This week's Sunday Night Suds looks at Baderbrau's South Side Pride lager.
I picked this up at the Binny's in Lincolnwood (Chicago area) in their vast mix your own six pack rack. Baderbrau is a a local Chicago brewery (the South Side makes reference to the South Side of Chicago) so it was not surprising to find it in the mix section.
The beer indicates on the front of the can that it is "decocted" which was not a term that I was familiar with. The side of the can explains that this "beer flavored beer" is actually "triple decocted Munich Helles" but that does not really explain anything. Searching the web brought me to beer and brewing magazine (www.beerandbrewing.com) which maintains a dictionary of terms (including decoction) for which it explains:
The basic principle of decoction is to remove a part of the mash, boil it, and return it to the main mash, which is held at a constant temperature. There are two different aims in boiling one part of the mash:
1. To use physical pulping, which impacts the cell walls of the malt.
2. To raise the temperature of the bulk mash to a defined higher temperature after mixing both parts. (In the days before thermometers, the decoction method made a multi-temperature mash achievable and repeatable.)
The boiling of the grains helps to destroy the cell walls and makes the starches more accessible to the malt enzymes. This is particularly important for under modified malts where boiling helps to break down the cell walls.
I can't say that this explanation really helped me in understanding how this made the beer unique and the flavor itself was pretty generic for a lager, not watery like a macrolager, but not earning any points for special malt flavor. Overall, the beer is a non-obtrusive brew which would go well with a hot dog or pizza while watching a game.
The Baderbrau South Side Pride lager is under kosher supervision by the CRC of Chicago and has a CRC logo on the side of the can.
To see what the experts on Beer Advocate think about Baderbrau South Side Pride Lager, click here beeradvocate.com/beer/profile/29318/239275.
As always, please remember to drink responsibly and to never waste good beer unless there is no designated driver.
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