American Lager History with Greg Casey – BeerSmith Podcast #248

Greg Casey joins me this week to discuss the rich history of the world’s most popular beer style which is American Adjunct Lager.

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Topics in This Week’s Episode (53:58)

  • This week I welcome first time guest Dr Greg Casey. Greg holds a PhD in Applied Microbiology from the UNiversity of Saskatchewan, and has held academic positions as well as positions with Annheuser Bush, Red Star Yeast, Stroh Brewery, and Coors.  He was also President of the American Society of Brewing Chemists from 2005-2006.
  • We start with a discussion on how Greg got interested in the history of American Adjunct Lagers.
  • Greg explains how in the US we often discount our rich American Lager heritage, even though it is the dominant beer style in terms of volume both in the US and around the world.
  • He tells us a bit about how the style originated in Germany and was brought to the US in the mid 1800’s.
  • We discuss the German influence on the style but also how it became the dominant American beer style quite quickly in the late 1800’s.
  • Greg tells us what some of the early American lagers were like and how the style has evolved over the past 100+ years.
  • We discuss “ice cold beer” and how this turned out to be an American innovation in itself.
  • Greg covers the major myths associated with American Lagers.
  • We also talk about how consumers drove demand for American Lagers and not the big breweries.
  • We discuss the first volume in Greg’s trilogy which covers the WWII period in the 1940’s and also lingering effects of prohibition.
  • We talk about some of the factors surrounding the rise of craft beer which has eaten into US beer market share since at least 1980.
  • Greg discusses the three volume trilogy and his books and shares his closing thoughts.


Thanks to Greg Casey for appearing on the show and also to you for listening!
iTunes Announcements: I launched a new video channel for the BeerSmith podcast on iTunes, so subscribe now! At the moment it will only feature the new widescreen episodes (#75 and up). Older episodes are available on my revamped Youtube channel. Also all of my audio episodes are on iTunes now – so grab the older episodes if you missed any.

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