There’s a New Brew In Town
What: Western Standard Saloon Lager
By: Shoshana Leon
High West Distillery is known for making extraordinary whiskey, and Ballast Point Brewing Company is known for creating award-winning beers for more than 20 years. Now the two have come together to create a new barrel-aged lager. High West founder David Perkins has partnered with James Murray, Ballast Point’s vice president of brewing, to create Western Standard Saloon Lager, inspired by pre-prohibition German-style lagers that were often delivered in oak barrels.
“We realized that practically everyone in the Old West used to drink slightly barrel-aged beer at saloons,” said Perkins. “But until Western Standard, no one was making this type of beer. We saw an opportunity to deliver a great-tasting beer that consumers these days want.”
Western Standard is a modern barrel-aged lager. It takes seven weeks to brew from aging in cellars to blending with beer aged in bourbon barrels. It is brewed with a German lager yeast that is clean fermenting and neutral.
Aging the beer in High West bourbon barrels brings forth vanilla, caramel and oak flavors, which are complemented by citrus and floral notes of centennial hops. The lager features corn, rye and barley, resulting in a full-bodied, well-balanced and smooth flavor profile. With a 5.2% ABV (alcohol by volume), it is described as “sessionable,” meaning it has lower alcohol so more can be enjoyed over time without feeling too heavy.
Phoenix is one of four cities where Western Standard Saloon Lager is available, along with Minneapolis, Salt Lake City and Park City, Utah, home of High West Distillery. Western Standard is available at some locations of AJ’s Fine Foods, Bashas’ BevMo! and Total Wine. It is also available at several restaurants and bars in the Phoenix metro area including the Rokerij, Mora Italian, Dierks Bentley’s Whiskey Row, the Whining Pig and several sports bars.
Western Standard recently hosted a dinner at Restaurant Progress, a hip restaurant in Central Phoenix’s Melrose district, to introduce the beer. The menu included several items featuring the beer including veal short rib braised in Western Standard and bread pudding featuring Western Standard caramel.
With so many new beers on the market, Western Standard offers a twist with its barrel-aged flavor and smooth citrus notes. Cheers to Phoenix for being one of the first cities to get this flavorful new brew!
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