Sometimes all you want from a beer is ice-cold refreshment in a can. But if you’re a fan of microbrews, finding something on the more refreshing end of the scale can be tough. “Lagers and pilsners are still a new thing for many craft brewers,” says Miles Macquarrie, beverage director at Kimball House and Watchman’s Seafood & Spirits in Atlanta. Fortunately for Southern beer lovers, two regional breweries have strong entries in the category.
Based out of Nolensville, Tennessee, Mill Creek Brewing Co.’s Landmark Vintage Lager keeps the lake set’s whistles wet, with distribution throughout the Volunteer State, plus neighboring Alabama and Kentucky. “It’s more in a pilsner style—with enough bittering hops to give it a crisp finish,” Macquarrie says of the beer. Island Coastal Lager, founded just last year by two friends from Sullivan’s Island, South Carolina, takes an even milder approach. “It has a soft sweetness from the malt, with a less distinct hops character,” Macquarrie says. ICL is widely available throughout Southern beach states—even inland in Atlanta and Birmingham.
“The brewers have put thought into these beers,” Macquarrie says, “but you don’t have to think a lot about drinking them.” Cheers to that.