You don't have to be a craft beer snob to know that lager isn't the most exciting of beer styles.
Sure, it's super popular and the most widely consumed and commercially available of beers (if you've ever had Miller and Budweiser, Stella Artois, Corona, Kirin or Heineken).
But with lager, "you know what you’re getting," says Mike Cruz, president of Fresno's Tioga-Sequoia Brewing Co.
It's a beer that is light and easy to drink. It won't wreck your palate like an IPA or leave you full like an unfiltered wheat.
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"The thing that’s exciting about it is that you can drink it anywhere, any time of the year," Cruz says.
He's talking about lager (and not the IPAs and milks stouts that Tioga-Sequoia is known for) because the brewery just announced the release of a Mexican lager. The Zorro Especial was made in partnership with the Fresno Football Club and will be available March 17 for the team's first home game.
Tioga-Sequoia is the official pre- and post-game stop for the Foxes.
The brewery has produced lagers before, but they were small, pilot batches, brewed for special events (Octoberfest for example).
Lager isn't the easiest of styles to brew, Cruz says. It takes longer, for one, and tends to be sensitive to imperfections.
"The flaws show up," Cruz says.
This is the first time the brewery has branded and released a lager in any sizable quantity.
And it isn't the only craft brewery getting into the style.
Grand Rapid's Founder's Brewing Co., known for making $25 bottles of stout, released its Solid Gold premium in a national rollout this week. Closer to home, Turlock's Dust Bowl Brewing Co. added two Mexican-style lagers in 2016. Just last week, Firestone Walker Brewing Co. in Paso Robles announced it would release a lager as part of it latest lineup of brews.
They're calling it a “unicorn beer." As in, unattainable, because something as massively popular as mass-produced lager couldn't possibly also be good, right?
"Every craft brewery is going to come out with a lager," Cruz says.
"Now it’s the branding, the cultural thing."
For Tioga-Sequoia that means having the beer available for soccer fans at all the Foxes home games, including the March 24 match, which happens to coincide with the brewery's FresYes Fest.
"It could be gone in two games," Cruz says..
If the demand holds, Zorro Especial could end up at your favorite restaurant or bar.