Miller High Life may have billed itself the “Champagne of Beers” back in 1903, but that was before a handful of breweries started making actual champagne-style beer. Most beers made with saccharomyces bayanus, the champagne yeast, are ales. Lager yeast doesn’t agree with champagne yeast. But Kasteel Cru, brewed in Alsace and sold exclusively in London and New York, is a lager made using the methode champenoise. Its brewer — curiously, a silent partner in the company — discovered how to extract the lager yeast before the beer undergoes a secondary fermentation with the champagne yeast. The result is a light, crisp, and intensely carbonated beer, with just a touch of breadiness in the mouth. The champagne bubbles scrub and cleanse the palate, making it an excellent food beer. You can buy it at Whole Foods or order it at Monkey Bar,
Resto, or the newly opened Crosby Street Hotel.
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on October 8, 2009