How I ended up with a bottle of Red Tape Lager: Back when I was living at my parents house on Cape Cod, I had a special beer kicking around in the fridge. It doesn’t matter what the name was, but I can say that it was one of those hard-to- justify purchasing beers. Buying a $15 bottle of beer while dealing with an unreliable car and student loans just screams priorities. Anyways, I was hanging onto this bottle for a while, waiting for the opportune moment to imbibe. I step out of the house for a minute NAY, A SECOND, only to return to hear my father from the living room, “I just had one of your beers. It was great!”
Usually, I wouldn’t mind someone breaking into my stash but losing that bottle tripped some bizarre beer wiring in my brain, and I nearly wept. Cut to: my well-meaning dad bringing home a bottle of Jack’s Abby Red Tape Lager the next day. I was expecting a six-pack of LandShark or something so it was a great to be able to try a Massachusetts local. Now I’m trying to think about what I can get him for Christmas. Any ideas on beer selections for a dad who’s mainly into macrobrewery blondes and lagers? DadBeerXmasIdeas: GO.
Jack’s Abby, from Framingham, MA, specializes in lagers using local ingredients and traditional German brewing approaches. Their pilot beer, Red Tape Lager is brewed with 100% dark Munich malt. It pours a burnt amber color with a good-sized tan and frothy head. Aroma is herbal German hops, sweet malts, and lager yeast.
The key word in describing this beer is balance. The hops/malts exist on the perfect plane; the hops providing the perfect bitterness level to the full but not too rich malts. It’s slightly fruity, with some great caramelized flavors and a tartness aspect as well. Medium-body, crisp carbonation, incredibly smooth and drinkable.
Red Tape Lager doesn’t fall into any one category either. Consider this a mix between a red ale, a dunkelweizen, and a helles lager. At 5% alc/vol, this would be a great session beer, allowing you to savor the complexities over time.