When I relocated to the Midwest, I asked the beer guru at my local store which beers were requested most often. The answer surprised me: St. Louis-based Urban Chestnut Brewing Company’s Urban Underdog lager. Urban Underdog is neither exceedingly rare nor exorbitantly expensive—and a lager wouldn’t be my first guess for most sought after style. Nonetheless, it flies off the shelves with regularity here. It didn’t take me long to take the plunge myself, and Urban Underdog quickly earned a place in my regular rotation, where it has stayed ever since.
Appearance and Aroma
I want my lagers to be clear, crisp, and bright. Urban Underdog fits the bill with a jetstream of bubbles rising through a transparent, straw-yellow body. However, it’s the beer’s aroma that really pulls you in. It’s an enticing blend of bright green fruitiness, biting herbal hops, and sweet malt. There’s so much more depth and complexity here compared to most lagers, as Urban Chestnut gets the very most out of a limited list of ingredients and low ABV.
Brewed in the backyard of America’s most famous lager, Urban Underdog is a more nuanced take on the style.”
Noble hops, with their snappy herbaceousness, carry the flavor. The hoppiness gives way to sweet, cereal-like maltiness for a very clear second wave. Urban Underdog wraps up with a drying, airy finish before the bright, fruity quality of the hops returns to linger after each sip. It’s rare to find a lager with this number of identifiable flavor moments. I love how the grassiness works with the floral and herbal hops and sweet malt to make a simply brewed beer have a ton of complexity.
Brewed in the backyard of America’s most famous lager, Urban Underdog is a more nuanced take on the style. Not only is it a hit throughout the midwest, it also took home gold at the 2019 LA International Beer Competition as well. This is a beer that’s well suited for basically any setting, and it’s easy to see why it has built such a following across the Midwest.