The Return of “40 oz of Freedom”

Karl taking a rare break while waiting out “40 oz of Freedom”‘s boil.

Karl taking a rare break while waiting out “40 oz of Freedom”‘s boil.

The time has come to bring back one of our most unique, fun, and, dare we say…irreverent? lagers, “40 oz of Freedom!” The name is based on the Sublime album, 40 oz TO Freedom, and the lager itself is an ode to simplicity, laid-back good times, and that late-afternoon-sunshine feeling.

“40 oz of Freedom” is based on exactly what it sounds like — an American Industrial Lager, or malt liquor. However, this take on that classic favorite is also brewed with a traditional pilsner in mind. Add a bunch of U.S.-grown Saaz hops, and you’ve got a cleaner, crisper, fuller, but still laid-back drinking experience.

Brewmaster Oliver Roberts endeavored to create a balanced but “big honkin’ brew” through the use of delicate malts and a close eye on the fermentation process. “40 oz of Freedom” is made with pilsner malt and six-row barley and, as Oliver says, “the closely monitored temperature control during the lagering phase was key to produce a beer that could be so smooth and clean at a higher abv.”

Rice syrup going into the kettle. Using adjuncts like rice syrup in this style of beer allows for high abv with light body.

Rice syrup going into the kettle. Using adjuncts like rice syrup in this style of beer allows for high abv with light body.

Industrial lagers/malt liquors typically and traditionally use “adjuncts,” i.e., additions like rice syrups to add fermentable sugars. Brewer Karl says that the addition of rice syrup into 40 oz of Freedom “allows us to up the abv without creating a bigger body. If we got all this sugar from malts [in order to achieve this abv], it would be a very dark, malty beer. Almost all of this addition is fermentable, so there is very little residual sugar. This way, the abv is high, but the body is light.”

This bad boy will clock in somewhere in the mid-to-upper 8 percent of abv, by the way. Look for it sometime in April, once it lagers itself into a delicious, refreshing, relaxing take on this classic style. As the sun comes back, we hope you’ll be tipping a couple of these back with us. Cheers!