Ugly Pug Black LagerMay 1, 2006 Ft. Worth, TX
Rahr and Sons Brewing Co.
Ft. Worth, TX
Rahr & Sons’ Ugly Pug is a schwarzbier, or black lager. Regarding its interesting name, the beer was titled after brewer Fritz Rahr, Jr. saw his mother-in-law’s dog (a pug named Oscar) lounging in a chair. Fritz exclaimed “What an ugly pug!” At the time of the outburst, Fritz and family were drinking a test batch of the black lager, and that became the beer’s name.
Alcohol (wt.): 3.80
Alcohol (vol.): 4.84
Original Gravity: 11 plato
Final gravity: 2 plato
Malts used: Rahr 2-Row, Wyermann Light Munich, Chocolate, and Carafa Special II
Hops used: Perle
More deep-brown than black in color, this schwartzbier is stingy with its aromatics, taking its own sweet time before offering up notes of roasted malt, weak coffee and caramelized brown sugar. Flavors aren’t much more forthcoming, with a light, burnt caramel sweetness preceding a thinnish and lightly roasty body, finishing with some mild, drying hop bitterness and a whiff of smoke. No doubt designed for the Texas heat, this could be a nice refresher under the right conditions, but it wouldn’t be my first choice to take to the barbecue.
- Stephen Beaumont
Crystalline dark-mahogany transparency. Wisps of foam and a succulently sweet toasted-malt aroma that begs indulgence. Low hop flavor. Rather dry with an aftertaste-quenching roast malt acidity. A great session beer—easy drinking and friendly. A German style schwarzbier with American interpretation.
- Charlie Papazian
Okay, well, black this is not. This beer has a pleasant reddish-brown color and raises a short-lived tan head. The aroma shows some chocolate, caramel and a whiff of coffee backed by bready malts. The palate is medium-bodied, dry and brisk, with light hopping that braces a zippy but malty center. The finish is clean and dry. A version of German schwarzbier, and though a bit staid, it’s a very nice rendition. Cut the rib-eyes thick and start up the grill.
- Garrett Oliver
Stephen Beaumont boarded his first plane at the age of 15 and hasn’t looked back since, obsessing about travel to the point that he gets nervous if he doesn’t have a ticket or two stacked on the corner of his desk. When he’s not running around in search of new taste experiences, he makes his home in Toronto, where a new cultural experience is only as far away as the next neighborhood.
Author of the New Complete Joy of Homebrewing, founder of the Great American Beer Festival and a Beer Examiner at www.examiner.com, Papazian is a leading voice in beer and brewing.
Internationally recognized brewer and expert on traditional beer, Garrett Oliver is the brewmaster of the Brooklyn Brewery and the author of The Brewmaster's Table.