IT’S NOT OFTEN that a brewery’s session lager is more assertive than their core pale ale, but so it goes with Veteran Beer Company. Whereas their Blonde Bomber is a non-descript American blonde ale, featurelessly round and a little watery, The Veteran lager cuts a confident, more commanding figure. Veteran is a brand new company launched just in November of this year with a mission to employ only US veterans; headquartered in Chicago, they brew from a facility in Cold Springs, Minnesota. Providing ranges for characteristics like color (10-15 SRM) and bitterness (20-26 IBUs), it’s likely that recipes are still being tweaked.
The brewery calls The Veteran an amber lager, but as of recent sampling its color is more a pale yellow. No argument about its positioning, though, as an approachable session lager of light (but not too light) body, average strength (5% ABV), and good balance. Its aroma is pure—pale grains with some light background hopping—suggesting a clean and efficient fermentation. Carbonation is fairly assertive and carries through well into latter-stage bitterness from floral, slightly spicy hops. The finish is crisp with some small mineral impression, making the most of that pure Minnesota water. Solidly sessionable, The Veteran should far and away outperform the Bomber. But thus far it seems Veteran’s success will depend more on its principle than its product.
Served: 12 oz bottle