Which Style Still Has Untapped Potential?

Finding innovation in new products can be a challenge. But after moving to Texas from the northeast, ​Brian ​Dwyer​​​ head brewer for Oasis Texas in Austin, still see potential in an often less brewed path in craft beer: Lagers.

​”I think ​Lagers are kind of the last bastion of American craft beer that is still kind of unexplored and people haven’t really experimented with,” he told Brewer recently. “​Look at craft beer. There are so many breweries now that it’s hard to find things that haven’t been kind of played with and Lagers are still kind of that area —​ ​in my mind​. ​So far it’s been a pretty big success for us.​”​

Most of Oasis’ core beers are still sessionable ales, but since Dwyer moved from working at Allagash to taking the reins at the Texas brewery in early 2017 he’s helped lead a charge of expanding beyond just Ales.

“I started to focus a little bit more on Lagers, kind of trying to take more of a Texas-centric approach — both traditional and doing some experimental stuff.”​

Oasis had a beer ​in 2018​ ​which was a rice Lager dry hopped​ with Sorochi Ace​.

“​I think was probably one of the most unique beers we did​,” he said​. ​”​It was unique and still very ​The German tradition is really strong ​in Texas, he added​, noting the water profile is perfect for ​Lager brewing​ as well.

​”​It’s basically the same water profile as Munich​,” Dwyer pointed out. ​”Coming down there as an outsider and kind of starting to think creatively about what we can do is play off of that kind of Texas heritage and start using Texas-grown ingredients.​ Whether it’s Texas-grown malts —​ ​which now exist —​ ​or a lot of the citrus fruit that is grown in Texas​.

“We’ve started using ​[those] in ​some of our projects mixed with that kind of natural Lager-world hot weather/perfect water … ​it’s ​just ​the right​ market ​and tradition for it.​”

​Dwyer tipped his cap to the other ​great ​Lager breweries in Texas already​, like Austin Beer Garden, Austin Beerworks, and Live Oak.​

“They have helped create that market​,” he said​. ​”​It was kind of the perfect direction to play off of that. And for us it made sense to expand on Lagers — they’re naturally a session beer so it fits within our ethos​​ but it allows a little bit more creativity and stuff that hasn’t been done.”

The nice thing about ​ ​Texas ​weather ​is generally something’s always in season.

​”I grew up in the northeast so generally speaking much of the year it’s just kind of potatoes and radishes​,” Dwyer joked. “To be able to incorporate the rhythm of the seasons ​in Texas ​and establish a little sense of terroir into clean beers I think is cool​.​ You’re using that ingredient fresh and you’re serving it generally fresh​. ​There’s a cadence to it all.​”​

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.