Pick 6: Chris Lohring of Notch Embraces the Surprising Diversity Found in Traditional Brewing – Craft Beer & Brewing

December 31, 2021 by No Comments

Chris Lohring has lived more than one brewing life over almost three decades of doing it professionally, and with Notch, he’s focused on the things that bring him the most joy—session-friendly lagers and ales designed to be consumed in a social setting. It’s no surprise, then, that the beers that have influenced this most recent turn of brewing passion are Czech and German in origin.

He’s been brewing since 1993, but for his Pick 6 he didn’t want to go too deep and choose beers that are no longer available, preferring to focus on beers that have been meaningful to him over the past 20 years. A common thread is the tension between individuality and conformity—the way a beer can fall comfortably within the broad expectations of a tradition without repetition or slavish re-creation.

“Sometimes, it’s the subtle differences that make a great beer,” Lohring says. “It’s not huge leaps of intensity, or huge leaps of ingredient additions, or radical process variation. To me, it’s those little things that really make a wonderful beer.”

Here are six beers that have informed his passion for brewing with subtlety and nuance, without sacrificing character.

Pilsner Urquell

(Plzeň, Czech Republic)
“I took a trip to the Czech Republic in 2005, and I had just finished my first brewing gig. The company had sold, and I basically stepped out of brewing for a couple of years. I wanted to go explore a couple places that I hadn’t been, and Prague and Czech Republic were high on my list. I went to a couple of the tank pubs that serve Pilsner Urquell through Lukr faucets in a Czech mug, and my mind was blown. It basically took every thought we had as American consumers for pilsner and just turned it on its head. Pilsner here was served in a stemmed glass, it was bright and crisp and dry and all these things that Czech pale lager really is not. It’s served in a mug. It’s served with dense, creamy foam on top. It’s got great mouthfeel—I wouldn’t call it crispy. Czech pale lager has some caramelly decoction maltiness to it. It finishes dry, but really balanced.

“That moment to me was an epiphany because not only is this beer so wildly complex—I knew how hard it was to brew because of the triple decoction and all these other great process things—but it’s 4.4 percent [ABV]. That really blew my mind, that something that was that flavorful was 4.4 percent because that’s my jam. It’s what I want to drink. I want to drink …….

Source: https://beerandbrewing.com/pick-6-chris-lohring-of-notch-embraces-the-surprising-diversity-found-in/


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