Looking to develop a low alcohol beer for states with tight restrictions, Green Flash Brewing Co. found success on a larger scale.
As the Green Flash’s East Village Pilsner, a Czech-style pils, was running its course in the brewing lineup, the brewers looked for a suitable replacement in the lineup. They liked the yeast they used in their regular Cosmic Ristretto Baltic Porter, so they set out to make a Zwickel pilsner with the strain. And so was born Sea to Sea Lager, a nod to Green Flash’s home in San Diego and its East Coast facility in Virginia.
The 4% alcohol by volume Sea to Sea drinks lighter than many light macro lagers, yet is fuller in flavor due to the malt bill and hops used. Sea to Sea is year-round and found in all 50 states.
“It has a lot more flavor than a typical light lager,” Green Flash Brewmaster Erik Jensen said. “In this case, we wanted to brew a super drinkable, but flavorful lager a-la Green Flash.”
Made with domestic two-row, German Pilsner, Vienna, acidulated and dextrin malts, there’s a certain added boost not seen with adjunct macro pilsners. Green Flash brewers added classic European Saaz and Hallertau hops, then the finished product is left unfiltered to leave in the hop accents in their fullest.
There is a time and a place for everything. and sometimes you don’t want crazy hops.”
“With a beer this light, we needed to give it some malty flavor, which was accomplished by using the Pilsner and Vienna malts,” Jensen said. “The acidulated malt gives it a touch of lemony tartness and the dextrin malt boosts the mouthfeel. Saaz hops provide herbal and spicy notes and Hallertau hops have this subtle fruitiness that is nicely complemented by the acidulated malt.”
Green Flash has built a reputation on IPAs, including West Coast IPA and Palate Wrecker, and acquiring lauded Alpine Beer Co. beers like Duet, Nelson and Pure Hoppiness only upped that rep. Sea to Sea is a deviation from those beers.
“In a time of session IPAs, and IPLS for that matter, why not leave it with mild hop notes?” Jensen said. “There is a time and a place for everything and sometimes you don’t want crazy hops. On top of that, I’m not a huge fan of IPL.”
Complex but light, and also canned, Sea to Sea is a perfect beer for the brewers to wind down and cap off a long brew day – possibly tossing them back with fish tacos or a spicy sausage, or throwing them in a cooler for a sunset on the beach.
“The brewers are big fans of this beer,” Jensen said. “I always have this beer on tap at my house.”