Last year we had the wonderful opportunity to revisit a classic beer from the Portland Brewing archives. ZigZag River Lager had not been produced at our brewery for many years before we heeded the call from long-time supporters to brew it once again. Due to the popular response last summer, it is being released again this year, though not just as a summer seasonal release but as a year round offering.
This smooth amber lager is heavily influenced by the malty lagers of southern Germany. Featuring a blend of pale, wheat and Munich malts, ZigZag comes down on the malty side of the equation. It pours with a fluffy white head and a bright bronze hue. The aroma reveals the sweet caramel and toast notes from the heavy use of Munich malt that provide the majority of the flavor and color. The first sip is definitely sweet, but not heavy or cloying. The maltiness of Munich is unique in that it can come across as bread or toast with hints of caramel, but not as heavy on the tongue as the caramel malts that are common in many ales. The cool lager fermentation and cold conditioning keeps the beer light and quenching, despite its sweet maltiness. The judicious use of spicy Tettnang hops provides a nice balance as well, cutting through the sweetness, leaving a very smooth finish.
As spring advances towards summer, ZigZag is great to pair with backyard barbeques, family camping trips, sunny afternoons at the beer garden, or a day fishing on the river. This beer is a great addition to the year-round Portland Brewing line-up, as it is a light, easy-to-drink lager that can satisfy without overwhelming the palate, and yet has very interesting flavors and aromas lurking under the surface. Whether for a new craft beer drinker just learning of the range of amazing flavors and aromas possible in beer, or a seasoned craft-drinking veteran looking for something different from the endless selection of IPA and hop-bombs, ZigZag River Lager has a much to offer. I hope you will join me in savoring a pint or two of this classic offering from Portland Brewing.
Ryan Pappe, Head Brewer, Portland Brewing
Please enter your date of birth to enter this site.