Of the breweries regularly making lagers today, Chicago-based Dovetail Brewery is producing some of the best around. The brewery was founded by two German-educated Master Brewers adept in traditional European brewing styles. Their Vienna-Style Lager, in particular, is an exceptional example of how even the simplest recipes—this beer has just two ingredients—can produce the most flavorful of beers.
Appearance and Aroma
For Dovetail, the beer never comes second to the can design. All of Dovetail’s cans, which only recently made their debut on the market, are the same golden-yellow with the style appearing in bold, black text. Out of the can, Vienna-Style Lager pours caramel-toned and crystal-clear. An off-white head dissipates quickly. I suspect this beer would have better carbonation and head retention on draft, but it smells lovely, nonetheless, of sweet bread dough as the bubbles rise from my glass.
If malt is the soul of beer, then this lager is as soulful as they come.”
Dovetail uses a simple malt bill (100% Vienna malt) to create soft, rich complexity. The malt flavor is robust, with toasty character followed by a firm yet balanced bitterness from Styrian Golding hops. The beer finishes fairly dry and crisp, leaving equally strong malt flavor and hop bitterness in the aftertaste.
Dovetail’s Vienna lager makes up for its lack of effervescence with hefty flavor and drinkability. At 5.1% ABV, it’s sessionable enough to make it through a couple cans in one sitting. Which I can honestly say is mandatory given how the delectable malt richness this beer plays out on the tongue. If malt is the soul of beer, then this lager is as soulful as they come.