what: Zwickel Lager
ABV: 5.5 percent ABV
cost: $5 a pint
where: Hunter-Gatherer Brewery
Occasionally in a particular town, you will see little trends starting to occur in the local brewery scene, and I think Columbia may be onto its first one. This is exciting for many reasons. First of all, we finally have enough breweries in town that trends like this can happen, and second of all, this particular one is based around German-style lagers. There’s River Rat’s Luminescent Lager repping our city hard at Fireflies games, newcomer Columbia Craft’s Lager, and of course the many beers of our resident authentic German brewery Bierkeller. Now you can add one more to the list as Hunter-Gatherer Brewery has launched the first brand-new beer in its new hangar space: the Zwickel Lager. It’s named after the port on the side of a brewery tank that allows the brewer to take a little taste of a beer and see how it’s progressing.
Head brewer Kevin Varner set out to create a beer that really focused on a German noble hop finish using Hallertua hops. Lighter and far less bitter than the vast majority of Hunter-Gatherer beers, it pours a lovely burnt gold color that’s great to look at in the light that shines through the new brewery’s 1,000-plus windows.
Zwickel joins those other great Columbia lagers in focusing mostly on drinkability, which perfectly encapsulates the spirit of Columbia’s love of craft beer as a means of creating community with good friends and good beer. Its crushability is also a big change for H-G beers, and one we welcome.