Steel & Oak has no shortage of impressive beer; from their creative seasonal lineup, to impressive one-off’s Steel & Oak knows exactly what they’re doing. But it’s one of their foundational beers that continues to remain one of their best offerings to this day.
When Steel & Oak was first coming onto the BC beer scene, they had a lot to prove. It was a much smaller market back in 2014, and there was a lot of interest in any new brewery that opened. Fortunately for Steel & Oak, they made a strong impression right out of the gate. I remember tasting their smoked hefeweisen at the Vancouver Craft Beer week before the tasting room had even opened, and it made such a strong impression that I listed it as one of my top beers of the festival. But while the hefe made a strong first impression, it was the dark lager that won me over.
Technically a Munich Dunkel there’s notes of bread crust, chocolate, nuts and toffee emanate from excellent beer. With a surprisingly light mouth feel, this unfiltered lager has a dominant malt flavour accented by notes of almonds, toast and a touch of caramel; all which contribute to the well-rounded complexity and depth that this classic German style has to offer.
Steel & Oak’s dark lager is one of the best representations of the style, packed full of flavour while maintaining a light and easy to drink texture. The only other dark lager that can even stand up to it is Persephone’s Dark Lager, which is equally as good.
I’m not the only one to think this way. The dark lager has won multiple awards over the years including at the BC Beer Awards in 2015, 2016, and 2017, and most recently the Canadian Brewing Awards in 2019.
It’s well worth having a few of these in the fridge for those days where you want something crisp and drinkable without sacrificing taste.