North Fork Lager

Idaho
United States
Payette Beer North Fork Lager
Judges Ratings 
1 Review
94
Aroma:
22 / 24
Flavor:
37 / 40
Appearance:
6 / 6
Mouthfeel:
10 / 10
Overall Impression:
19 / 20
Description 

This American Lager has a laid-back personality and pairs well with just about all edibles. Hops bring a mix of woody, green, floral and fruit notes with subtle herb and spice character. North Fork is a sessionable beer with lower alcohol content for a quick, smooth run. Pack plenty for your post river run refreshment.

Profile

ABV: 
4.4%
IBUs: 
19
Hops: 
Bravo, Crystal
Malts: 
Acidulated, Pilsner
Judges Review 
David Sapsis's picture
Judges Rating:
94
Aroma:
22 / 24
Appearance:
6 / 6
Flavor:
37 / 40
Mouthfeel:
10 / 10
Overall Impression:
19 / 20

North Fork Lager by Payette Brewing Co. is being judged as an International Pale Lager, BJCP category 2A. Served in a 200-ml stange glass at 44oF.

The beer is very pale gold, bordering on deep straw in color (~ 3 SRM), with brilliant clarity. The aggressive pour formed about a 2-inch foamstand that receded to about 3/4ths of an inch and persists with lacing on the now receded portions of the glass. A regular set of outgassing columns shows the beer to be well-conditioned. 

The beers aroma is subtle but inviting: a soft floral nose with hints of malt sweetness, soda cracker sulfur notes and white bread. The hops are very subdued  but become a tad more evident with swirling to promote release of aromatics. The dry yet faint malt sweetness along with the nice malt sulfur angle practically scream lager. Well done.  

A white-bread and grainy front merges into a relatively firm bitterness (~16-18 BU estimated) in the mid-palate with flavors of classic pilsner malt cracker notes, some spicy-pepper hop tones, and only a hint of honey/nectar-like sweetness, almost reminiscent of white grape juice. The beer's body is light and deft, despite a lingering bitterness presence that balances almost perfectly with the acidic and lingering malt evident in late palate. The finish is dry, but not bone dry, faintly minerally, and the light body and carbonic bite really bring out the crispness of the lager ferment.  

Overall the beer is a joy of honest and sparkling clean ferment characteristics that allows blond malt tones to prevail against a delicately balanced hop profile that has nice elements from nose through bitterness, to end-game flavors.  Overall, the beer is really outstanding, and in a style that I truly love. Too bad my Sacramento weather is bending toward the cold, as this beer would be fantastic on a hot day after a little exercise and sweat. But not to worry; I think it will pair fine with tonight's dinner of hand-made french dip sandwiches on a sourdough baguette. It's great to see brewers like this rejoicing in simple and clear classic styles, above the trends for new and strange, as they are timeless and of wide appreciation.