There are a lot of things that our new brewery has enabled us to do besides make larger quantities of beer at one time. With our new space, we have the additional fermentation tank space to try some things that we have never done in our professional brewing history. Making lagers is one of those things.
There are basically two different types of beer—ale and lager. What determines if a beer is an ale or a lager is based on the yeast and the way the beer ferments. The yeast in an ale ferments on top of the beer at a higher temperature in the fermentation vessel. The yeast in a lager ferments on the bottom of the beer at a lower temperature in the fermentation vessel. Lagers take longer to ferment, i.e. “lagering in the tank”, and they are slightly more temperamental beers to make than ales. A lot of craft brewers make ales because they take less time to make.
So Piney River has always made ales. Until last year. In May we received a call from the good folks at Mexican Villa in Springfield. If you know Mexican Villa, you know that it’s a Springfield icon in the restaurant world. Who hasn’t eaten at Mexican Villa?
Garin Ferguson, the third generation owner of Mexican Villa, sought a local brewery to collaborate with to make a Mexican Villa beer for the restaurant’s 65th anniversary celebration in September. Garin and his team visited Piney River, and that’s how we found ourselves making our very first lager.
Brian and I are not strangers to the nuances of Mexican lagers–best enjoyed in the bright sunshine with ones toes buried in the sand. There’s something about drinking a Mexican lager beer back in the US when you’re not on a beach that makes you think relaxing, beach-y thoughts. Brian was stoked to be asked to brew a Mexican lager for Mexican Villa. Flying Ace was a big hit in the BARn tap room, too.
We sampled Flying Ace Mexican Lager at the 65th Anniversary party last September, and it was a hit. Garin asked us to make more of the beer to be sold in his Mexican Villa restaurants, so we did. Look for Flying Ace Mexican Lager at Mexican Villas that serve beer next week!
Flying Ace is only available at the BARn and in Springfield right now. In Southwest Missouri, Mexican Villa is an institution, and the Mexican Villa name resonates with people in that area. We are thrilled that Piney River is now part of the Ferguson family story in Southwest Missouri, and we are honored to make our first Mexican lager for them.
But the Piney River lager story doesn’t end there! No, we have a new lager available to EVERYONE! And it’s available beginning this weekend at the BARn and shipping to distributors everywhere next week.
River Access Ozarks Lager is the smoothest, most easy drinking craft beer you’ve ever had to enjoy at your favorite river access or wherever you like to enjoy beer.
As Brian and I were planning our new beer offerings for 2017, we talked a lot about creating an an easy, all drinking beer. We love our IPAs and our stouts and saisons, but we enjoy light, refreshing and completely slammable beers, too. As a brewery, Piney River has the opportunity to meet lots of people that have never tasted a beer made by a small, independent craft brewer. Our Float Trip Ale and Black Walnut Wheat have changed the beer drinking palates of many people in the Ozarks, but there are more people out there that want to drink a beer that supports small business, a beer that’s local, and now that we’ve dipped our toes in the lager vessel, it seemed like we should try making a summer lager, an Ozarks lager for everyone.
River Access Ozarks Lager has spent weeks lagering inside our big red barn, and now it has been packaged to be sent to all of our distribution partner for your drinking enjoyment. This beer is 4.7%, 12 IBUs, available in 6-packs of 12-ounce cans.
Marked or unmarked, a River Access is what we all pine for. We relax and unwind at a river access. In the Ozarks, we seek out a river access to take a dip, to wet a line, to start a float trip, and to find our happy place. This Ozarks Lager is the perfect pairing for your favorite access on your favorite river.
Look for River Access or ask for it at your favorite retailer. And please, enjoy it at your favorite River Access in the Ozarks!