Listen, Cinco de Mayo is coming and it happens to fall on a Friday this year, so there’s a good chance you’re going to drink a lot of Mexican lagers this weekend. A lot. If you’re looking for something different than the standard fare, check out our list of Mexican beers. And if you really want to delve into new territory while still (sort of) celebrating the holiday, we’ve got the beer for you. Indeed Brewing, out of Minneapolis, has released a limited edition imperial lager with a bit of Mexican orange blossom honey added to the mix. The result is something that’s one part easy-drinking lager, and one part large-format sipper.
The lager pours darker than you might expect, a deep golden with a light head that dissipates quickly. It smells crisp, but sweet and a little grassy. There are beers that you’re supposed to put a lime in; this isn’t one of them. The beer has a depth to it that you don’t find in most lagers, which is due to the honey, which gives the beer a rich, round mouthfeel. And yet, it’s still crisp and zesty on the back end, making it incredibly easy to drink.
Indeed went German with the malt bill (Pilsner and Vienna) and focused on Amarillo for the hops. It’s the bones of a solid lager, but the Mexican orange blossom honey takes the beer into a different, beautiful direction. Typically, I don’t like honey in beers (and don’t get me started on mead), but it works here. I feel like the honey and the hops are battling out for the soul of this beer. Or maybe that’s just because I’m watching a rerun of Vampire Diaries while I’m drinking it. I’m a sucker for melodrama.
That’s not to say this is a hoppy beer. It’s not bitter in any way. But the Amarillo hops add a floral aspect and help contribute that zest to the sip that plays counter to the smooth, sweet honey. There’s a soft, orange marmalade thing going on as well. I’m not sure if it’s coming from the hops or the honey. It’s probably being informed by both.
Like most lagers, you need to drink this one super cold. When it warms, the honey begins to take over and the beer gets less interesting. So, you’re gonna need to drink this big beer fast, which is dangerous, because it’s 8%. But Cinco de Mayo comes but once a year, so…
Brewery: Indeed Brewing
City: Minneapolis, Minn.
Style: Imperial Lager
Availability: Limited, 16-ounce cans