There was a time, when I was first making initial explorations into the world of craft beer, that seemingly the entire “better beer” industry defined itself through opposition to a word like “lager.” No, they were never referring to the likes of doppelbock, or märzen, or even a proper pilsner. This wasn’t an industry built on offering an alternative to baltic porter. But generic “lager”? That style of beer into which you’d lump the biggest offerings from Budweiser, Miller and Coors? Opposition to that particular corner of “lager” was simply a given back then, in the 1990s and 2000s. Craft beer styles were defined by the ways they differed from those “fizzy, yellow beers.”
14. Funky Buddha Brewery Vibin’
City: Oakland Park, FL
The verdict: I must point out that calling a beer “grooveable” lager seems like we are definitely running out of synonyms for “drinkable” or “crushable,” but I certainly can’t argue with the lager in this can. Funky Buddha has produced a very nice, well-rounded lager here, with a fuller body and more complete profile than many of the others. Smooth texture and substantial malt sweetness form the backbone for traces of herbal noble hops and a semi-dry finish. Overall, this feels like a bigger, slightly more assertive example of the style, but still well within the parameters of American or helles lager. Solid all around.