Is Denver Beer Co’s Clown Question Bro the fastest-brewed lager ever?

denver beer co clown question bro

UPDATE: Response from Denver Beer Co.: “Clown Question Bro is a Canadian Lager-inspired beer. We used an ale yeast and fermented it cool to create a clean lager-like beer.”


(Denver, CO) – What is the fastest commercial lager ever brewed?

Maybe not such a clown question with today’s release of Denver Beer Co.’s Clown Question Bro Canadian Lager, based on the viral comment made by Nationals slugger, Bryce Harper, a couple weeks back.

The company reported brewing the beer on June 14th. That same batch hits taps today, just eleven days later, in time for the Nationals’ visit to Coors Field and the Colorado Rockies (Denver’s local team). How long does a lager normally take start-to-finish? Your editor posed the question on Twitter without trying to lead the witness…


And the responses…


Denver Beer Co. brewmaster and co-owner, Charlie Berger, actually addressed the inevitable question around his speedy lager on WTOP Radio this morning…

“There is an artistic license that comes with making a lager in only [11] days because, in general, lagers are stored for a bit longer. We can make an ale a little faster because the American ale yeast that we used is pretty flavor-neutral much like a lager yeast. It is able to mature a bit faster and allowed us to get this beer out. We’re still going to be serving this beer a bit young much like Bryce Harper himself.”

So, is this beer actually a lager or not? A hemi-lager? A Canadian lager? An ale brewed to taste like a lager?

Clown questions abound…

11 thoughts on “Is Denver Beer Co’s Clown Question Bro the fastest-brewed lager ever?

  1. Don’t call it a lager if it isn’t. It doesn’t even use lager yeast. Is lager now just a marketing term then?

  2. They probably used something like a California Ale yeast… way I know of to have a lager ready to drink in 2 weeks.

  3. It’s a blurry line, anyhow, when you get close. More and more we’re seeing lager yeast in ales and vice versa. For starters, look at Dead Guy (house ale yeast in a style that is traditionally lagered, still listed as a bock beer in most places). Consider also Martyn Cornell’s various diatribes on beer vs. ale or the general usage of “ale.”

    As far as I know, it’s not a protected term or officially defined in the context of beer commerce. I wonder why you’d call something a lager though in this case. I’m assuming marketing, but I don’t think that there’s a very strong argument for the reasoning behind that. Do most baseball fans even pay attention to drinking lager vs. ale? I think that most are either looking for something tasty or for something familiar.

  4. The way I look at it, you have 2 styles of beer in the world, Ale & Lager…..and it has everything to do with the yeast…….so in other words, it’s an ale….

  5. Breweries can call it what ever they want, going by tradition or not. Hell, the Shiner Hefe (traditionally an ale) is a lager. Steel Reserve can call that crap they make a bock if they wanted too…….The New Belgium 1554 is a lager, but say’s it’s a black ale….I emailed that brewery in regards to it and all I got back as a reply is “It’s exactly what it say’s on the label”.

  6. Ale and Lager are also legal terms in some localities (Texas, and some others) and based off of alcohol content, not yeast type.

  7. You could probably post that same question about a lot of the stuff that gets posted here. Beer people care though they’d probably care more if it was Anheuser-Busch that made a hybrid ale and called it a lager.

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