At The Alementary, we love lagers.
We love them a LOT. When we launched our flagship, The Original Hackensack Lager, most of the craft beer world thought we were nuts! But the reality is that lagers are amazing and varied. They come in all shapes and sizes with everything from yellow beer flavored beer to the darkest and richest malt bombs you can imagine. They are also intensely difficult to make–which is in no small part why we like them. The difficult things are fun, and give a wonderful sense of achievement. With a beer like this, there’s nowhere to run, nowhere to hide. It’s just a brewer and their gear, trying to extract only the best possible flavors.
We’ve done many lagers over the years with nerdy math names and one of the most popular is Story Problems. Story Problems is a ‘Dortmunder-style lager’. But what does that mean? Dortmund is a town in northwestern Germany where the style was created. The water in Dortmund is quite soft and makes an excellent platform for more amped up flavors. As a style, you’ll find a firm bitterness and extremely balanced malt and noble hop expressions. Our version is made with premium German Munich and Pilsner malts and is hopped during the brew with German Magnum and Hallertau Tradition hops. We ferment it with our house lager yeast.
There aren’t many ingredients but it still isn’t a style to be trifled with. Story Problems is layered and nuanced. We choose only traditional German barley malts and hops grown in the Hallertau region. A beer like this requires a foundation in authenticity. Deep golden malty sweetness and that classic Munich malt “fresh toast” quality create a beautiful scaffold for classic noble hop expressions of low spice and white flowers. Our water here in Hackensack is much harder, with more calcium so our version carries a complementary slate-like water profile that adds a little aggression to the profile that we think enhances this classic and situates it firmly in New Jersey.
Did you know this is Blake’s favorite beer we make? It was originally crafted after he drank another commercial example after a day of skiing and realized that this style is perhaps the most perfect beer for that purpose. Drinkable, satisfying, and complex, Story Problems is all the things. It isn’t a permanent member of the family, though. We only make it for the cooler months. Now is your chance to pick it up while it is around!