Beer Reviews Yellowhead Lager

Living in western Canada I’m sometimes envious of my American neighbors. It seems the U.S. practically swims in craft brewed beer compared to the relative trickle of product here. And what’s more, so many of the craft brewed beers made in the U.S. are really quite good. I think the quality of American micro brews is an offshoot of intense competition. You know, when you have to compete against 50 other guys instead of 15 or 20, you have to make a better product to earn your piece of the action.

So, when the Yellowhead Brewing Company opened its doors in downtown Edmonton my reaction to the news was one of cautious optimism. After all, the last brewery that occupied the space now occupied by Yellowhead didn’t last. With this being the third microbrewery in town I’m hopeful of what the company could produce. So far, Yellowhead seems to be working on establishing the lager as a flagship brand with plans of expanding to one day compete with western Canada’s larger microbreweries.

Yellowhead Lager pours into the glass the color of light gold. Modest carbonation supports a fluffy white head with good retention. Aroma starts off with aromas of biscuit in the front. Biscuit is supported by hints of caramel. Notes of caramel move linearly into aromas of hops. Hops present themselves in the background in the form of hay and freshly mown grass. Aromas are present, restrained, and balanced.

Yellowhead Lager is a medium bodied lager with a smooth, silky mouthfeel. Taking my first sip, Yellowhead’s offers a malty graininess accompanied by a slight, barely noticeable tartness. The center offers some roundness with just a little bit of caramel malt. The center moves all too quickly into a mouthcoatingly dry finish. Flavor is lacking, offering only graininess, a hint of a rounded center and some dryness in the finish.

Overall, Yellowhead gets a 7.41 out of 10. It’s not a bad beer. The only negative I have is that there isn’t as much going on in the flavor as I would like. While I did enjoy Yellowhead lager the flavors struck me as too simple, too linear. Although it is crisp and refreshing enough. The truth is, although there are other lagers I’ll reach for before Yellowhead, I’ll probably find myself reaching for a bottle of this local lager from time to time. I might have to pair it up with chicken breast or maybe some poached whitefish.

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