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Posted on Mon, Feb 21, 2011 : 4:15 p.m.

Monday's Mug: Drag Me to Helles is a crisp, easy-drinking lager

By Patti Smith

I am the first to admit that I'm generally not a lager fan. Lagers are fermented at colder temperatures than ales, and the yeast is bottom fermented (which means exactly what you would think it means). This results in a crisp beer. The mass produced swill that you can find (alas) everywhere is a lager, and therefore lagers sometimes get a bad rap amongst the craft beer crowd.

I am open minded (heck, I eschewed beer this past Friday to go on the Artini Martini crawl — great time, by the way)m and so I've been trying to drink more lagers. The still new Wolverine State Brewing Co. taproom has been helping me out. They specialize in lagers, and I have been enjoying Brewer Oliver's creations.

Recently, they introduced a German lager named Drag Me to Helles. This is a cute name because it makes me think of the next movie on my Netflix queue and because helles is a type of light lager which means, I hear, "light colored" in German. Technically, the beer is a maibock which is a type of helles but brewed to the strength of a bock.

I found this beer crisp (as a good lager should be), light on the malt and dry. It is not very hoppy (28 IBUs), so you anti-hop head folks should like this. It was very easy drinking (6.0 percent alcohol by volume) and refreshing.

This beer would be great in the spring or summer, but I appreciated it now because it reminded me of spring and summer. With summer break still three and a half months away and nine new inches of snow on the ground, that's just what the doctor ordered.

Patti Smith is a teacher who enjoys drinking and brewing beer. She hopes to make Monday's Mug a regular Monday feature. Meantime, you can read her blog at, friend her on Facebook or see her 'round the blogosphere as TeacherPatti.