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If you have spent even a little time reading my blog you know I am a big fan of Vienna Lager. Something about it strikes all right right chords for me: crisp, clean, full-flavored, well balanced between malt and hops, and just uncommon enough that I feel motivated to brew it consistently. Also, if you consume as much Mexican food as I do you know there are few beers that are as appropriate as a Vienna Lager to pair with a burrito. 🙂 My enthusiasm is infectious enough that now even my Internet buddies Marshall & Ray, Dan, Brian, and a few others have all jumped aboard the Vienna-train for NHC this year. I like to think I am doing my part to keep this style from getting dragged into the historical category.
The last time I wrote about Vienna Lager (Fiesta Cumpleaños) I came at it from the angle of a Mexican interpretation of the style, which tends to be a bit darker and with a lightly sweet/caramelly character. After publishing the article I got into correspondence with Andreas over at Daft Eejit Brewing (who has a great series on Vienna Lager) who convinced me to try brewing a more “traditional” version, consisting of mostly Vienna malt and just enough roasted malt for color. Well, I am convinced: I have brewed this “traditional” version a few times now and have been very pleased with how it turned out. I can hardly even think of things I would want to tweak with this recipe besides making more of it!
Read on for the recipe and some thoughts on making great Vienna lagers.