How Buoy Puts Lagers in the Spotlight

The humble-but-reliable Lager is the beer enthusiast’s under-the-radar friend. While it hangs out in the shadows of the beer fridge while the Hazy IPAs and Imperial Stouts seemingly take center stage, it’s a go-to for many and it’s enjoying a bit of a renaissance in the craft beer world.

This has been the case at Buoy Beer Company, which recently chose a Lager to step into the spotlight as a spring release brewed to help support the Ocean Blue Project.

At the beginning of 2023, Buoy launched a new program to contribute 3% of the sales of their rotating 16-ounce 4-packs to Ocean Blue Project, which is a grassroots nonprofit founded in Newport, Oregon by Richard and Fleet Arterbury, father-and-son tribal members of the Choctaw Nation. Their organization aims to restore the world’s oceans, beaches, and rivers to pristine, self-sustaining ecosystems where wildlife and human communities can coexist and thrive.

Following winter’s Baltic Porter, Buoy LAGER made its debut in April. 

“Craft beer strives to create and foster community, one of the reasons taprooms are an important part of the identity of the company,” Marketing Director Jessyka Dart-McLean told Brewer Magazine. “Beer has a history of bringing people together to share, laugh, plan, celebrate, and such. Getting involved in causes that benefit the greater good expands our community beyond our taproom. Drinking a beer that supports a cause connects you to that cause, bringing awareness and support for important issues.”

The beer was brewed with American Pilsen and Cascade. Buoy took steps to make a Lager that was reminiscent of easy weekend session beers but also something unique that reminds drinkers it’s a carefully crafted beer.

“For our brewers who have been brewing and drinking Lagers for a long time, they set forward to make a Lager that was different than the Lagers we currently make and reminiscent of the PNW lagers our parents used to drink and inspired them to become production craft brewers,” Dart-McLean said. “When crafting the recipe, there was attention to quality ingredients, a focus on aroma hops, and a low final gravity, high attenuation, resulting in a crisp, easy-drinking beer with low residual sugars. The use of more traditional, underutilized, classic hops — Sterling and Cascade — echo this throwback to the flavorful Lagers of regional brewers before the craft beer revolution.”

While Lagers are enjoying some good press lately, Buoy said it has always stood by the style.

“Our focus on Lagers has been sustained since we opened in 2014 with three of our year-round beers being Czech Pilsner, Helles Lager and Dunkel Lager,” Dart-McLean said. “As we grew our capacity, our objective has been to package more of the Lagers we have consistently brewed in small-batch drafts.”

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