With summer just around the corner, I’ve cut way back on my beer consumption — not because I expect it will reveal some hidden mid-section six pack, but merely to get my full-on dad bod back. But, when I was at Whole Foods picking up a few ingredients that I can only get there, I saw it: a floor stack of Threes Brewing Categorical Error.
I’d never seen any of Threes’ beers in any of my local shops, and this was a beer, a “hoppy pale lager,” that I hadn’t seen before. The novelty of ready access and the fact that I was going to a St. Patrick’s Day party later in the day pushed my “no beer” plan aside. I can’t really drink wine at a St. Patrick’s Day party after all, can I?
While he’s adept at making any style of beer, Threes Brewing brewmaster Greg Doroski has taught me to love lagers. Categorical Error might be my favorite one so far.
When I asked him about this style of beer, one I’m not sure I’d tasted before, he told me, “I don’t really think there is such a thing as a standard hoppy pale lager yet. American-style pale ale informed our decision to call it pale lager. We added ‘hoppy’ to make its hoppy identity more explicit and set consumer expectations in that direction. These sorts of beers are great because they are clean and crisp like good lager beer, but hoppy in the way that a lot of people want.”
I’m definitely one of those people. I love the fruity, flavorful hop profile. It’s tropical and peachy, with just a little bitterness at the end that is framed by the kind of precision and focus that only a well-made lager has. It’s the kind of beer that will work well in most any occasion. I drank it with corned beef and cabbage, but I can’t think of many foods, or situations, that it wouldn’t complement well.
“Like most of our beers at Threes, Categorical Error was crafted to be multifunctional. It is equally suited to enjoy with a burger, it will stand up to sniffing and swirling with the beer geeks, or you can guzzle at the bar talking s— with friends and not give it a second thought,” Doroski said in an email.
Categorical Error is available at the brewery in Brooklyn and at Whole Foods, while it lasts. That last bit may change if Threes opens its Cutchogue production facility.
“Whole Foods has been a great partner for Threes,” Doroski said. “They really support small local producers and make it easier for us to reach a larger, more general non-beer-centric audience. As we get more production capacity we hope to be able to grow our relationship with them.”