55% of the market share in the alcoholic beverage industry, and some of the most popular beer brands in the market are lagers.

From Heineken to Star, Hero to Gulder, Harp to Goldberg, Trophy to Life, Champion to 33 Export – Nigerians love their lager. While some consumers will stick to particular brands, others fall into the category of ACB (Any Cold Beer. You can make that any cold lager if you please).

However, while many of us enjoy the rich taste of lager, some are not at home with what makes lager different from other beer types. With the World Lager Day four days away, here are 8 things every Nigerian beer lover should know:

1. Clouded Origins

While many believe lagers come from brewers in southern Germany’s Bavaria, who made use of cool caves to age and ferment their beer; some other beer historians hold that the beer comes from the part of the Austrian empire that is today known as the Czech Republic.

However, the Bavarian brewers contributed richly to the growth of lager with their invention of digging cellars for lagering and filling them with ice from nearby lakes and rivers.

2. The Yeast is the Difference

When it comes to comparing lager with ale, the yeast makes all the difference. Lagers yeast sink to the bottom of the wort and ferment at cooler temperatures.  Saccharomyces pastorianus is the yeast generally used for the production of lagers, as against its close relative, Saccharomyces cerevisiae, which is used in making ales.

3. The Production matters too

Lagers are produced using the cool fermentation process.This is followed by maturation in a cold storage.

4. Lager takes its name from how it is made

The word lager comes from the German word lagern, which means “to store.” That coincides with its production process which involves storing in a cool place for maturation to occur.

5. Summertime restrictions helped Lager’s popularity

In 1553, summertime brewing was made illegal in Bavaria, restricting the beer-making season to the period between Michaelmas (September 29) and the Feast of Saint George on April 23. The making of beers with yeasts that fermented at lower temperatures flourished as these colder months.

6. The came refrigeration

With the invention of refrigerators, beer could now be brewed all year round. This gave a shot in the arm to lagers leading to commercialisation of the beer type.

7. Lagers can be dark too

Lager conjures images of light, golden coloured-beers with a crisp taste. However, lagers can be dark too, even as dark as Stouts. Lagers from Vienna, Austria come with a deep red amber colour while in Bamberg, Germany, some beer brands use smoked malt to create a lager that is dark in colour and tastes like a campfire.

8. Lager is Nigeria’s favourite

There is an ale called Guinness Foreign Extra Stout, and it is the most popular stout beer in the country. That said, lager still conquers Nigeria’s beer market. If you asked the common Nigerian with no rich knowledge of beer, he will argue that stout is not beer, because to him beer is gold and crispy – which is exactly how most lagers in Nigeria look.

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