Egerer Wiener Lager

Review Date 2/10/2022 By John Staradumsky


For Christmas of 2015, my wife bought me a really cool present: BeerAdvent Calendar 2015 from Kalea. In truth, my wife got me a lot of nice presents (she’s the best wife ever), but the nice thing about the Beer Advent Calendar is you get it early. You have to, since it’s comprised of 24 different imported German beers in a box with little doors that you open, one per day from December 1st through December 24th. All of the beers are listed on the side of the carton, however, so be careful not to look and spoil the daily surprises!

I love German beer more than beer from any other country on Earth, so this was definitely right up my alley. My one criticism of the calendar is there are not enough bocks and doppelbocks (not fair!), but otherwise it’s just an amazing way to sample 24 German beers I’ve never seen before. I get mine at Costco here in Georgia and pay on average $59.95 for the box. That might sound steep, but when you distribute that price over 24 different half liter cans, it only works out to $2.50 per can. Not a bad deal at all looked at that way.

Last year was a difficult year indeed, as Covid ravaged the world and it was not a sure thing that the Kalea Advent calendars would reach our shores. I braved Costco every week in September, masked with an N95, and finally scored my prize. For 2021, challenges of a different kind arose. Inflation and supply chain woes, thanks again to the persistence of Covid and the way it turned the global economy upside down in 2020, threatened once again to disrupt calendar distibution. On their Facebook page, however, Kalea promised that the calendars would arrive, and arrive they did. I found one at Costco in the second week of September, bought an extra for my future son in law, and stored mone safely away until December. The calendars sold for the same $59.95 they almost always have. Perhaps this was true in other years and I simply did not notice, but this year there were two box styles. One shows all of the included beers on the side, and the other does not, in case you want a true surprise each and every day.

On December 8th, behind the Day 8 door I found a can of Egerer Wiener Lager, a Vienna-style lager in name at least. I say in name because when I poured this beer into a glass, it was surprisingly pale and seemed more like yet another Munich Helles than a Vienna lager. There is no listing for this beer on the Egerer website (Egerer produces far and away most of the beers for the Kalea Advent calebdars), but the Beer Tasting app that Kalea links to says this:

Wiener Lager is a style of beer created by Anton Dreher, the Austrian brewing legend. He combined cold fermentation with knowledge of English malting techniques and created the Viennese lager as we know it today.

Here's the problem, though. Egerer Wiener Lager is not in that style. it is even less chewy malty than many Mexican lagers you find broadly in the Vienna style. There is a light bodied Vienna called Abzug, but the only example I have tried of that, Heater Allen Abzug 10 Degree Vienna-Style Lager, is darker in color and more substantial than this beer.

Egerer Wiener Lager has an alcohol content of 5.1% by volume. Ingredients on the can are listed as water, barley malt, rye malt, and hops. My can is stamped EXP 2023/05. The first eight beers in the calendar have been a Hefeweizen, four Helles (counting this beer as a Helles), a Festbier, a bock, and a Kellerbier. I think again this year we are heavy on the Helles style as so far we are at 50% Helles. Just for fun, I decided to go back and look at the 2015 calendar in my last review from this calendar. It was heavy on Helles, too, but after tabulating to my surprise there were actually more beers in the Oktobefest/Märzen/Festbier category, though granted that is really two styles. Adding the 2016 calendar beers we now have the following mix:

Dortmunder   5 9%
Munich Helles   12 21%
Oktoberfest   14 25%
Munich Dunkles 5 9%
Hefeweizen   5 9%
Dunkelweizen   4 7%
Zwickl/Kellerbier 3 5%
Kristalweizen   1 2%
Pilsner   3 5%
Bock   1 2%
IPA   1 2%
Doppelbock   1 2%
Maibock   1 2%

Egerer Wiener Lager pours to a pale golden color with a thick fluffy white head and a nose of soft bready malt. Taking a sip the beer is white bread malty with a hint of biscuit and a dry bitter finish. there is no toasted or caramel malt that I am looking for in a  Vienna Lager. Hedonistically I am enjoying this beer but it bothers me that it is so wrong for style. Would I buy it again? Not if I saw it offered alone, but certainly I will buy the Kalea calendars again in the future.

I’m greatly enjoying my 7th annual Beer Advent Calendar with the day 8 beer. Here’s looking forward to the remaining 16, and another assortment of 24 in 2022. We’ll be on the lookout next year at Costco, and following the beers on their Facebook page.

The beers of the 2021 Beer Advent Calendar:

Day 1  Herrngiersdorf Grantler Hell

Day 2 Hoamat Weissbier

Day 3 Egerer Alms Hell

Day 4 Rheder Husarentrunk

Day 5  Kraftbierwerkstat Der Schwarze Bock

Day 6 Herrnbrau Zwickl Kellerbier

Day 7 Kurpfalz Bräu Helles

Day 8 Egerer Wiener Lager

Day 9 Teisnacher 1543 Festmärzen

Day 10 Käuzle German Pilsner Style

Day 11 Marie Hausbrendel Hell

Day 12 Ladenburger Weizenbock Hell

Day 13 Landgang Pils

Day 14 Flötzinger Hell

Day 15 Perlernzauber IPA

Day 16 Loncium Vienna Style Lager

Day 17 Propeller Bier Turbo Prop Pilsner

Day 18 Erlkonig Hell

Day 19 Meine Große Liebe Helles

Day 20 Graminger Kirta Dunkles Weissbier

Day 21 Wittmann Urhell

Day 22 Schlossbrau Rheder Original Pils

Day 23 Furst Carl Kellerbier

Day 24 Kartauser Doppelbock Dunkel

Glad I tried it?  T

Would I rebuy it??


*Pricing data accurate at time of review or latest update. For reference only, based on actual price paid by reviewer.

(B)=Bottled, Canned