If there is a bright spot in the beer space amid the pandemic, it is that small-production brewers were afforded the time to make and age proper lagers.
The craft beer industry in America was built on the backs of ales. Hop-forward India pale ales, roasted stouts and hefeweizen were put on offer by the early craft brewers to help differentiate themselves from the larger breweries that cornered the market.
When it comes to small breweries in America today, ales are still the primary focus and largely pay the bills. They can be brewed, fermented and released within a few days. Lagers on the other hand need several weeks in tanks to properly mature. They need time to develop desirable flavors and drop out particulates that would otherwise cloud up the appearance.
As the pandemic closed taprooms and draft beer production slowed, many brewers took