Sudwerk California Dry Hop Lager

Sudwerk Brewing Co. California Dry Hop Lager

Brewed by: Sudwerk Brewing Co.

Beer Classification and Specs

  • Style: Lager
  • Variation: Helles, Dry Hop
  • Seasonal: No
  • ABV: 5%
  • IBU: 28

Brewer’s Notes and Ingredients

The perfect blend of West Coast piney citrus hop aromas mixed with the crisp refreshment of a German Helles lager. This classic lager style is dry hopped with copious amounts of Amarillo, Simcoe and Cascade hops to create a new-age West Coast craft lager like none other.

Hops: Amarillo, Simcoe, and Cascade

Malts: N/A

More Sudwerk California Dry Hop Lager Images

First Impressions

Artwork: A bear riding a turn-of-the-century bicycle.

Color: Semi-hazed, orangish hue.

Aroma: Mild citrus with a hint of grain.

The Tasting

Arrived in: 12oz. Can

Served in: Specialty Pilsner Glass

Sudwerk’s mottos are “Long Live the Lager” and “Savor the Session”, so it’s really not that difficult to surmise what they’re all about. They aim to brew sessionable beers, but also tap into their Bavarian roots by specializing in lagers, Bocks, and Hefeweizens among others:

“Our beers are derived from German brewing traditions, yet have been adapted to the West Coast climate.”

After a few San Diego heatwaves, we have been on a major lager and/or radler kick. As soon as the thermometer has ticked up, we have cracked open lighter, sessionable heat defeaters like this Sudwerk California Dry Hop Lager, subtitled “Redefining the American Lager.”

This was one of the darkest “light” lagers we have ever seen, which made sense, since Helles means “pale” lager. Its orangish, to coppery hue was surprisingly cloudy for the style. You could see through its foggy haze, it was just not as crystal clear as your stereotypical straw colored lager.

California Dry Hop Lager poured a decent sized crown of that familiar, large-bubbled lager style foam. Its head subsided fairly quick, but we could still see plenty of effervescence in the glass.

Our biggest knock on lagers are they can be too watery, but that was not the case here. California Dry Hop Lager was a little more extra bodied than most lagers/pils, but it still retained that crispness you look for in the style. It was very smooth, and easy drinking.

As far as the taste, Sudwerk California Dry Hop Lager started off with the customary qualities you’d expect to find in a lager, which were soon overtaken by the dry hopped character. Think of this beer as an old-school German lager, meets a Session IPA.

Each sip of California Dry Hop Lager was imparted with extra hop goodness, from a slow wave of earthiness and orange citrus. Cascade’s trademark floral notes came on first, followed by the citrus of Amarillo and Simcoe. As these flavors passed, the beer became lagery again, with a clean and dry finish.

This lager was deliciously sessionable, but it also managed to stay out of that dangerous hop water territory, thanks to its hop forwardness and modest 5% ABV.

Final Score: 3.5/5


3.5 Stars

Sudwerk California Dry Hop Lager was a harmonious blend of traditional lager, and dry hopped ale. The result was a creative beer with ample hop presence, and a clean lager finish — as advertised.

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