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Lake Anne Brew House Using Century-Old Recipes for ‘Heritage Lagers’

by Dave Emke February 14, 2017 at 4:00 pm 11 Comments

Praize the Maize/Lake Anne Brew HouseLocal nanobrewery Lake Anne Brew House is partnering with beer historians to offer the frosty mugs of our ancestors.

Praize the Maize, which will be tapped Thursday evening at the pub (11424 Washington Plaza West), has been brewed using the 1912 recipe of a German immigrant brewer — with ingredients that have been sourced from the locations called for in the recipe as well.

“We’re just really excited about it,” said Melissa Romano, the brew house’s co-owner. “We’re going to be doing a whole series of these recipes over the coming year — or years, who knows?”

The Heritage Lager series is a partnership between Lake Anne Brew House and Lost Lagers, the team of beer historians Michael Stein and Peter Jones, whose mission is to recreate the beers of days gone by.

“[They were] able to take this recipe, translate it into English, and then we were able to work on sourcing period-accurate ingredients,” Romano said. According to information provided by Lost Lagers, that involved tracking down appropriate hops from New York and California.

Romano said the recipe for Praize the Maize, as well as the other beers that will be brewed as the series continues, came from the notebooks of a brewer who arrived in the U.S. around the turn of the 20th century. A distant relative of the brewer is a friend of Romano and has done graphic design work for the brewpub. The recipe books, family heirlooms, have been loaned to the brew house for the project.

According to Lost Lagers’ research, Praize the Maize was likely — in its past life — a beer called Erlanger Light by Philadelphia’s Weger Brothers Brewery. Romano said it is “light” and “fresh,” with “a little bit of sweetness” and “some nice herbal qualities.”

“I think [customers] are going to really like it,” Romano said. “I think it’s going to be a very approachable and easy-drinking beer.”

The beer will be tapped and ready for consumption at 7 p.m. Thursday. Stein and Jones from Lost Lagers will be present, along with the family that provided the recipes, to answer any questions from visitors and to discuss the process.

“It’s a really unique recipe,” Romano said. “It’s just going to be kind of a cool thing, I think.”

  • 30yearsinreston

    Water, yeast, barley and hops
    Adding any thing else is not beer making
    Save us from pumpkin spice, etc

    • Uriah

      Actually, beer was first made with a variety of herbs way, way before hops were ever being thought of used. It was called gruit. So you couldn’t be any further from the truth, pal.

      • 30yearsinreston

        And gluewein is made with spices
        That’s my point, pal

        • For monks only

          And if its over 5% its also not beer unless its that brown liqyid bread stuff served during lent.

          Everything else its called IPA and as the name clarifies its India.

          The only US beer that comes close to German beer is Tommyknocker and Whole Foods no longer sells it.

    • For monks only

      There is only one country in the world protecting the purity law, and its not the US of A.

      • Melissa Berkemeier Romano

        The Germans are proud of their Reinheitsgebot, but the wonderful thing about the Craft Beer industry today is that there is something for everyone out there. Find a brewery that makes beer you love, and enjoy it! Cheers!

        • Mike M

          You folks make really great beer. Thank you. I’ve enjoyed good beer in many countries. But for a variety of high quality, the US cannot be beat. Your store is part of a movement that is taking beer further when I thought nothing could. Please keep up the good work!

        • obxers

          Many Germans may be proud of their Reinheitsgebot, sure, but American-style craft brewing outside of those restrictions is surging quite nicely in Germany.

    • Melissa Berkemeier Romano

      Thanks for your comment. At Lake Anne Brew House, we brew in the tradition of the Reinheitsgebot, or German Purity Laws. Our award-winning beers are all brewed true to style, and I encourage you to come in and try them! Now a little history lesson… In the early 1900s, American grown barley was a very high protein grain, too high in fact to make beer that could compare to the styles brewing in Europe at the time. Early American brewers used adjuncts (corn, rice, wheat) to lower the protein levels in the mash/wort in order to produce a quality product. Modern brewing with corn/rice is often intended to cheapen a product, but this was not the case in pre-prohibition brewing. In the case of this “Heritage Lager”, we sourced heirloom grains and hops to replicate the recipe as true to written as modernly possible, and we’re very proud of the result! Cheers!

    • For monks only

      There is childrens beer called Radler which is ok for those under 12. Thing here is the lemon soda used to mix into the beer does not exist here so the drink comes as a premix ugh. I would not recommend it even if your over 12. Its probably ok for RA board meetings as the sugar stimulates and the alcohol calms while the drink itself is outrageously overprized.

    • obxers

      That is so ridiculously wrong.


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