Photo: Heater Allen Brewing
I also fell into that camp. Why sip a simple lager when a battalion of crazily flavored craft beer awaited my mouth? Give me hops, or give me death! On my recent trip to Portland, Oregon, plenty of hoppy brews tickled my taste buds. But I also found a lager that made me appreciate the unfairly maligned style.
The swoon-worthy beer was crafted by McMinnville, Oregon's Heater Allen Brewing, the hop-crazed state's only all-lager brewery. "If there hadn't been this huge hole in Oregon, I wouldn't have tried to launch the brewery," owner and brewer Rick Allen told me when I was researching my beer book. I heard rave reviews about his lagers, including the dark, slightly smoky Scwarz; crisp, golden Pils; and the malty Dunkel. But hadn't tried any Heater beers till last week, when I cracked the bottle of Coastal I'd brought back to Brooklyn.